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Each week Stockhead’s High Voltage column wraps all the news impacting ASX stocks with exposure to battery metals such as lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium:

Vanadium shattered the $US30/lb ceiling last week and kept going — but the sky-high spot prices haven’t trickled down into share increases for ASX vanadium focused juniors.

Cobalt prices continue to remain steady around $60,000/t.

And when it comes to lithium, don’t believe the bearish headlines – many contracted prices have actually been increasing this year and even exceeded the China spot price for the first time in the September quarter.

Most lithium is traded in long-term contracts, so while Chinese ‘spot’ or ‘internal’ prices for lithium carbonate have fallen back dramatically, they represent only a small portion of total purchases.

And even these prices have also steadied – which could mean good times ahead.

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

Overall, it was another “three steps back” kind of week, with a Thursday bloodbath resulting in the ASX Small Ords closing at yearly low.

The ASX Small Ords — a measure of small cap ASX stocks -- over the past 12 months.
The ASX Small Ords — a measure of small cap ASX stocks — over the past 12 months.

Micro caps Red Mountain Mining — cobalt (ASX:RMX), Golden Deeps — vanadium (ASX:GED), and Latitude Consolidated – lithium (ASX:LCD) all made the largest percentage gains last week.

Kidman Resources (ASX:KDR), up 16 per cent to $1.07 last week, scored a $US100m loan from joint venture partner SQM to partially fund construction at its Mt Holland lithium project in Western Australia.

The share price of vanadium developer Technology Metals Australia (ASX:TMT) received a 7.2 per cent bump to 52c – representing a 166 per cent increase for the year.

But much of the action was at the other end.

Even Global Geoscience (ASX:GSC) – which claimed its Rhyolite Ridge project will be the world’s lowest cost lithium project — finished the week 8 per cent lower.

Explorer Cobalt Blue (ASX:COB) was the weeks biggest loser. It’s share price dropped 30 per cent to 21c after telling investors it wouldn’t rush a final feasibility study on its Thackaringa cobalt project to meet a mid-2019 deadline – forfeiting its chance to grab full ownership.

Industry News

Despite bearish headlines about oversupply fears, many lithium prices are increasing, according to new Roskill analysis.

While Chinese ‘spot’ or ‘internal’ prices for lithium carbonate have fallen back dramatically, they represent only a small portion of total lithium carbonate purchases.

“[Contracted carbonate prices] have been steadily increasing throughout 2018 and actually exceeded the China spot price for the first time in [the September quarter of] 2018,” said David Merriman, lithium supply specialist at Roskill.

Roskill expects prices to increase steadily as contracts are renegotiated between miners and consumers.

And good news for all Aussie lithium miners and explorers — despite expansions at existing mines and the commissioning of new mines, supply will still struggle to keep pace with demand.

Australian mines represent all current hard rock lithium operations in production. Source: Pilbara Minerals
Australian mines represent all current producing hard rock lithium operations. Source: Pilbara Minerals

ASX graphite stocks could get a real boost next year when Chinese exporters of the battery metal get hit with a 25 per cent US tariff.

That’s good news for Australian graphite producers because it means US steel-makers, battery and car manufacturers may look elsewhere for supply.

And nickel miners are increasingly pivoting towards battery-grade nickel production for the coming EV and stationary storage boom, delegates at the Nickel Conference 2018 in Perth heard.

Nickel is already the most significant metal in lithium-ion battery cathodes used in EVs.

Michael Rodriguez, chief operating officer at emerging producer Poseidon Nickel (ASX:POS), said “300,000 tonnes of nickel going into the battery industry in the next two years is certainly possible”.

The current nickel market is roughly 2.2 million tonnes, of which over 70 per cent is still consumed in stainless steel.

“There’s a number of views on this, but what I can say is technology adoption always happens faster than we think it will,” he said.

“By 2023, I think that [EV] penetration will be better than what we are forecasting.”

