Nickel is a hot commodity right now (thanks Elon) with BloombergNEF predicting prices will continue to hover around US$18,000/t this year and that the market may slip to a 128,000t deficit around 2024.

It’s no surprise then, that explorer Conico Ltd (ASX:CNJ) is top of the charts this month, up a massive 104% off the back of news it hit sulphide mineralisation in the first hole at its Ryberg project in Greenland.

While it is still early days, the intersection of sulphides in the first hole justifies the company’s aggressive drill program with three rigs operating 24 hours a day to drill a minimum of 5,000m – up to a maximum of 10,000m.

Previous surface sampling at the Miki prospect had returned up to 2.2% copper, 0.8% nickel, 0.1% cobalt, 3.3g/t palladium and 0.2g/t gold and the company is aiming to determine whether a concentration of similar mineralisation exists at depth.

Across the spectrum, it was another stellar month for stocks with an interest in battery metals – 93 of the 124 in our list finished July in the green.
 

ASX battery metals in July

Here’s a table showing how ASX-listed battery metals stocks have been performing.

Code Company Closing Price July 31 %Mth %SixMth %Wk %Yr MktCap
CNJ Conico Ltd 0.057 104 73 68 418 $ 52,232,921.34
AXE Archer Materials 1.5 58 101 10 285 $ 341,559,819.00
ARN Aldoro Resources 0.47 54 114 0 262 $ 38,049,968.13
PSC Prospect Res Ltd 0.32 52 88 -3 142 $ 122,727,531.20
POS Poseidon Nick Ltd 0.135 52 78 4 350 $ 379,271,005.02
LPD Lepidico Ltd 0.015 50 -48 -12 114 $ 92,281,236.69
ESS Essential Metals Ltd 0.14 47 -7 0 40 $ 28,114,422.00
LPI Lithium Pwr Int Ltd 0.27 46 -7 13 46 $ 81,290,935.53
REE Rarex Limited 0.1 39 -13 18 54 $ 43,534,320.40
LKE Lake Resources 0.465 39 58 13 1192 $ 493,028,957.06
NMT Neometals Ltd 0.66 38 103 21 340 $ 361,928,421.36
SYR Syrah Resources 1.405 36 39 8 313 $ 699,987,119.57
IXR Ionic Rare Earths 0.03 30 -19 -3 200 $ 101,771,985.42
CZN Corazon Ltd 0.045 29 -40 15 -10 $ 9,137,436.48
LYC Lynas Rare Earths 7.34 29 54 14 226 $ 6,613,916,769.86
MLX Metals X Limited 0.275 28 62 12 235 $ 249,498,168.43
ORE Orocobre Limited 8.25 28 65 7 168 $ 2,840,934,706.50
VUL Vulcan Energy 9.8 27 24 8 2008 $ 1,065,839,307.40
GXY Galaxy Resources 4.66 27 73 6 336 $ 2,356,420,466.48
S2R S2 Resources 0.165 27 -11 22 27 $ 51,957,044.54
AVL Aust Vanadium Ltd 0.024 26 -17 9 100 $ 70,347,811.54
EGR Ecograf Limited 0.715 25 79 2 983 $ 321,630,923.19
CTM Centaurus Metals Ltd 0.925 23 15 3 91 $ 317,949,373.10
PLS Pilbara Min Ltd 1.77 22 90 3 414 $ 5,131,198,423.20
IGO IGO Limited 9.31 22 45 5 101 $ 7,050,163,339.03
AGY Argosy Minerals Ltd 0.12 21 -29 -4 122 $ 150,032,604.48
BSX Blackstone Ltd 0.43 21 -3 -5 23 $ 142,687,841.70
