Each week High Voltage tracks a basket of about ASX 200 battery metals stocks including explorers with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium — stocks that are used in energy storage and generally driven by battery news, even if their main application is not yet battery storage.

>> Scroll down for a table showing the recent performance of 200 ASX battery metal stocks

Last week vanadium continued its rapid ascent towards $US30 a pound – with spot prices at over $US29 a pound by the end of trading on Thursday, October 18.

But with a number of juniors jumping into the space, the big question for investors is — is this price range sustainable?

We are very close to the record prices seen in 2005, which was followed by a price collapse that occurred with frightening velocity.

This time, many analysts and miners see it playing out differently — mostly because demand will continue to grow, and prices will stay high until new supply hits the market.

Vanadium (V2o5) prices from 2002 through to the present. Source: http://www.australianvanadium.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/AVL-Benchmark-presentation-September-2018.pdf
Vanadium (V2o5) prices spiked in 2005 — then crashed rapidly. Source

Manganese prices came off slightly last week, but – like graphite — are still on a solid upward trajectory.

Cobalt may be stabilising after big falls between June and August, with LME cash buyer prices continuing to bounce between about $US57,000 per tonne and $US62,000 per tonne.

Lithium prices continue to fall — the opaque nature of pricing means its hard to tell for certain — but the gap between lower Chinese prices and healthier rest-of-world prices is widening.

A flood of ‘cheap’ (read: expensive to produce but sold at discounted prices) local supply has seen Chinese lithium carbonate prices have now more than halved since January.

It was also a better week for miners and explorers. Of the 196 battery metals stocks on our list, about 63 lost ground, 75 were ahead, and 58 were steady.

One of the biggest winners was European Lithium (ASX:EUR) which had jumped over 36 per cent to 12c by Oct 19. This now represents a 150 per cent premium to their share price 12 months ago.

Lincoln Minerals (ASX:LML) was up 25 per cent to 1c, after telling investors metallurgical test work on graphite from its Kookaburra Gully project was in the final stages.

A 25 per cent boost to 12.5c for Collerina Cobalt (ASX:CLL) mean the high purity alumina (HPA) focused explorer is up almost 100 per cent for the year.

King River Copper (ASX:KRC) jumped 24.5 per cent to 5.6c – and is now up a whopping 700 per cent for the year.

King River is due to release a scoping study for its vanadium-titanium-iron project this month.

Investors also rewarded Talga Resources (ASX:TLG) with a 20 per cent boost to 53c after the company claimed its lithium-ion battery anode product outperformed  the “commercial benchmark”, and enabled ultra-fast battery charging.

Battery Megafactory count keeps growing

Despite precipitous price falls in many base and battery metals, year-to-date price averages are still higher than last year, according to Wood Mackenzie experts at the LME Week event in London.

And the “narrative remains positive for both [lithium and cobalt] given the rising requirements for EV [electric vehicle] and energy storage”, Wood Mackenzie says, reinforcing the consensus optimistic outlook from analysts and industry experts.

Nickel has been this year’s best performer, with average prices to the end of September 36 per cent higher compared with the same period in 2017.

Going forward, some $100 billion worth of investment in new nickel production is needed to meet projected EV demand, says the world’s biggest producer Vale.

The market had a “structural global deficit” of 140,000 tonnes this year – meaning far more nickel was being consumed than produced.

Battery makers may say they are getting closer to replacing lithium-ion batteries with solid state batteries, but one analyst predicts existing lithium-ion technologies to be the major area of growth in the market for at least the next five years.

Which is good for Dutch battery maker Lithium Werks BV, which will spend $2.6 billion on a gigantic lithium-ion cell factory in China.

Tesla likewise announced a new Chinese megafactory last week – taking the current count above 50 globally – as EV demand continues to surge beyond current capacity.

China – the world’s largest market and maker of electric vehicles (or EVs) — has “a lot of powerful reasons to force electrification” — both economic and strategic, Mark Schwartz from S&P Global Platts said.

At current population growth rates, if China does not embrace EV it could theoretically end up having to import 20 million barrels per day of oil.

“That’ll never happen,” Mr Schwartz says.

