In the last four days, the Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd (ASX: VUL) share price has already rallied almost 18% to a record high of $11.56.
Taking a step back, shares in the emerging lithium producer have surged 317% year-to-date. They have also gained an extraordinary 2,117% in the last 12 months.
At the time of writing, Vulcan shares are up 0.26% on the previous clsoing price to $11.56.
The company isn’t expected to begin producing lithium until mid-2024.
So why does the Vulcan share price continue to surge?
Why the Vulcan share price has an edge
Vulcan’s Zero Carbon Lithium project draws on naturally occurring, renewable geothermal energy to power its lithium extraction processes. This means that its operations use no fossil fuels, require very little water and a tiny land footprint.
Vulcan flags that there is a high environmental footprint for the production of lithium. It says there are approximately 1 billion CO2 emissions from producing and refining lithium from hard-rock mines.
Many household ASX 200 lithium miners including Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY), Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) and Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) use both hard-rock and water intensive brine extraction methods.
Surprisingly, when you invest in Vulcan shares, you’re gaining exposure to both an energy and lithium business.
Alongside the company’s core lithium business, Vulcan also aims to develop an energy business which would sell its excess geothermal energy to the grid and sell energy, in the form of heat, to public and private customers.
Vulcan to offset CO2 penalties for automakers
There are currently penalties in place for vehicles’ emissions in the European Union. However, there are none which target the supply chain, according to Vulcan.
In the company’s Zero Carbon Lithium corporate presentation, the company said “this is likely to change shortly with new EU legislation and lead to heavy penalties if carmakers are not sourcing greener raw materials”.
The company believes its Zero Carbon Lithium is a solution which “offers a negative carbon footprint that will help automakers to reach their sustainability targets by offsetting CO2 generated by the rest of their supply chain”.
There was positive news for the Vulcan share price earlier this week. This came when the company revealed a 5-year strategic partnership with Renault Group.
The bigger picture
The surging Vulcan share price isn’t a one-man show in the lithium sector.
The Pilbara Minerals and Galaxy share price have lifted well over 100% year to date. Orocobre is trailing behind, up 87% this year.
Beyond ASX-listed lithium players, the Global X Lithium & Battery Tech Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) rallied 4.47% overnight to a new all-time high.
The Lithium ETF invests in the full lithium cycle, from mining and refining through to battery production.
The ETF is up 39% year-to-date, reflecting broader tailwinds for the industry.