High Grade Metals is working to an accelerated timeline after its successful transition from West Australian gold to Austrian cobalt.

Cobalt is in high demand because of its use in rechargeable batteries for electric cars. One billion electric cars are expected to be on the road by 2050 and cobalt demand is expected to grow eight-fold by 2025.

ASX cobalt stocks have performed strongly over the past 12 months — with some up as much as 700 or 800 per cent.

“Cobalt was never really that interesting or sexy, but the pricing and global demand have fundamentally changed all of that,” head of corporate development Omar Khan told Stockhead.

Newly rebranded High Grade Metals (ASX:HGM), which in its former life was Quest Minerals, has now mapped out a two-year exploration program for its cobalt and gold projects.

The company relisted on the ASX on March 8 after acquiring nine high-grade projects in Austria and plans to start exploration at its Leogang cobalt and Schellgaden gold projects.

“In the next 12 months we’re hoping to have a prefeasibility study and a JORC resource,” Mr Khan said. “We’re working to an accelerated timeline and want to ensure that we’re able to commercialise these assets.”

JORC refers to mining industry standards for reporting exploration results and mineral resources, defined by the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee.

Historical rock chip data for Leogang suggests grades of up to 10 per cent cobalt, 12 per cent copper and 8 per cent nickel.

Cobalt grades above 0.1 per cent are considered economic at current cobalt prices. Grades above 0.2 per cent are average and grades of 0.3 per cent and above are considered very good, especially with scale.

Grades of over 1.5 per cent copper and 2 per cent nickel are considered high grade.

“These are rock chip samples, so we don’t believe that that’s what we’ll probably find inside the mine, but if it’s anywhere even remotely near that that’s exceptionally high grade especially in the context of where the cobalt price is now,” Mr Khan noted.

The LME cobalt price has climbed over 300 per cent in the past two years to $US88,500 ($114,801) per tonne.

Here’s a list of ASX-listed stocks with exposure to cobalt:

Ticker Name 12-month price change Price Mar 20, 2018 Price Mar 20, 2017* Market Cap
ARL ARDEA RESOURCES 1.725 1.635 0.6 148648496
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS 0.179245283019 1.25 1.06 848564480
FCC FIRST COBALT (*listed Nov 30, 2017) -0.258620689655 1.075 1.45 113927216
COB COBALT BLUE HOLDINGS 2.68965517241 1.07 0.29 111453896
PAN PANORAMIC RESOURCES 0.751893939394 0.555 0.3168 287581856
JRV JERVOIS MINING 7.2332761578 0.48 0.0583 95545664
MQR MARQUEE RESOURCES LIMITED 0.68085106383 0.395 0.235 13825000
BSX BLACKSTONE MINERALS 1.10810810811 0.39 0.185 36557812
N27 NORTHERN COBALT (*listed Sep 22, 2017) 0.8 0.36 0.2 15381845
NZC NZURI COPPER 0.203703703704 0.325 0.27 97267616
AML AEON METALS 0.421052631579 0.27 0.19 158211824
HAV HAVILAH RESOURCES -0.593368783234 0.26 0.6394 56744752
CDU CUDECO -0.356164383562 0.235 0.365 92655376
SGQ ST GEORGE MINING 0.344827586207 0.195 0.145 50109216
ZNC ZENITH MINERALS 0.461538461538 0.19 0.13 42552424
MTC METALSTECH -0.320754716981 0.18 0.265 17657400
GME GME RESOURCES 0.987951807229 0.165 0.083 74175416
BMT BERKUT MINERALS -0.491228070175 0.145 0.285 8147500
PGM PLATINA RESOURCES -0.0740740740741 0.125 0.135 34336412
CLL COLLERINA COBALT 6.8125 0.125 0.016 66075456
CLA CELSIUS RESOURCES 2.59375 0.115 0.032 68089920
AXE ARCHER EXPLORATION 0.4 0.105 0.075 19780180
BPL BROKEN HILL PROSPECTING 1.38095238095 0.1 0.042 15516207
EUC EUROPEAN COBALT 1.22222222222 0.1 0.045 76169736
AUZ AUSTRALIAN MINES 3.7619047619 0.1 0.021 281169376
LFR LONGFORD RESOURCES 0.610169491525 0.095 0.059 42019792
HIG HIGHLANDS PACIFIC 0.40625 0.09 0.064 82667688
RIE RIEDEL RESOURCES 1.6953125 0.069 0.0256 27592600
HGM HIGH GRADE METALS 1.34782608696 0.054 0.023 26723334
BAR BARRA RESOURCES -0.315789473684 0.052 0.076 26056134
MLM METALLICA MINERALS -0.189655172414 0.047 0.058 15799918
HMX HAMMER METALS -0.12962962963 0.047 0.054 12370566
MTH MITHRIL RESOURCES -0.25 0.045 0.06 5918941
CNJ CONICO -0.2 0.044 0.055 13586722
CCZ CASTILLO COPPER 1.15 0.043 0.02 25524156
MEI METEORIC RESOURCES NL 2.15384615385 0.041 0.013 25023054
CFE CAPE LAMBERT RESOURCES 0.205882352941 0.041 0.034 38204608
KOR KORAB RESOURCES 0.4 0.035 0.025 10477459
FEL FE 0.129032258065 0.035 0.031 13986488
PIO PIONEER RESOURCES 0.0833333333333 0.026 0.024 37171384
ANW AUS TIN MINING 1.36363636364 0.026 0.011 49079268
THX THUNDELARRA -0.616666666667 0.023 0.06 15242301
TKM TREK METALS -0.56862745098 0.022 0.051 6558376
VIC VICTORY MINES -0.0555555555556 0.017 0.018 22066492
WFE WINMAR RESOURCES 2 0.015 0.005 11986166
CZN CORAZON MINING -0.6 0.012 0.03 16448683
RIR RIVA RESOURCES -0.398907103825 0.011 0.0183 30842610
LRS LATIN RESOURCES -0.285714285714 0.01 0.014 28846028
AYR ALLOY RESOURCES 0.25 0.01 0.008 10460678
RMX RED MOUNTAIN MINING -0.727272727273 0.009 0.033 5602331
VML VITAL METALS -0.470588235294 0.009 0.017 11877201
AZI ALTA ZINC -0.80343980344 0.008 0.0407 7673669
CGM COUGAR METALS NL -0.4 0.006 0.01 5506816
WCN WHITE CLIFF MINERALS -0.347826086957 0.0045 0.0069 12703272
BDI BLINA MINERALS NL 0 0.001 0.001 4313882.5