International 05. Jun 2024

Vulcan welcomes new Australian Ambassador to Germany

On 4 June 2024, Her Excellency Natasha Smith, Australian Ambassador to Germany, was officially welcomed by the German Australian Business Council at the ‘Ambassador’s Welcome Dinner’ in Frankfurt. As a German-Australian integrated geothermal energy and ZERO CARBON LITHIUM™ business, Vulcan was invited as the keynote speaker. Vulcan’s Managing Director and CEO, Cris Moreno, delivered the keynote, emphasising the need to strengthen trade policies for critical raw materials between Australia and Germany.  He advocated for a multi-channel partnership focused on technology, extraction, production and recycling to drive innovation and ensure a sustainable, secure supply chain for critical raw materials and green energy.

Vulcan is at the forefront of this development, delivering Europe’s flagship project of carbon neutral lithium production to fit the green transition. The event was iconic, given its proximity to a huge geothermal-lithium brine reservoir three kilometres underground, spanning 300 kilometres from Frankfurt to Basel. This reservoir contains one of the world’s largest lithium resources, crucial for Europe’s domestic battery electric vehicle production. Vulcan, having access to this resource, uses Adsorption-type Direct Lithium Extraction (A-DLE) to extract lithium from this geothermal brine, delivering high-quality carbon neutral lithium chemicals while providing baseload renewable heating to local communities: a win-win.

The event was timely, with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the EU and Australia on 28 May, 2024, with the intent to partner on sustainable critical and strategic minerals. This MoU aims to strengthen partnerships for secure raw material supply chains, science and technology collaboration, and the development of ESG standards. It covers exploration, extraction, processing, refining, recycling, as well as processing of extractive waste, aligning perfectly with Vulcan’s ZERO CARBON LITHIUM™ and Renewable Energy Project, which encompasses the first four steps within Germany. This agreement follows the entry into force of the European Critical Raw Materials Act, which aims to ensure a diverse, secure, and sustainable supply of critical raw materials for the EU’s industry with reliable partners and a shared dedication to reduce critical raw material dependencies.

Cris Moreno stated: “Today, we are witnessing how critical raw materials are the key ingredient to the energy transition, and any country who does not secure their own supply chain puts themselves at the mercy of those who have them. Therefore, we must respond in unity across the West to protect our way of living. Australia, with its vast experience of lithium production, and Germany, with its excellence in renewable energy and engineering, complementary for cooperation on climate action, renewable energy, and critical minerals is an essential pillar of the bilateral economic relationship.  Australia and Germany are ideally suited as trading and innovation partners in the green transition to shape the future of this collaboration.”


Photo credit (c) Jens Braune del Angel


Media inquiries:

Annabel Roedhammer
Vice President Communications
+49 (0) 1511 410 1585