Here’s a table showing the recent performance of 200 ASX battery metal stocks:

ASX codeCompanyFocusOne price week change12-month price changePrice Oct 26 (intraday)Market Cap
AMLAEON METALScobalt-13.8461538462400.28164.1M
AYRALLOY RESOURCEScobalt0-200.0046.3M
AZIALTA ZINCcobalt0-66.66666666670.0056.8M
AJMALTURA MININGlithium-6.81818181818-31.66666666670.205373.2M
ADNANDROMEDA METALSlithium16.6666666667400.0077.6M
ASNANSON RESOURCESlithium-489.47368421050.07236.1M
ARUARAFURA RESOURCEvanadium0-42.24137931030.06741.6M
AXEARCHER EXPLORATIcobalt-12-5.714285714290.06613.0M
ARLARDEA RESOURCEScobalt-9.9173553719-47.08737864080.54557.7M
ADVARDIDENlithium-12.5-500.00710.9M
AREARGONAUT RESOURClithium-14.2857142857-5.263157894740.01826.4M
AGYARGOSY MINERALSlithium-9.52380952381-20.83333333330.19175.5M
AMDARROW MINERALS Llithium-5.88235294118-73.33333333330.0165.5M
AGOATLAS IRONlithium0164.7058823530.045432.9M
AEEAURA ENERGYlithium-5.26315789474-250.01819.3M
AURAURIS MINERALS Lvanadium-6.81818181818-36.92307692310.04116.8M
AOUAUROCH MINERALSlithium-12.6315789474-56.31578947370.0838.3M
ARMAURORA MINERALSlithium13.6363636364-37.50.0252.9M
ANWAUS TIN MINING Lcobalt-5.263157894741000.01835.6M
AUZAUSTRALIAN MINEScobalt-15.3846153846-45.90163934430.03384.2M
AVLAUSTRALIAN VANADlithium-2.5143.750.03962.3M
AVZAVZ MINERALSlithium-21.7391304348-69.36170212770.072132.2M
BARBARRA RESOURCEScobalt2.63157894737-2.50.03920.2M
BSMBASS METALSlithium057.14285714290.02252.1M
BATBATTERY MINERALSgraphite3.84615384615-54.23728813560.02729.0M
BAUBAUXITE RESOURCElithium0-27.27272727270.05612.0M
BMTBERKUT MINERALSlithium4.16666666667-76.92307692310.0753.9M
BGSBIRIMIANlithium-4.34782608696-36.2318840580.2249.0M
BKTBLACK ROCK MININgraphite6.66666666667-54.28571428570.03216.2M
BEMBLACKEARTH MINERgraphite-4.16666666667#VALUE!0.1157.0M
BSXBLACKSTONE MINERcobalt-18.5185185185-70.66666666670.1112.5M
BDIBLINA MINERALS Ncobalt1001000.0024.3M
BOABOADICEA RESOURClithium-6.66666666667-400.0844.3M
BPLBROKEN HILL PROScobalt-19.607843137300.0416.8M
BYHBRYAH RESOURCESmanganese-5.71428571429-46.48648648650.0995.6M
BUXBUXTON RESOURCESgraphite-3.12519.23076923080.15517.7M
CADCAENEUS MINERALSlithium0-66.66666666670.00114.1M
CFECAPE LAMBERT RESlithium17.6470588235-16.66666666670.0220.2M
CZICASSINI RESOURCEcobalt4.28571428571-12.04819277110.07324.2M
CCZCASTILLO COPPERcobalt-8.82352941176-20.51282051280.03114.5M
CDTCASTLE MINERALSgraphite0-80.4878048780.0081.8M
CAZCAZALY RESOURCESlithium0-32.50.0276.2M
CLACELSIUS RESOURCEcobalt-4.3478260869686.44067796610.1175.7M
CHNCHALICE GOLD MINvanadium3.57142857143-21.62162162160.14538.7M
CMCCHINA MAGNESIUMlithium0350.0278.5M
CLQCLEAN TEQ HOLDINcobalt-12.3595505618-71.94244604320.39287.0M