PAN Panoramic Resources 0.18 20 9 6 177 $ 369,164,520.72
TNG TNG Limited 0.072 20 -31 7 -2 $ 89,963,786.88
NTU Northern Min Ltd 0.039 18 -24 3 77 $ 188,826,805.67
QPM Queensland Pacific 0.165 18 166 10 650 $ 198,304,849.88
HAS Hastings Tech Met 0.2 18 -7 11 54 $ 347,691,053.20
MIN Mineral Resources. 63.01 17 83 2 138 $ 11,892,254,225.82
INR Ioneer Ltd 0.41 17 14 0 242 $ 780,720,729.41
HNR Hannans Ltd 0.007 17 -13 17 -13 $ 16,519,840.34
TMT Technology Metals 0.35 17 -5 9 94 $ 52,562,319.95
AVZ AVZ Minerals Ltd 0.185 16 0 -8 236 $ 595,053,612.41
PAM Pan Asia Metals 0.15 15 -6 15 $ 8,048,796.60
PEK Peak Resources 0.115 15 15 -18 283 $ 187,365,200.84
LIT Lithium Australia NL 0.115 15 -12 -2 95 $ 104,870,427.06
CXO Core Lithium 0.275 15 -20 -4 525 $ 322,882,244.85
GL1 Globallith 0.28 14 6 $ 24,913,250.88
MCR Mincor Resources NL 1.23 14 22 -5 62 $ 531,811,524.39
EUR European Lithium Ltd 0.059 13 -13 -2 26 $ 55,102,200.64
EMH European Metals Hldg 1.74 13 57 19 480 $ 226,360,019.10
PNN PepinNini Minerals 0.3 13 -31 0 237 $ 13,448,602.20
GLN Galan Lithium Ltd 1.04 13 98 1 643 $ 255,114,764.32
ASN Anson Resources Ltd 0.071 13 -29 -5 255 $ 63,492,292.58
SBR Sabre Resources 0.0045 13 -44 0 29 $ 7,573,786.42
WKT Walkabout Resources 0.225 13 50 7 67 $ 95,716,513.58
HWK Hawkstone Mng Ltd 0.028 12 -42 0 65 $ 47,812,135.50
BEM Blackearth Minerals 0.105 12 81 0 139 $ 22,570,235.84
AOU Auroch Minerals Ltd 0.2 11 -23 -2 217 $ 58,077,036.20
NIC Nickel Mines Limited 1.1 11 -13 -4 89 $ 2,766,531,956.10
BAR Barra Resources 0.02 11 -13 0 -13 $ 13,552,162.02
BKT Black Rock Mining 0.15 11 3 3 206 $ 127,450,869.90
COB Cobalt Blue Ltd 0.3 11 -8 13 140 $ 82,319,054.10
GME GME Resources Ltd 0.052 11 -23 6 53 $ 28,957,080.36
BHP BHP Group Limited 53.49 10 23 4 41 $ 157,573,591,065.06
SRL Sunrise 1.97 10 -19 4 4 $ 175,987,572.21
BOA Boadicea Resources 0.225 10 -9 0 19 $ 17,482,476.38
GAL Galileo Mining Ltd 0.3 9 -13 -5 -21 $ 42,930,361.50
STK Strickland Metals 0.049 9 47 -18 59 $ 38,001,752.68
RNU Renascor Res Ltd 0.074 9 118 6 363 $ 139,024,662.25
LTR Liontown Resources 0.925 9 137 13 640 $ 1,756,496,597.00
AZS Azure Minerals 0.25 9 -49 4 61 $ 77,308,930.25
NKL Nickelxltd 0.19 9 -3 $ 10,165,000.00
SRI Sipa Resources Ltd 0.055 8 -8 -13 -41 $ 9,873,724.47
IPT Impact Minerals 0.014 8 -26 8 -33 $ 28,333,128.87
ARR American Rare Earths 0.085 8 -15 0 286 $ 29,266,207.71
RFR Rafaella Resources 0.095 6 30 2 3 $ 16,325,029.71
RXL Rox Resources 0.42 5 -15 -6 -53 $ 66,195,197.88
MOH Moho Resources 0.068 5 -15 3 -51 $ 7,022,727.34
INF Infinity Lithium 0.093 4 -51 -11 13 $ 37,470,123.71
G88 Golden Mile Res Ltd 0.052 4 18 6 -21 $ 7,280,953.06
PRL Province Resources 0.135 4 543 0 537 $ 151,997,824.49
