• Tesla rakes in biggest quarterly profit ever as EV sales explode.
  • Elon Musk says iron, not nickel-rich chemistries will power “Terrawatt-hour” energy storage business.
  • GWR Group trades iron ore for magnesium in green push.

 

Our High Voltage column wraps all the news driving ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, rare earths, and vanadium.

 

Elon Musk is continuing to prep us for the robot uprising after saying his robot slaves will be a bigger business than electric vehicles.

Tesla unveiled its Optimus humanoid robot last year and master of the universe/Tesla CEO/Twitter celebrity Musk waxed lyrical about the terrifying, ethically dubious inventions on an earnings call.

“I think actually the most important product development we’re doing this year is actually the Optimus humanoid robot,” he said.

“This, I think, has the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time. If you think about the economy, it is — the foundation of the economy is labor. Capital equipment is distilled labor.

“So, what happens if you don’t actually have a labor shortage?”

That thought bubble gets more based.

“I’m not sure what an economy even means at that point. That’s what Optimus is about.”

Is this how we end up trapped in the Matrix?

 

But what about the batteries?

Musk flagged issues in the energy storage space for expensive base metals like nickel – which recently hit an 11-year high – and cobalt.

Musk thinks all Powerwalls and Megapacks will shift to lithium-iron-phosphate categories as Tesla looks to turn its energy storage division into a “Terrawatt-hour per year business”.

Energy storage deployments were up 32% year on year to around 4Gwh, so to meet Musk’s lofty ambitions he needs a feed source that’s a little more abundant.

“To be clear, we do think that all stationary storage, Powerwall and Megapack … will transition to an iron-based system, basically a non-nickel system,” he said.

“Manganese … could be part of the future, but primarily iron.

“We need something that is formed in a star before a supernova, ideally. So iron is. So that’s because there’s a ridiculous amount of iron on Earth as there is a ridiculous amount of lithium.

“So, you can really expect all stationary storage to transition to iron over time. And like I said, with manganese is like a wildcard.”

 

Tesla profit hits new peak

Battery metals producers can be buoyed however by the rapid growth and profitability of the EV market.

Tesla generated a US$2.2 billion profit in the December quarter, up 760% on the US$270 million income generated just 12 months earlier.

In that time revenues from the automotive segment have risen 71% to US$15.97 billion, with total revenue up 65% to US$17.72b.

The result has put paid to criticisms of the EV sector as unprofitable.

“While EVs were often deemed structurally unprofitable due to expensive batteries, we were convinced that manufacturing innovation, purpose-built vehicles and factories would solve cost concerns,” the company said in its results Wednesday.

“In Q3-2021 (the last widely reported quarter), Tesla achieved the highest operating margin across all volume OEMs.

“Cost (COGS) per vehicle dropped to ~$36,000 in both Q3 and Q4 2021.

“We believe our current projects, including large castings, structural battery pack, 4680 cells and many others, should help us continue to minimise our product cost.”

 

Iron ore miner GWR Group hops into “green metal” space

GWR Group (ASX:GWR) , a junior miner which rode the Chinese steel wave to glory and back during the great iron ore boom of 2021, is flipping the script.

The company recently announced it would resume exports of some iron ore from the Wiluna West iron ore mine it paused late last year, but yesterday revealed it is changing tack.

The WA miner announced a deal to buy 70% of the Prospect Ridge magnesite project in Tasmania from Jindalee Resources (ASX:JRL) for $250,000 cash and $750,000 in GWR shares, and raised $2m from investors to back investigations at the project.

Australia produces no magnesium at the moment but rates the feather-light metal, a key material in the aluminium sheeting that lightweights cars, as a critical commodity. Around 90% of mag supply is based in China.

GWR call magnesium the “green metal”, though we couldn’t find evidence of the use of this phrase anywhere else (in a very quick Google search mind you). ‘Green’ is certainly a word chairman Gary Lyons is keen to get out there.

“The GWR team has reviewed a number of projects to that will move the company into the ‘green sector’, and we believe the advanced Prospect Ridge Magnesite project provides an excellent opportunity to enter the ‘green’ global magnesium market whilst enabling GWR to apply our experience in bulk commodity mining and tap into our network of offtake partners and end users,” he said.

“The Prospect Ridge Magnesite project has had a substantial amount of work undertaken, including diamond drilling, metallurgical test work, environmental and aboriginal heritage surveys and feasibility studies.

“We believe it may have the potential to be a low capex DSO operation which is close to a significant deep-water port in Tasmania and the GWR team will be funded to accelerate the project with the aim of adding significant shareholder value.

“The project will provide GWR with the opportunity to enter the ‘green’ and EV space with potential for exposure to the high-capacity, fast charging, rechargeable magnesium-ion battery market.”

