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Lithium developer Vulcan and automaker Stellantis announce joint geothermal energy project in France

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(Kitco News) - Lithium developer Vulcan Energy (ASX: VUL) and automaker Stellantis (NYSE: STLA) yesterday announced the formation of a joint project to develop geothermal renewable energy to supply to Stellantis' Mulhouse auto manufacturing plant in France, whilst assessing lithium potential from the same area.

In its press release, Vulcan Energy said that this agreement represents a joint expansion into France and is “timely” considering that the French government has just announced a strategic investment programme in domestic critical raw materials and renewable energy production.

Vulcan added it is helping to decarbonize Europe’s car production from both angles: renewable energy, and lithium, supporting Europe's transition to electrification of transport by 2035.

“Vulcan will support Stellantis' decarbonization strategy, focused on achieving carbon net zero by 2038 with a 50% reduction by the decade's end,” the company said.

“While we remain focused on the execution of our integrated Phase One commercial lithium and renewable energy project in the centre of the Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project, this project is a complementary opportunity to expand our future development pipeline into the French region of the Upper Rhine Valley Brine Field, supported by strong industrial partners like Stellantis,” Vulcan added. 

The company pointed out that this announcement with Stellantis is the fourth agreement signed since 2021. Previous agreements include supplies of lithium hydroxide, Stellantis' equity investment in Vulcan, and a joint renewable energy project for the Stellantis Russelsheim plant in Germany.

Vulcan also noted that its combined geothermal energy and lithium resource is the largest in Europe, with license areas focused on the Upper Rhine Valley, Germany. By adapting existing technologies to efficiently extract lithium from geothermal brine, Vulcan aims to deliver a local source of sustainable lithium for Europe, built around a net zero carbon strategy.

Stellantis is one of the world’s leading automakers and a mobility provider. The company’s brands include Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Jeep®, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, Vauxhall, Free2move and Leasys.

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