• Vulcan expands geothermal energy-lithium brines business from Germany into neighbouring France
  • Lake lithium demonstration plant appears to be running smoothly
  • Galan to increase size of pilot plant to 4,000tpa of LCE
  • Anson upgrades resources again to 1Mt LCE and 5.27Mt bromine

Your important ASX mid and large cap mining news for Wednesday, November 2.


Vulcan Energy invades France

Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) is expanding its geothermal energy-lithium brines business from Germany into neighbouring France and specifically Alsace, which is a natural extension of the Upper Rhine Valley Field.

In March, VUL tested a bulk (10,000 litres) brine sample from the French side of the border, which returned a high grade of 214 mg/L Li and low impurities.

It’s basically the same stuff coming from its brine project in Germany, “meaning Vulcan’s sustainable lithium production process is applicable across the whole field”.

At ~15.85Mt LCE, VUL reckons it already has the largest lithium resource in Europe.

An advanced Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on the Phase 1 project is track for completion in Q1 2023.

$1bn market cap VUL is flat in early trade.

VUL share price chart


Final optimisation of Lake’s demo plant ‘nearing completion’

Recent drama aside, Lake Resources’ (ASX:LKE) lithium demonstration plant at Kachi (a smaller version of the real thing) appears to be running smoothly.

LKE and partner Lilac Solutions are using a process called Direct Lithium Injection (DLE), which promises to produce cheaper, higher quality, and more environmentally friendly lithium than incumbent processes.

DLE has been used in water treatment for decades but its use in the lithium sector is in its infancy.

LKE recently admitted it was having an argument with tech partner Lilac Solutions re demonstration plant deadlines, which had some investors concerned about the tech itself.

Questions which have now been mostly alleviated. The demonstration plant is now processing Kachi brines “at spec” with final optimisation of the process now nearing completion.

“Just one month after the start of wet commissioning, we are already achieving 80 per cent lithium recoveries even as we complete the commissioning process and increase recoveries,” Lilac CEO David Snydacker says.

First samples of lithium chloride will be shipped in the next two weeks for conversion to lithium carbonate, which will then be qualified by a tier one battery maker.

The $1.61bn market capped project developer is up ~10% in morning trade Wednesday.

LKE share price chart


Galan boosts size of pilot plant to 4,000tpa

Meanwhile, fellow Argentinean brines stock Galan (ASX:GLN) wants to increase the size of its HMW project pilot plant (smaller than a demo plant) to 4,000tpa of LCE.

Construction of the semi commercial plant could kick off Q2 2023, GLN says.

Benefits of a larger initial production include derisking the larger 20,000tpa project and the delivery of an “accelerated, first phase 6% li concentrate”.

This larger pond system could also be included in the full-scale HMW project, “significantly shortening construction and production timelines”.

The $480m capped stock is up marginally in morning trade.

GLN share price chart


Anson now  has 1Mt of lithium resources at Paradox

US-based brines play Anson Resources (ASX:ASN) has upgraded resources again to 1Mt LCE and 5.27Mt bromine at the flagship Paradox project.

It represents a quick turnaround from a major upgrade to 788,300t LCE announced in August.

The new resources will be included in the recent project DFS, which estimated up to 13,000tpa LCE production across the first 10 years of a 23-year project life (Phase 1).

The headline numbers for Phase 1 are as follows:

  • Capital expenditure of US$495 million
  • Revenues of US$5,080m over 23 years of operations
  • Pre-tax NPV7 of US$1,306 million, pre-tax IRR of 47%
  • Post commissioning payback period of two years
  • First production in 2025

ASN has assumed a long-term price of ~US$19,000/t of battery grade lithium carbonate for the purposes of this economic analysis.

At current lithium carbonate spot prices of ~US$70,000 per tonne, pre-tax NPV and IRR jump to $5,149m and 98%, respectively.

That’s super profits territory.

The $375m capped stock is up 3% in early trade.

ASN share price chart

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Anson, Galan and Lake are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.