Here’s a table of ASX battery metal stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium:

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop

ASX code Company Focus One-week price change 12-month price change Price Oct 19 (intraday) Market Cap
AML AEON METALS cobalt -0.0441176470588 0.969696969697 0.325 190.4M
AYR ALLOY RESOURCES cobalt 0 -0.2 0.004 5.8M
AZI ALTA ZINC cobalt -0.166666666667 -0.705882352941 0.005 6.8M
AJM ALTURA MINING lithium -0.00888888888889 -0.189090909091 0.223 400.5M
ADN ANDROMEDA METALS lithium -0.142857142857 0.2 0.006 6.5M
ASN ANSON RESOURCES lithium -0.0975609756098 0.80487804878 0.074 37.1M
ARU ARAFURA RESOURCE vanadium 0.0151515151515 -0.484615384615 0.067 42.2M
AXE ARCHER EXPLORATI cobalt -0.107142857143 0.153846153846 0.075 14.1M
ARL ARDEA RESOURCES cobalt 0.00833333333333 -0.366492146597 0.605 65.1M
ADV ARDIDEN lithium 0.142857142857 -0.466666666667 0.008 11.7M
ARE ARGONAUT RESOURC lithium 0.05 0.4 0.021 32.6M
AGY ARGOSY MINERALS lithium 0 0.0243902439024 0.21 193.9M
AMD ARROW MINERALS L lithium 0.0625 -0.734375 0.017 5.2M
AGO ATLAS IRON lithium 0 1.64705882353 0.045 432.9M
AEE AURA ENERGY lithium 0 -0.166666666667 0.02 21.5M
AUR AURIS MINERALS L vanadium 0.047619047619 -0.380281690141 0.044 18.0M
AOU AUROCH MINERALS lithium 0 -0.512820512821 0.095 9.4M
ARM AURORA MINERALS lithium -0.0833333333333 -0.45 0.022 2.6M
ANW AUS TIN MINING L cobalt -0.181818181818 1 0.018 41.5M
AUZ AUSTRALIAN MINES cobalt 0 -0.360655737705 0.039 105.9M
AVL AUSTRALIAN VANAD lithium 0 2.15384615385 0.041 65.6M
AVZ AVZ MINERALS lithium 0.0111111111111 -0.43125 0.091 170.0M
BAR BARRA RESOURCES cobalt 0 -0.136363636364 0.038 20.2M
BSM BASS METALS lithium 0.047619047619 0.466666666667 0.022 59.6M
BAT BATTERY MINERALS graphite -0.037037037037 -0.6 0.026 29.0M
BAU BAUXITE RESOURCE lithium 0 -0.272727272727 0.056 12.0M
BMT BERKUT MINERALS lithium -0.04 -0.767741935484 0.072 3.9M
BGS BIRIMIAN lithium 0.0454545454545 -0.323529411765 0.23 53.7M
BKT BLACK ROCK MININ graphite -0.0625 -0.605263157895 0.03 16.2M
BEM BLACKEARTH MINER graphite -0.0769230769231 0 0.12 7.3M
BSX BLACKSTONE MINER cobalt -0.0689655172414 -0.678571428571 0.135 13.5M
BDI BLINA MINERALS N cobalt 0 0 0.001 4.3M
BOA BOADICEA RESOURC lithium 0 -0.4375 0.09 4.8M
BPL BROKEN HILL PROS cobalt -0.215384615385 0.214285714286 0.051 7.5M
BYH BRYAH RESOURCES manganese 0.0714285714286 -0.533333333333 0.105 6.2M
BUX BUXTON RESOURCES graphite 0.0666666666667 0.103448275862 0.16 17.7M
CAD CAENEUS MINERALS lithium 0 -0.5 0.001 14.1M
CFE CAPE LAMBERT RES lithium -0.1 -0.181818181818 0.018 18.2M
CZI CASSINI RESOURCE cobalt 0.0144927536232 -0.113924050633 0.07 23.8M
CCZ CASTILLO COPPER cobalt -0.105263157895 -0.227272727273 0.034 20.3M
CDT CASTLE MINERALS graphite -0.111111111111 -0.813953488372 0.008 1.8M
CAZ CAZALY RESOURCES lithium -0.1 -0.386363636364 0.027 6.7M
CLA CELSIUS RESOURCE cobalt 0.0454545454545 0.885245901639 0.115 86.5M
CHN CHALICE GOLD MIN vanadium 0 -0.275 0.145 38.7M
CMC CHINA MAGNESIUM lithium 0 0.8 0.027 9.1M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDIN cobalt -0.0574468085106 -0.67063197026 0.443 339.2M
COB COBALT BLUE HOLD cobalt 0.0344827586207 0.666666666667 0.3 37.2M
CHK COHIBA MINERALS lithium -0.25 -0.454545454545 0.006 3.3M
CLL COLLERINA COBALT cobalt 0.25 0.984126984127 0.125 65.2M
CRL COMET RESOURCES graphite -0.0322580645161 -0.52380952381 0.03 7.0M
CNJ CONICO cobalt 0 -0.212121212121 0.026 9.0M
CZN CORAZON MINING L cobalt -0.25 -0.7 0.006 8.9M
CXO CORE EXPLORATION lithium 0.162790697674 -0.166666666667 0.05 31.7M
CGM COUGAR METALS NL lithium 0 -0.714285714286 0.004 3.8M
CZR COZIRON RESOURCE vanadium 0 -0.481481481481 0.014 25.0M
CGN CRATER GOLD MINI graphite 0.166666666667 1.1 0.021 5.6M
CAS CRUSADER RESOURC lithium 0 -0.782608695652 0.02 10.0M
CUL CULLEN RES lithium 0 -0.5 0.001 2.6M
DHR DARK HORSE RESOU lithium -0.142857142857 -0.333333333333 0.006 12.5M
DTM DART MINING NL lithium 0 0 0.007 6.9M
DEG DE GREY MINING lithium 0 -0.309523809524 0.145 54.6M
DEV DEVEX RESOURCES lithium 0 -0.5 0.004 4.4M
DGR DGR GLOBAL lithium 0.391304347826 0.333333333333 0.16 101.2M
E25 ELEMENT 25 manganese -0.179487179487 -0.2 0.16 16.3M
EME ENERGY METALS vanadium 0.129032258065 0.944444444444 0.175 36.7M
ENT ENTERPRISE METAL lithium -0.0625 -0.0625 0.015 5.8M
ESR ESTRELLA RESOURC lithium 0 -0.595744680851 0.019 9.3M
EUC EUROPEAN COBALT cobalt -0.0384615384615 -0.736842105263 0.05 35.8M
EUR EUROPEAN LITHIUM lithium 0.363636363636 1.5 0.12 65.6M
EMH EUROPEAN METALS lithium 0.117647058824 -0.515923566879 0.38 53.8M
FEL FE cobalt 0 -0.391304347826 0.014 5.6M
FCC FIRST COBALT-CDI cobalt -0.0793650793651 0 0.29 95.0M
FGR FIRST GRAPHENE L graphite 0.125 0.666666666667 0.135 54.5M
4CE FORCE COMMODITIE lithium -0.0689655172414 -0.27027027027 0.027 10.2M
GLN GALAN LITHIUM lithium 0.122807017544 4.81818181818 0.32 30.0M
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES lithium -0.0084388185654 -0.388020833333 2.35 896.6M
GSC GLOBAL GEOSCIENC lithium -0.0192307692308 0.0851063829787 0.255 374.7M
GBE GLOBE METALS AND graphite 0 -0.0666666666667 0.014 6.1M
GME GME RESOURCES cobalt -0.047619047619 -0.37106918239 0.1 48.2M
GED GOLDEN DEEPS vanadium -0.025 -0.025 0.039 6.9M
GPX GRAPHEX MINING L graphite 0.06 -0.0363636363636 0.265 20.9M
GPP GREENPOWER ENERG lithium 0 -0.733333333333 0.004 5.8M
GWR GWR GROUP lithium -0.0909090909091 0 0.1 25.2M
HMX HAMMER METALS cobalt 0.24 -0.162162162162 0.031 7.8M
HNR HANNANS lithium -0.0833333333333 -0.47619047619 0.011 21.8M
HAV HAVILAH RESOURCE cobalt -0.025641025641 -0.025641025641 0.19 41.5M
HWK HAWKSTONE MINING lithium 0.166666666667 -0.0666666666667 0.028 14.3M
HXG HEXAGON RESOURCE graphite 0.04 0 0.13 36.5M
HGM HIGH GRADE METAL cobalt 0 -0.142857142857 0.024 10.9M
HIG HIGHLANDS PAC cobalt 0.0454545454545 0.769230769231 0.115 125.7M
IDA INDIANA RESOURCE graphite 0.0909090909091 -0.189189189189 0.06 5.7M
INF INFINITY LITHIUM lithium -0.0645161290323 -0.73023255814 0.058 11.2M
IRC INTERMIN RES vanadium 0.0333333333333 0.581632653061 0.155 34.1M
IEC INTRA ENERGY COR lithium 0 0.857142857143 0.013 5.4M
JRV JERVOIS MINING cobalt -0.0196078431373 -0.342105263158 0.25 55.8M