COBCOBALT BLUE HOLDcobalt-307.692307692310.2125.6M
CHKCOHIBA MINERALSlithium0-500.0063.3M
CLLCOLLERINA COBALTcobalt-484.61538461540.1268.1M
CRLCOMET RESOURCESgraphite6.66666666667-53.62318840580.0326.6M
CNJCONICOcobalt-7.69230769231-22.58064516130.0248.4M
CZNCORAZON MINING Lcobalt0-64.70588235290.0067.6M
CXOCORE EXPLORATIONlithium-2-14.03508771930.04931.1M
CGMCOUGAR METALS NLlithium-25-750.0032.9M
CZRCOZIRON RESOURCEvanadium0-440.01423.2M
CGNCRATER GOLD MINIgraphite33.33333333331800.0286.4M
CASCRUSADER RESOURClithium0-78.0219780220.0210.0M
DHRDARK HORSE RESOUlithium-16.6666666667-37.50.0059.9M
DTMDART MINING NLlithium016.66666666670.0076.0M
DEGDE GREY MININGlithium-3.44827586207-36.36363636360.1449.1M
DEVDEVEX RESOURCESlithium0-500.0044.4M
DGRDGR GLOBALlithium-15.62528.57142857140.13592.0M
E25ELEMENT 25manganese18.75-13.63636363640.1915.9M
EMEENERGY METALSvanadium-14.285714285757.89473684210.1531.5M
ENTENTERPRISE METALlithium-6.66666666667-33.33333333330.0145.4M
ESRESTRELLA RESOURClithium10.5263157895-48.78048780490.02110.3M
EUCEUROPEAN COBALTcobalt-7.8431372549-73.14285714290.04735.8M
EUREUROPEAN LITHIUMlithium-8.333333333331000.1160.1M
EMHEUROPEAN METALSlithium0-47.22222222220.3855.2M
FELFEcobalt0-28.57142857140.0155.6M
FCCFIRST COBALT-CDIcobalt-10.3448275862#VALUE!0.2688.2M
FGRFIRST GRAPHENE Lgraphite3.703703703747.36842105260.1456.5M
4CEFORCE COMMODITIElithium-11.5384615385-56.60377358490.0239.3M
GLNGALAN LITHIUMlithium-1.5873015873416.6666666670.3127.7M
GXYGALAXY RESOURCESlithium-6.41025641026-36.70520231212.19892.5M
GSCGLOBAL GEOSCIENClithium-82.222222222220.23352.7M
GBEGLOBE METALS ANDgraphite07.692307692310.0146.5M
GMEGME RESOURCEScobalt-6-38.9610389610.09445.3M
GEDGOLDEN DEEPSvanadium28.2051282051250.058.6M
GPXGRAPHEX MINING Lgraphite1.88679245283-6.896551724140.2721.3M
GPPGREENPOWER ENERGlithium0-83.33333333330.0046.3M
GWRGWR GROUPlithium000.125.2M
HMXHAMMER METALScobalt-3.22580645161-18.91891891890.038.9M
HNRHANNANSlithium9.09090909091-29.41176470590.01223.8M
HAVHAVILAH RESOURCEcobalt02.70270270270.1941.5M
HWKHAWKSTONE MININGlithium-10.7142857143-3.846153846150.02515.4M
HXGHEXAGON RESOURCEgraphite000.1336.5M
HGMHIGH GRADE METALcobalt8.33333333333-16.12903225810.02611.8M
HIGHIGHLANDS PACcobalt-13.913043478335.61643835620.099109.3M
IDAINDIANA RESOURCEgraphite-3.33333333333-21.62162162160.0585.5M
INFINFINITY LITHIUMlithium3.44827586207-69.23076923080.0611.8M
IRCINTERMIN RESvanadium-3.2258064516136.36363636360.1534.1M
IECINTRA ENERGY CORlithium062.50.0135.0M
JRVJERVOIS MININGcobalt-22-42.64705882350.19544.7M
JMSJUPITER MINESmanganese0#VALUE!0.315617.1M
KAIKAIROS MINERALSlithium-12.1212121212-54.68750.02926.4M
