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Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX: VUL) has reached another milestone in its development of Zero Carbon Lithium technology with the completion of its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for Phase One of the project.

The ESIA is a prerequisite to the raising of sustainable or “green” debt finance and is an important third-party validation of the Project’s sustainability credentials.

Vulcan is advancing Phase One of its Zero Carbon Lithium Project: the first integrated project delivering renewable energy and lithium, from Europe for Europe. In doing so, Vulcan aims to:

  • Meet Europe’s battery electric vehicle critical raw material needs.
  • Provide affordable, baseload renewable energy to local communities.
  • Generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs linked to the energy transition, decarbonisation, and electrification of transport.

Key outcomes of the ESIA report:

  • The environmental and social baseline, impact assessment, and cumulative impact assessment completed by ERM is in line with lenders’ requirements to ensure a level of environmental performance prior to the furnishing of debt finance, e.g. the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability, and the Equator Principles (EP4).
  • ESIA notes there are multiple positive impacts of the Project, including renewable heating provision for local communities, and carbon neutral lithium production to decarbonise the lithium supply chain, in a world leading first for the industry.
  • Other positive impacts noted in the ESIA included:
    • The creation of numerous energy transition jobs, as well as ongoing local innovation and research in green technologies;
    • the Project is being developed entirely on industrial and farming land, with no material negative impact to the local environment, and farming activities continuing uninterrupted; and
    • there are no potential impacts of the Project classed as greater than “minor”post-mitigation; with most impacts classed as “insignificant”, during the construction, operation and de- commissioning phases.
  • An Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) has been created in advance of construction start, in line with the ESIA recommendations and industry best practice.
  • The ESIA and ESMP, key components towards the provision of green financing, will be integrated into Vulcan’s Phase One project-level debt and equity financing process, which has been initiated.

The completion of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment marks a significant milestone in the advancement of our Zero Carbon Lithium Project,” Vulcan’s ESG Lead, Storm Taylor, said.

“The ESIA has validated the world-leading sustainability and social benefits our integrated renewable energy and lithium project will deliver to stakeholders. Uniquely, our Project has no potential impact classed as greater than ‘minor’ post mitigation and has instead shown a range of positive impacts to both people and the planet. A

“s a next step, we look forward to implementing the best practice Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) developed, and to engaging with lenders on this matter during the Phase One financing process, which has been initiated.”

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