JMS JUPITER MINES manganese 0 0 0.315 617.1M
KAI KAIROS MINERALS lithium 0.1 -0.440677966102 0.033 26.4M
KLH KALIA lithium -0.166666666667 -0.666666666667 0.005 12.6M
KNL KIBARAN RESOURCE graphite 0.027027027027 0.117647058824 0.19 55.1M
KDR KIDMAN RESOURCES lithium 0.0333333333333 -0.292775665399 0.93 363.6M
KRC KING RIVER COPPE vanadium 0.244444444444 7 0.056 68.1M
KSN KINGSTON RESOURC lithium 0.047619047619 0.375 0.022 25.7M
KOR KORAB RESOURCES lithium 0.0714285714286 -0.0322580645161 0.03 9.2M
KTA KRAKATOA RESOURC lithium 0.185185185185 -0.288888888889 0.032 2.7M
LKE LAKE RESOURCES lithium -0.0333333333333 0.242857142857 0.087 31.7M
LRS LATIN RESOURCES lithium -0.2 0 0.004 14.1M
LCD LATITUDE CONSOLI lithium -0.173913043478 0.117647058824 0.019 5.2M
LPD LEPIDICO lithium 0 -0.41935483871 0.018 60.4M
LML LINCOLN MINERALS graphite 0.25 -0.767441860465 0.01 5.2M
LTR LIONTOWN RESOURC lithium 0 0.923076923077 0.025 29.0M
LIT LITHIUM AUSTRALI lithium -0.01 -0.4 0.099 46.4M
LI3 LITHIUM CONSOLID lithium 0.0121951219512 -0.245454545455 0.083 7.2M
LPI LITHIUM POWER IN lithium 0.157894736842 -0.25 0.33 90.6M
MNS MAGNIS RESOURCES graphite -0.0333333333333 -0.389473684211 0.29 180.1M
MZN MARINDI METALS L lithium 0 -0.4 0.006 10.7M
MQR MARQUEE RESOURCE lithium 0 0.0689655172414 0.155 6.6M
MZZ MATADOR MINING lithium 0 -0.142857142857 0.3 16.2M
MXR MAXIMUS RESOURCE lithium 0 0 0.001 3.5M
MCT METALICITY lithium 0 -0.617021276596 0.018 12.4M
MLM METALLICA MINRAL cobalt -0.0833333333333 -0.47619047619 0.033 10.6M
MLS METALS AUSTRALIA lithium 0 -0.2 0.004 9.4M
MTC METALSTECH lithium -0.147058823529 -0.71 0.058 7.1M
MEI METEORIC RESOURC cobalt 0 -0.780821917808 0.016 9.2M
MIN MINERAL RESOURCE lithium 0.00733333333333 -0.154921700224 15.11 2.8B
MRR MINREX RESOURCES cobalt 0 -0.508196721311 0.03 2.9M
MTH MITHRIL RESOURCE lithium 0.125 -0.7 0.009 1.8M
MOX MONAX MINING lithium 0.5 -0.571428571429 0.003 1.8M
MTB MOUNT BURGESS vanadium 0.2 -0.538461538462 0.006 2.6M
NMT NEOMETALS lithium 0 -0.308823529412 0.235 133.3M
NWC NEW WORLD COBALT cobalt -0.1 -0.55 0.045 23.0M
N27 NORTHERN COBALT lithium 0.05 -0.5625 0.105 5.0M
NVA NOVA MINERALS lithium 0.047619047619 1.75 0.022 17.2M
NZC NZURI COPPER cobalt -0.0392156862745 0.484848484848 0.245 71.0M
OAR OAKDALERESOURCES lithium 0 -0.5 0.018 1.2M
OKR OKAPI RESOURCES cobalt -0.15 -0.40350877193 0.17 6.2M
OMH OM HLDGS manganese 0 2.44897959184 1.69 1.3B
ORN ORION MINERALS L lithium 0.107142857143 0.24 0.031 58.1M
ORE OROCOBRE lithium -0.00275482093664 -0.272946374774 3.62 928.0M
PMY PACIFICO MINERAL manganese 0 0.2 0.006 6.8M
PAN PANORAMIC RESOUR cobalt 0 0.244019138756 0.52 254.7M
PSM PENINSULA MINES lithium 0 -0.666666666667 0.006 4.8M
PNN PEPINNINI LITHIU lithium 0 -0.5625 0.007 4.6M
PLL PIEDMONT LITHIUM lithium 0.037037037037 -0.2 0.14 78.3M
PLS PILBARA MINERALS lithium -0.00253164556962 0.0233766233766 0.788 1.4B
PIO PIONEER RESOURCE lithium 0 -0.208333333333 0.019 27.1M
PGM PLATINA RESOURCE cobalt -0.0857142857143 -0.558620689655 0.064 16.6M
POS POSEIDON NICKEL lithium -0.02 0.75 0.049 129.5M