KLHKALIAlithium0-58.33333333330.00512.6M
KNLKIBARAN RESOURCEgraphite-5.555555555569.677419354840.1749.6M
KDRKIDMAN RESOURCESlithium16.3043478261-14.41.07427.5M
KRCKING RIVER COPPEvanadium-1.78571428571816.6666666670.05565.6M
KSNKINGSTON RESOURClithium-9.0909090909117.64705882350.0225.7M
KORKORAB RESOURCESlithium0-6.451612903230.0298.9M
KTAKRAKATOA RESOURClithium-6.25-250.033.5M
LKELAKE RESOURCESlithium-9.3023255814-350.07826.3M
LRSLATIN RESOURCESlithium000.00414.1M
LCDLATITUDE CONSOLIlithium26.3157894737600.0246.6M
LPDLEPIDICOlithium-11.1111111111-30.43478260870.01657.1M
LMLLINCOLN MINERALSgraphite-20-82.60869565220.0084.6M
LTRLIONTOWN RESOURClithium-891.66666666670.02327.0M
LITLITHIUM AUSTRALIlithium-7-46.85714285710.09342.7M
LI3LITHIUM CONSOLIDlithium-27.7108433735-53.84615384620.065.7M
LPILITHIUM POWER INlithium-21.2121212121-41.57303370790.2670.9M
MNSMAGNIS RESOURCESgraphite-5.08474576271-37.07865168540.28170.9M
MZNMARINDI METALS Llithium-16.6666666667-58.33333333330.0058.9M
MQRMARQUEE RESOURCElithium-22.5806451613-29.41176470590.125.1M
MZZMATADOR MININGlithium022.44897959180.316.2M
MXRMAXIMUS RESOURCElithium0-500.0013.5M
MCTMETALICITYlithium-5.55555555556-60.46511627910.01710.1M
MLMMETALLICA MINRALcobalt3.0303030303-44.2622950820.0349.7M
MLSMETALS AUSTRALIAlithium000.0047.0M
MTCMETALSTECHlithium1.72413793103-73.77777777780.0596.9M
MEIMETEORIC RESOURCcobalt-6.25-79.45205479450.0158.0M
MINMINERAL RESOURCElithium-8.74751491054-25.365853658513.772.6B
MRRMINREX RESOURCEScobalt-16.6666666667-58.33333333330.0252.9M
MTHMITHRIL RESOURCElithium-11.1111111111-77.14285714290.0081.4M
MOXMONAX MININGlithium0-71.42857142860.0021.4M
MTBMOUNT BURGESSvanadium-16.6666666667-61.53846153850.0052.2M
NMTNEOMETALSlithium2.12765957447-37.66233766230.24125.1M
NWCNEW WORLD COBALTcobalt-6.66666666667-600.04221.0M
N27NORTHERN COBALTlithium-6.66666666667-57.39130434780.0985.0M
NVANOVA MINERALSlithium-9.09090909091185.7142857140.0215.6M
NZCNZURI COPPERcobalt-2.0408163265333.33333333330.2471.0M
OAROAKDALERESOURCESlithium0-500.0181.2M
OKROKAPI RESOURCEScobalt5.88235294118-37.93103448280.186.2M
OMHOM HLDGSmanganese-9.76331360947193.2692307691.5251.1B
ORNORION MINERALS Llithium-6.4516129032300.02952.5M
OREOROCOBRElithium-3.17679558011-21.4477812643.505935.8M
PMYPACIFICO MINERALmanganese0200.0068.2M
PANPANORAMIC RESOURcobalt-8.6538461538523.69791666670.475242.3M
PSMPENINSULA MINESlithium0-68.42105263160.0064.2M
PNNPEPINNINI LITHIUlithium-14.2857142857-68.42105263160.0064.0M
PLLPIEDMONT LITHIUMlithium-7.14285714286-33.33333333330.1375.5M
PLSPILBARA MINERALSlithium-2.80254777070.3947368421050.7631.3B
PIOPIONEER RESOURCElithium-5.263157894745.882352941180.01827.1M
PGMPLATINA RESOURCEcobalt-6.25-500.0616.6M