MNS Magnis Energy Tech 0.27 4 -13 -4 23 $ 229,887,327.42
OZL OZ Minerals 23.18 3 24 9 67 $ 7,718,255,448.24
VML Vital Metals Limited 0.049 2 9 -2 345 $ 203,557,421.12
TLG Talga Group Ltd 1.355 2 -3 3 153 $ 410,876,522.63
SGQ St George Min Ltd 0.068 1 -35 -1 -28 $ 40,064,983.72
FFX Firefinch Ltd 0.4 1 129 -5 176 $ 364,076,346.40
BMM Balkanminingandmin 0.42 15 $ 13,650,000.00
MLS Metals Australia 0.002 0 -20 0 -33 $ 8,454,376.09
TON Triton Min Ltd 0.032 0 -43 -6 -42 $ 36,302,978.14
ALY Alchemy Resource Ltd 0.014 0 -18 -7 -16 $ 9,411,408.34
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 0.016 0 -20 -11 129 $ 7,520,418.66
ADV Ardiden Ltd 0.008 0 -65 -11 -43 $ 17,194,833.73
GED Golden Deeps 0.013 0 30 8 -7 $ 10,086,068.72
ATM Aneka Tambang 1 0 0 0 0 $ 1,303,649.00
AJM Altura Mining Ltd 0.07 0 0 0 13 $ 209,037,029.25
LML Lincoln Minerals 0.008 0 0 0 33 $ 4,599,869.49
ARU Arafura Resource Ltd 0.125 0 -43 0 87 $ 168,299,734.63
AQD Ausquest Limited 0.022 0 16 0 -19 $ 18,110,176.28
HXG Hexagon Energy 0.068 -1 -35 -8 5 $ 30,328,940.24
JRL Jindalee Resources 2.45 -2 48 -2 622 $ 130,839,716.70
CHN Chalice Mining Ltd 7.27 -2 85 7 613 $ 2,521,653,247.11
GBR Greatbould Resources 0.088 -3 104 0 71 $ 31,263,851.52
BUX Buxton Resources Ltd 0.13 -4 83 -4 69 $ 17,687,206.16
GW1 Greenwing Resources 0.24 -4 -20 7 37 $ 21,046,884.72
AUZ Australian Mines Ltd 0.021 -5 -21 -9 -14 $ 83,190,530.85
SLZ Sultan Resources Ltd 0.185 -5 -5 -5 0 $ 12,863,861.97
SYA Sayona Mining Ltd 0.082 -6 101 1 955 $ 457,527,998.43
CLA Celsius Resource Ltd 0.032 -6 -32 -3 78 $ 33,511,298.59
ESR Estrella Res Ltd 0.044 -6 -44 -2 450 $ 51,129,924.56
TKL Traka Resources 0.014 -7 -33 0 -50 $ 8,090,510.95
JRV Jervois Mining 0.485 -7 4 -7 127 $ 389,353,649.55
VMC Venus Metals Cor Ltd 0.18 -8 -23 3 -31 $ 27,194,162.94
CWX Carawine Resources 0.24 -8 4 14 23 $ 26,133,576.48
PGM Platina Resources 0.08 -9 48 0 60 $ 34,750,587.36
ARL Ardea Resources Ltd 0.5 -9 -1 0 -4 $ 69,017,109.50
PUR Pursuit Minerals 0.06 -10 82 -8 222 $ 55,620,834.96
NWC New World Resources 0.08 -11 60 13 158 $ 125,159,169.44
LEG Legend Mining 0.088 -12 -27 -2 -35 $ 242,451,943.45
FGR First Graphene Ltd 0.245 -16 -13 2 113 $ 134,333,450.76
VR8 Vanadium Resources 0.052 -19 41 -2 136 $ 21,759,093.46
QXR Qx Resources Limited 0.013 -19 -35 0 -32 $ 8,662,710.17
VRC Volt Resources Ltd 0.028 -20 47 -20 56 $ 68,321,444.38
AML Aeon Metals Ltd. 0.057 -21 -50 2 -63 $ 43,535,267.63
MRC Mineral Commodities 0.155 -24 -58 3 -35 $ 74,491,693.51
DEV Devex Resources Ltd 0.275 -25 38 -7 45 $ 84,654,340.93
PLL Piedmont Lithium Inc 0.735 -28 8 -1 666 $ 422,515,191.00
ADD Adavale Resource Ltd 0.059 -36 5 -23 228 $ 16,922,025.71
MAN Mandrake Res Ltd 0.088 -48 11 -6 151 $ 37,683,722.21