PSC PROSPECT RESOURC lithium 0 -0.0689655172414 0.027 53.6M
POW PROTEAN ENERGY L vanadium 0.142857142857 -0.294117647059 0.024 7.6M
PM1 PURE MINERALS lithium. Manganese 0.0769230769231 -0.263157894737 0.014 4.1M
PUR PURSUIT MINERALS vanadium 0.139534883721 -0.748717948718 0.049 4.0M
RMX RED MOUNTAIN MIN cobalt -0.166666666667 -0.642857142857 0.005 3.4M
RDS REDSTONE RESOURC vanadium 0.0588235294118 0.5 0.018 7.9M
RLC REEDY LAGOON lithium -0.181818181818 -0.526315789474 0.009 3.6M
RNU RENASCOR RESOURC graphite 0 -0.37037037037 0.017 16.3M
RIE RIEDEL RESOURCES cobalt 0 -0.454545454545 0.03 12.5M
RIO RIO TINTO lithium 0.0120088761258 0.121672453704 77.53 123.0B
RTR RUMBLE RESOURCES vanadium 0 -0.375 0.05 17.9M
SBR SABRE RES vanadium 0.1 0.1 0.011 4.5M
SO4 SALT LAKE POTASH vanadium 0.148936170213 0.173913043478 0.54 94.5M
SYA SAYONA MINING lithium 0.0714285714286 0.764705882353 0.03 49.8M
SCI SILVER CITY MINE lithium 0.0526315789474 -0.607843137255 0.02 5.2M
SI6 SIX SIGMA METALS lithium -0.166666666667 -0.583333333333 0.005 2.7M
S32 SOUTH32 manganese -0.0157480314961 0.190476190476 3.75 19.7B
SXX SOUTHERN CROSS vanadium -0.142857142857 -0.25 0.006 6.5M
SUH SOUTHERN HEMISPH lithium -0.03125 -0.664864864865 0.062 5.4M
SVM SOVEREIGN METALS graphite 0.0117647058824 -0.312 0.086 23.8M
SEI SPECIALITY METAL lithium 0 0.4 0.014 7.8M
SPI SPITFIRE MATERIA manganese 0.171875 -0.375 0.075 69.6M
SGQ ST GEORGE MINING cobalt 0 0.0833333333333 0.13 37.3M
SRK STRIKE RESOURCES lithium 0.1 0.222222222222 0.055 8.0M
SRN SUREFIRE RESOURC vanadium 0.125 -0.470588235294 0.009 3.8M
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES graphite -0.160732984293 -0.564402173913 1.603 558.4M
TLG TALGA RESOURCES graphite 0.204545454545 -0.101694915254 0.53 121.8M
TNO TANDO RESOURCES vanadium 0.2 0 0.12 22.3M
TAR TARUGA MINERALS lithium 0 0.078125 0.069 9.6M
TAW TAWANA RESOURCES lithium -0.109090909091 -0.30985915493 0.245 144.5M
TMT TECHNOLOGY METAL vanadium 0.103448275862 1.46153846154 0.48 34.3M
THR THOR MINING-CDI lithium 0.24 1.21428571429 0.031 20.7M
THX THUNDELARRA cobalt 0 -0.333333333333 0.016 9.5M
TNG TNG vanadium 0.0434782608696 -0.272727272727 0.12 101.8M
TRT TODD RIVER RESOU lithium 0.155844155844 -0.245762711864 0.089 6.7M
TKL TRAKA RESOURCES lithium 0.0606060606061 -0.222222222222 0.035 11.6M
TKM TREK METALS lithium 0.0833333333333 -0.666666666667 0.013 4.1M
TON TRITON MINERALS graphite 0.0454545454545 -0.44578313253 0.046 39.5M
VMS VENTURE MINERALS lithium -0.0416666666667 -0.08 0.023 12.0M
VXR VENTUREX RESOURC lithium 0.264705882353 -0.0444444444444 0.215 48.0M
VMC VENUS METALS COR lithium 0.0555555555556 0.9 0.19 16.6M
VIC VICTORY MINES cobalt 0 -0.166666666667 0.005 6.1M
VML VITAL METALS cobalt 0 0 0.007 12.2M
VRC VOLT RESOURCES L graphite 0.1 -0.12 0.022 29.1M
WKT WALKABOUT RESOUR lithium 0.122448979592 0.375 0.11 29.8M
WCN WHITE CLIFF MINE cobalt -0.0952380952381 -0.923694779116 0.019 1.5M
WML WOOMERA MINING L lithium 0.157894736842 0 0.11 11.0M
ZNC ZENITH MINERALS lithium -0.115789473684 -0.3 0.084 17.9M
ZEU ZEUS RESOURCES L lithium 0 0 0.012 2.2M