POSPOSEIDON NICKELlithium-6.1224489795970.37037037040.046121.6M
PSCPROSPECT RESOURClithium-3.7037037037-18.750.02653.6M
POWPROTEAN ENERGY Lvanadium0-250.0247.3M
PM1PURE MINERALSlithium. Manganese0-26.31578947370.0144.7M
PURPURSUIT MINERALSvanadium-8.16326530612-71.8750.0453.7M
RMXRED MOUNTAIN MINcobalt40-46.15384615380.0073.4M
RDSREDSTONE RESOURCvanadium0500.0188.4M
RLCREEDY LAGOONlithium-11.1111111111-63.63636363640.0083.2M
RNURENASCOR RESOURCgraphite0-320.01715.4M
RIERIEDEL RESOURCEScobalt0-400.0312.5M
RIORIO TINTOlithium-5.132343447395.4766006316473.475115.0B
RTRRUMBLE RESOURCESvanadium-6-38.15789473680.04717.9M
SBRSABRE RESvanadium-9.0909090909111.11111111110.014.1M
SO4SALT LAKE POTASHvanadium-5.5555555555620.5190.2M
SYASAYONA MININGlithium-10.344827586244.44444444440.02642.9M
SCISILVER CITY MINElithium-5-54.76190476190.0194.7M
SI6SIX SIGMA METALSlithium0-58.33333333330.0052.7M
S32SOUTH32manganese-7.313829787235.606060606063.48518.0B
SXXSOUTHERN CROSSvanadium0-250.0066.5M
SUHSOUTHERN HEMISPHlithium0-66.48648648650.0625.3M
SVMSOVEREIGN METALSgraphite-4.6511627907-28.69565217390.08222.7M
SEISPECIALITY METALlithium7.1428571428636.36363636360.0158.3M
SPISPITFIRE MATERIAmanganese-5.40540540541-39.13043478260.0765.0M
SGQST GEORGE MININGcobalt7.6923076923116.66666666670.1438.8M
SRKSTRIKE RESOURCESlithium014.58333333330.0557.3M
SRNSUREFIRE RESOURCvanadium0-47.05882352940.0094.2M
SYRSYRAH RESOURCESgraphite-14.4548286604-62.07182320441.373486.2M
TLGTALGA RESOURCESgraphite-10.3773584906-21.48760330580.475102.2M
TNOTANDO RESOURCESvanadium-12.5#VALUE!0.10520.3M
TARTARUGA MINERALSlithium-20.2898550725-19.11764705880.0557.6M
TAWTAWANA RESOURCESlithium0-31.94444444440.245135.9M
TMTTECHNOLOGY METALvanadium7.21649484536166.6666666670.5236.1M
THRTHOR MINING-CDIlithium-3.2258064516176.47058823530.0320.0M
THXTHUNDELARRAcobalt-6.25-37.50.0158.9M
TNGTNGvanadium-12.5-34.3750.10597.2M
TRTTODD RIVER RESOUlithium-3.37078651685-27.11864406780.0867.4M
TKLTRAKA RESOURCESlithium0-7.894736842110.03511.6M
TKMTREK METALSlithium0-64.86486486490.0134.1M
TONTRITON MINERALSgraphite-4.34782608696-44.30379746840.04440.4M
VMSVENTURE MINERALSlithium-4.34782608696-4.347826086960.02211.5M
VXRVENTUREX RESOURClithium11.62790697676.666666666670.2457.6M
VMCVENUS METALS CORlithium-5.2631578947456.52173913040.1815.3M
VMLVITAL METALScobalt000.00713.1M
VRCVOLT RESOURCES Lgraphite-13.6363636364-29.62962962960.01926.2M
WKTWALKABOUT RESOURlithium018.27956989250.1128.4M
WCNWHITE CLIFF MINEcobalt0-93.57429718880.0161.4M
WMLWOOMERA MINING Llithium-20.9090909091#VALUE!0.0879.8M
ZNCZENITH MINERALSlithium0-23.63636363640.08417.7M
ZEUZEUS RESOURCES Llithium8.33333333333-7.142857142860.0132.3M