The Vulcan (ASX:VUL) share price has rocketed 9% today. Here’s why

The Vulcan (ASX: VUL) share price is up 9% today following the company’s reveal of a pilot plant to extract lithium from the Upper Rhine Valley.

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The Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd (ASX: VUL) share price is surging again today following the company’s reveal of a pilot plant to extract lithium from the Upper Rhine Valley.

The Vulcan share price is up 8.9% to $6.93 today in its third successive day of gains on the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO).

A quick take on the company

Vulcan is focused on lithium supply solutions to European electric vehicle manufacturers, a booming market at the current time.

Principally, it is engaged in exploring and developing copper-zinc projects and other mineral opportunities. The company’s projects are located in the Trondelag region in Norway, namely the Lokken, Tverrfjellet, Grimsdal, Killingdal, and Storwartz projects.

Additionally, the company acquired the Vulcan Lithium Project in Germany which comprises the production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from geothermal brines. Its operating segment includes energy metals exploration in Germany; copper and zinc mineral exploration in Norway, and administration.

This is where its current pilot plant is staged, in the Upper Rhine Valley that connects Germany and Switzerland.

Vulcan’s pilot plant for lithium extraction

Vulcan has designed, built, commissioned and is now operating its pilot plant to demonstrate direct lithium extraction (DLE) from Upper Rhine Valley geothermal brine.

Vulcan is using live geothermal brine from existing wells in its piloting programme for DLE and brine chemistry test work. Vulcan is working with major suppliers, including one of the world’s largest company’s, DuPont, to test DLE products similar to those already used commercially in the lithium industry, on Upper Rhine Valley geothermal brine.

Given the highly publicised boom in demand for lithium – a key element in powering electric batteries – the Vulcan share price has been rocketing over recent months.

What next?

Vulcan is now focused on demonstrating pre-treatment and DLE processes, as well the durability of the process over hundreds of cycles, which will feed into its definitive feasibility study.

Vulcan will use the data from the pilot plant to inform and finalise the design of a larger demonstration plant, which will also contribute information towards the DFS.

Vulcan’s technology partners and internal experts have indicated that key process operations will scale up to a commercial level with minimal risk from the demonstration scale.

What Vulcan management says

Vulcan managing director Dr Francis Wedin was bullish about the company’s progress, saying:

Getting our pilot plant up and running on live geothermal brine is a significant milestone for Vulcan. This has already started producing crucial data needed for de-risking the lithium extraction process. It took less than 6 months to design, build, and commission the pilot plant.

This aggressive timeline was enabled by the project’s world-class technology partners and location in Germany, where access to chemical engineering expertise is unparalleled.

This is a critical step towards our strategy of producing lithium hydroxide, using our unique Zero Carbon Lithium process, for the European battery electric vehicle market, and building a combined renewable energy and chemicals business.

Vulcan share price snapshot

The Vulcan share price has lifted 151% in 2021 so far. It’s also up 2,930% over the past 12 months.

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Motley Fool contributor Lucas Radbourne-Pugh has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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