High Voltage: A line-up of the best ASX battery metals stocks of 2022, so far
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Our High Voltage column wraps all the news driving ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, rare earths, manganese, magnesium, and vanadium.
While there are early signs that parabolic price growth may be slowing for battery metals, especially lithium, there’s no fighting the EV thematic in 2022.
Just look at these year-to-date numbers via Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, sourced early May:
Sans coal and oil, battery metals are blowing the rest of the commodities complex away in 2022. Over the same period gold, iron ore and zinc are up 2.8%, 10% and 9.1%; silver, lead, tin, and copper are down 3.3%, 7.6%, 12.2% and 3.4% respectively.
While battery metals stock share prices have come off the boil lately – like everything else — many remain ahead substantially year-to-date.
Here’s a breakdown of the five most popular battery metals stocks for 2022, so far.
Looking for: nickel, copper, PGEs
Punters are hoping for ‘Chalice Mining 2.0’ at GAL, which caught a rocket after announcing a major palladium-platinum-base metals discovery at the ‘Norseman’ project in WA.
The discovery hole at the ‘Callisto’ prospect returned a 33m-long intersection grading 2g/t 3E (1.64g/t palladium, 0.28g/t platinum, 0.09g/t gold), 0.32% copper & 0.30% nickel from 144m.
The discovery also includes rhodium, one of the rarest and most valuable precious metals in the world, which currently sells for $US15,500/oz.
Most global rhodium production is used in catalytic convertors, which control emissions in ICE and hybrid vehicles.
As you can see in the image below, GAL haven’t even hit the juicy target zone yet:
Drilling kicks off again this week.
Looking for: lithium
This red-hot Brazilian explorer keeps hitting high grade lithium at its ‘Salinas’ project.
In March, first assay results from the initial two drill holes at the ‘Southern Target’ area of the Salinas project “confirmed a potential new high-grade lithium discovery”, LRS says.
Highlights include 4.31m at 2.22% Li2O from 83.82m and 8.13m at 2.00% Li2O from 111.3m.
Ore grade is usually around 1%, so this is good stuff.
It subsequently raised $35m to begin an “aggressive” resource definition program at the prospect, which kicked off May 19.
LRS hopes to drill at least 25,000m to establish a maiden JORC resource.
Looking for: lithium
It’s ‘Pioneer Dome’ lithium project in WA contains an actual resource (more than most ASX explorers can boast) of 11.2Mt at 1.21% lithium.
As well as growing the resource with a 9,000m drilling program ESS are prepping for development.
A scoping study on the project – the first proper look at the economics of building a mine — is set to start in the December quarter.
Looking for: lithium
BNR’s 130km2 Ravensthorpe lithium project is just 12km from Allkem’s (ASX:AKE) Mt Cattlin lithium mine.
Here, the cashed-up explorer is picking up rock chips grading up to 8.21% along a 4km trend. There’s high grade lithium all over the joint, BNR says.
Drilling of the high priority 700m x 500m ‘Big Pegmatite’ is due to start asap later this year, pending approvals.
Looking for: nickel, cobalt
ARL listed in 2017 on the back of its Kalgoorlie Nickel-Cobalt Project (KNP), back when cobalt stocks were running super-hot.
Which, as we know, didn’t last.
As the heat came out of battery metals over the ensuing years ARL spread its wings into more agreeable metals like gold, while KNP lurked in the wings, waiting for the market to turn good.
Which it has, massively. Now the KNP is one of the more advanced nickel-cobalt projects on the ASX, ready to take advantage of a bullish demand thematic.
The KNP hosts 5.9Mt of contained nickel and 380kt of contained cobalt, making it the largest nickel-cobalt resource in the developed world.
The $1.165 billion project would mine cobalt-nickel laterite ore which will undergo a process to produce Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate for the growing international battery market.
A DFS – a detailed look at the economics of building a project — is underway.
Here’s how a basket of ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, rare earths, magnesium, manganese, and vanadium is performing>>>
Battery metals stocks missing from our list? Shoot a mail to [email protected]. Be nice, he’s fragile.