Aug 2 (Reuters) – German-Australian start-up Vulcan Vitality Assets Ltd mentioned on Monday it has signed a deal to provide lithium to Renault SA , the most recent transfer by an electrical automobile maker to lock down provide of the battery steel forward of a projected surge in demand.
Vulcan will provide 6,000 to 17,000 tonnes of lithium yearly to the French automaker from its geothermal brine deposits in Germany beginning in 2026, the businesses mentioned. The five-year deal is renewable if each events agree.
Renault, with manufacturers together with Alpine and Dacia, has mentioned it will like 90% of Renault fashions to be totally electrical by 2030. The corporate mentioned Vulcan’s geothermal lithium manufacturing course of, which has no carbon emissions, was the principle enchantment.
Vulcan plans to speculate 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion) to construct geothermal energy stations and amenities to extract lithium, with a aim to start out manufacturing of the white steel in 2024.
Geothermal tasks usually contain extracting super-hot lithium-rich brine from underground reservoirs and utilizing the warmth to provide electrical energy, after which lithium is extracted from the brine.
The brine is then reinjected into the earth, making the method extra sustainable than open-pit mines and brine evaporation ponds, the 2 most-common current strategies to provide the white steel.
Vulcan is backed partially by Hancock Prospecting, led by Govt Chairman Gina Rinehart, one in every of Australia’s main traders.
Vulcan final month signed a long-term deal to promote lithium hydroxide from its German mission to the battery unit of South Korea’s LG Chem .
Vulcan has additionally signed a memorandum of understanding for lithium provide with Stellantis NV , the world’s forth-largest automaker.
Reporting by Ernest Scheyder
Enhancing by Marguerita Choy