 

Graphite royalty retained

Riding the quarterly wave is Archer Materials (ASX:AXE) which jumped 58% off news it’s, um, getting out of the graphite game. Archer’s now focused on semiconductors.

With BloombergNEF forecasting that demand for graphite could rise 37% in 2021 to 446,914, and 297% by the end of the decade, that might seem an odd move.

But while the company has sold its two Eyre Peninsula tenements to ChemX Materials – which is set to list in the coming months – shareholders will retain exposure to any exploration success through Archer’s ChemX shareholding and a tidy 2% net smelter return royalty.
 

Best of both worlds

Aldoro Resources (ASX:ARN) rose 54% this month after news it found two additional drill ready targets at its flagship Narndee Igneous Complex (NIC) – which is prospective for nickel-copper-PGE mineralisation.

In July the company announced its plans to expand the footprint of its Windimurra lithium project in Western Australia’s Mt Magnet region with the acquisition of two projects.

It’s a good move. Benchmark Mineral Intelligence forecasts demand to grow seven-fold to 2.3 million tonnes over the 10 years to 2030, with a market deficit growing to around one million tonnes – around three times the 2020 global supply.

Both up 52% this month were Prospect Resources (ASX:PSC) and Poseidon Nickel (ASX:POS).

Prospect increased its ownership in the tier 1 Arcadia lithium project in Zimbabwe by 17% to 87%.

Arcadia has a high grade JORC mineral resource of 43.2 million tonnes at 1.45% lithium oxide and 119 parts per million tantalum pentoxide for 61.5 million tonnes of lithium oxide and 11.3 million pounds of tantalum pentoxide.

An optimised feasibility study is due in Q3 this year, and with offtake partners secured and a pilot plant up and running, it looks to be one of the most advanced ASX-listed lithium plays.

But, proving that nickel is king right now, Poseidon was up with no nickel news out since the start of July, detailing results from drilling at the Golden Swan project.

The best intercept was 2.1m at 13.79% nickel, including 1.3m at 12.07% and 0.8m at 16.5%, and the company reckons it’s on track to deliver a maiden resource in the September quarter.
 

Lithium still has seat at the table

At a 50% increase this month was Lepidico (ASX:LPD) off a detailed quarterly which highlighted the milestone step of its Phase 1 Karibib project transitioning to the development phase.

The company is pretty confident that key product supply agreements and project funding are on the near horizon – with lithium chemical prices continuing to rise off the back of a strengthening demand outlook and predictions that a supply deficit will emerge later this year.

“This makes for a very positive industry environment as we bring Phase 1 onstream,” the company said.

And Essential Metals (ASX:ESS) was up 47% off news that Black Cat Syndicate Limited has completed stage 1 of the Balagundi gold and base metals project farm-in agreement and has elected to proceed with stage 2 – to earn a 75% interest by spending a further $450,000 within the next three years.

Plus, a 5,000m air-core/hammer drilling program is underway to test for new lithium-bearing pegmatites near ‘Dome North’ lithium deposit at the company’s Pioneer Dome lithium project in WA.