High Voltage: Amazon finds spare change under couch cushion, orders 100,000 EVs
Each week our High Voltage column wraps all the news driving ASX battery metals stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium.
Amazon, which reported revenues of $US63.4 billion ($93.6 billion) and net profits of $US2.6 billion in the second quarter alone, has just ordered 100,000 electric trucks from EV startup Rivian.
The $US890 billion market cap Amazon plans to have 10,000 of the new EVs on the road as early as 2022, and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030.
“Bold steps by big companies will make a huge difference in the development of new technologies and industries to support a low carbon economy,” said Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate change chief and founding partner of Global Optimism.
It’s another way of saying that this represents one large order from one very large, very wealthy company — what happens to overall EV demand when other global giants follow suit?
Wrap your thinking piece around that.
And Daimler – one of the largest carmakers in the world – could be ending development of future gasoline engines.
Daimler development chief Markus Schaefer suggested that Daimler’s roadmap currently has no plan for future gasoline engine development, according to Auto Motor und Sport.
Elon said congrats.
Electric is the future! Congratulations Daimler!! https://t.co/Zg2VSj4tjO
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 19, 2019
It will get very real, very soon for the lithium-ion supply chain as the EV thematic becomes ‘a real thing that is actually happening’. Like Benchmark Minerals Intelligence said in July:
“Spectators that flocked to the market in 2016 on the promise of an EV super-cycle have left before the warmup, let alone the main event.”
This week, vanadium plays came to life.
The sector had all but tumbled off investor radars when V2O5 prices plummeted below $US10/lb, from highs of +$US30/lb in late 2018. We subsequently saw a few of the fringe vanadium-focused explorers headed for greener pastures, like gold.
But as we’ve mentioned before, current conditions – smooth, consistent pricing up to $US10/lb – are crucial for the fledgling vanadium battery industry to build some momentum.
The plus-$US30/lb nonsense that got everyone excited last year is a stone-cold industry killer.
Mount Burgess Mining (ASX:MTB) +233%
Mount Burgess hasn’t announced anything this month to warrant a one-week, 233 per cent share price increase.
The $2m market cap explorer could only suggest that “the market is now recognising the significance” of an August 20 release, which said vanadium from its Nxuu vanadium and base metals project in Botswana only requires a very simple hydrometallurgical recovery process.
Golden Deeps (ASX:GED) +39%
Fellow African explorer Golden Deeps, in total contrast, had an action-packed week.
Earlier this year, Golden Deeps and the pleasant-sounding folks at Generous Metals Company (GMC) entered a joint venture to process vanadium, lead and zinc minerals from stockpiles and tailings at the Abenab project.
Last week, the JV pushed on with stage two trial operations – the cost of which will be borne by GMC.
A few days later Golden Deeps reported a 7.84 per cent V2O5 drilling intersection. Which is outrageous, considering the average in-situ grade globally is probably less than 1 per cent.
Vanadium Resources (ASX:VR8) +10%
Vanadium Resources has just got back from its very first Asian marketing trip, where it says interest in the advanced, high-grade Steelpoortdrift vanadium project was strong.
Among other things, the company had discussions around “strategic investment opportunities, and collaboration to develop downstream processing options, provision of project finance, prepayments for offtake and other financial partnerships”.
A leading China-based vanadium battery maker showed particular interest and will now test Steelpoortdrift samples prior to further discussions on offtake, “collaboration on vanadium electrolyte production, and strategic alliances to produce vanadium flow batteries”.
Vanadium Resources managing director Bill Oliver said it was great to get such a positive response. The company will head back to China in about five weeks for some follow-up meetings.
“Most illuminating were the dynamics of the market, and specifically the continued appetite for vanadium and vanadium products which is growing independently of price changes,” he 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: