The lithium sector is writing its own rules in what broker UBS dubs an “immature and fast moving” market – and there’s no end to the mania in sight.

Behind the new age ‘gold’ rush is the solid notion that there’s simply not enough of the battery material to power the electric vehicles the car makers plan to churn out. Industry estimates suggest that if every lithium mine in the world doubled production for the next 10 years, forecast demand still would not be met.

ASX newcomers are testing the market and with lithium carbonate fetching more than $US70,000 a tonne – three times the level of a year ago – who can blame them?

Octava Minerals (ASX:OCT) shares listed on September 16, after raising $6 million on the back of three separate WA projects including the Talga lithium venture in the east Pilbara.

The shares debuted at a sturdy 27 per cent premium to their 20 cents listing price, but are now slightly under par.

Already listed on the UK AIM exchange, Atlantic Lithium (ASX:A11) listed strongly here on September 26, underpinned by its flagship operation Ewoyaa Lithium Project in Ghana.

Slated to be the west African nation’s first lithium mine, Ewoyaa boasts 30.1 million tonnes of spodumene (hard rock) pegmatite at a decent grade of 1.26 per cent.

Management envisages a capital cost of $US70 million for a mine that would produce 299,000 tonnes per annum over an 11-year life.

Formerly known as EonNRG, Voltaic Strategic Resources (ASX:VSR) this week relisted on the ASX, on the back of a compote of WA lithium, rare earths, gold and base metals projects.

Meanwhile, Iris Metals (ASX:IR1) shares remain in nosebleed territory after running up to as high as $2.30 a share.

The company listed a year ago at 20 cents apiece, on the back of its WA gold fossicking. But its fortunes changed rapidly after acquiring 42,287 acres of ground in the Black Hills district in mining-friendly South Dakota.

Put in context, the $115 million market cap Iris is one of only two US-based hard rock lithium producers listed on the ASX (the one being the $1.5 billion market cap Piedmont Lithium Inc, ASX: PLL).

Still, Iris’s stellar run is eclipsed by that of the $360 million market cap Global Lithium Resources (ASX:GL1), which listed at 20c in May last year. The last time we looked the shares were at $2.27 having hit $2.94 in mid September.

Not to be left out, shares in Auroch Minerals (ASX:AOU) on September 15 lifted 45 per cent, on the mere news of a 1000 metre drilling campaign at its 80 per cent Nevada Lithium project.

Who needs Las Vegas or the Burning Man festival to get their kicks in the Sagebrush State?

Meanwhile, investors in QX Resources (ASX:QXR) are banking on new CEO Steve Promnitz emulating the experience at his last gig, lithium brine developer Lake Resources (ASX:LKE).

Lake shares went from zero to a $2 billion hero on the back of its Kachi lithium brine project in Argentina.

QX shares have more than doubled since they signed up Promnitz in late September, after his sudden departure from Lake Resources. The company’s mainstay asset is the Turner River project in the Pilbara, a mere 15km away from Mineral Resources’ huge Wodgina lithium mine.

Promnitz says he can’t promise to ‘do another Lake Resources’ share price wise, “but I do think there’s plenty of upside especially if you’re willing to hang on for 12 months.”

As with all commodity booms, valuations will settle and the lithium hopefuls will start talking about uranium or copper – whatever the next trendy mineral is – instead. But only a brave investor would pick the timing of the end of the wild lithium market ride.

This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.