 

 

GWR Group share price today:

 

 

 

Battery Metals Winners and Losers

Here’s how a basket of ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, rare earths, and vanadium are performing>>>

Battery metals stocks missing from our list?
Email [email protected]

CODE COMPANY PRICE 1 WEEK RETURN % 1 MONTH RETURN % 6 MONTH RETURN % 1 YEAR RETURN % Market Cap
RXL Rox Resources 0.455 26% 32% 8% -16% $77,227,730.86
SBR Sabre Resources 0.005 25% 0% 25% -38% $8,639,068.25
1MC Morella Corporation 0.0275 20% 150% -56% -56% $138,623,777.62
GSR Greenstone Resources 0.033 14% 18% 57% 32% $27,440,675.43
REE Rarex Limited 0.105 5% 5% 6% -25% $47,417,286.42
RBX Resource Base 0.21 5% 14% 24% 518% $7,590,041.15
IPT Impact Minerals 0.0135 4% -4% 4% -36% $26,309,333.95
NKL Nickelxltd 0.145 4% 26% -24% 0% $7,749,000.00
ESR Estrella Res Ltd 0.033 3% 50% -25% -60% $38,842,443.42
RFR Rafaella Resources 0.076 3% 17% -20% 0% $14,305,681.35
VIA Viagold Rare Earth 2 0% 0% 2339% 5614% $166,624,808.00
HNR Hannans Ltd 0.057 0% 78% 724% 541% $148,557,474.13
MRD Mount Ridley Mines 0.008 0% 0% 167% 167% $45,851,567.24
GED Golden Deeps 0.011 0% -8% -8% 0% $8,534,365.84
CWX Carawine Resources 0.165 0% -6% -27% -30% $22,495,167.26
ATM Aneka Tambang 1.1 0% 1% 10% 10% $1,434,013.90
MMC Mitremining 0.2 0% 5% 0% 0% $4,875,318.00
LML Lincoln Minerals 0.008 0% 0% 0% 0% $4,599,869.49
TON Triton Min Ltd 0.034 0% 0% -3% -46% $42,253,865.60
VMC Venus Metals Cor Ltd 0.18 0% 6% -5% -22% $29,460,343.19
MLS Metals Australia 0.002 0% 0% 0% -33% $10,477,114.72
AS2 Askarimetalslimited 0.385 0% 97% 93% 0% $11,820,059.79
TSC Twenty Seven Co. Ltd 0.004 0% 0% 0% -43% $11,973,662.57
EMH European Metals Hldg 1.38 -1% 3% -7% 20% $191,235,188.55
GME GME Resources Ltd 0.069 -1% -1% 41% 6% $40,391,371.82
G88 Golden Mile Res Ltd 0.054 -2% 10% 10% 13% $8,996,953.06
BHP BHP Group Limited 45.51 -2% 10% -12% -2% $132,849,820,271.82
BRB Breaker Res NL 0.235 -4% -19% 42% 21% $76,572,618.32
HXG Hexagon Energy 0.068 -4% -8% -8% -43% $29,882,926.41
WML Woomera Mining Ltd 0.019 -5% 12% -13% -36% $11,758,476.10
PSC Prospect Res Ltd 0.805 -5% 7% 156% 347% $347,104,063.35
SRI Sipa Resources Ltd 0.05 -6% 16% -18% -18% $9,226,116.14
NTU Northern Min Ltd 0.048 -6% -8% 17% -28% $237,969,298.65
MOH Moho Resources 0.057 -7% -11% -19% -35% $7,169,197.91
CLA Celsius Resource Ltd 0.028 -7% 47% -15% -48% $29,511,386.27
GL1 Globallith 1.42 -8% 78% 416% 0% $185,804,583.51
ILU Iluka Resources 10.04 -8% 3% 1% 43% $4,337,824,005.50
CNJ Conico Ltd 0.035 -8% 0% -39% 21% $36,007,735.46
MCR Mincor Resources NL 1.605 -8% -5% 32% 43% $799,173,144.00
PAN Panoramic Resources 0.2475 -8% -7% 55% 46% $502,473,930.98
FG1 Flynngold 0.16 -9% 0% -11% 0% $10,149,768.00
ARL Ardea Resources Ltd 0.58 -9% 18% 28% 22% $76,356,620.45
SGQ St George Min Ltd 0.073 -9% 18% 3% -34% $44,189,320.28
AZS Azure Minerals 0.355 -9% 1% 51% -38% $114,972,216.77
HAS Hastings Tech Met 0.25 -9% 4% 35% -4% $443,310,363.83
IGO IGO Limited 11.61 -9% 2% 30% 63% $8,966,050,905.92
IGO IGO Limited 11.61 -9% 2% 30% 63% $8,966,050,905.92
S2R S2 Resources 0.19 -10% 3% 31% -5% $67,711,222.45
NIC Nickel Mines Limited 1.4275 -10% -1% 21% 2% $3,596,491,542.93
AUZ Australian Mines Ltd 0.185 -10% 3% -23% -37% $81,767,962.43
OZL OZ Minerals 25.3 -10% -10% 15% 25% $8,765,116,140.71
PRL Province Resources 0.125 -11% -17% -4% 495% $158,152,373.54
PUR Pursuit Minerals 0.024 -11% -8% -63% -35% $22,693,180.66
MQR Marquee Resource Ltd 0.12 -11% 9% 131% 41% $26,808,137.75
TKL Traka Resources 0.015 -12% 15% 7% -35% $9,953,726.30
COB Cobalt Blue Ltd 0.485 -12% 17% 73% 18% $131,537,578.97
BYH Bryah Resources Ltd 0.052 -12% 8% -12% -21% $11,988,980.28
QXR Qx Resources Limited 0.037 -12% 76% 185% 106% $24,421,043.56
AX8 Accelerate Resources 0.037 -12% 0% 16% -35% $9,377,979.26
STK Strickland Metals 0.059 -12% -14% 0% 72% $74,226,824.31
BUX Buxton Resources Ltd 0.073 -12% -7% -46% -3% $10,612,323.70
MLX Metals X Limited 0.47 -12% 2% 92% 176% $449,096,703.17
LKE Lake Resources 0.865 -12% -8% 108% 239% $1,020,620,593.52
POS Poseidon Nick Ltd 0.092 -12% -8% -34% 14% $284,948,235.92
PGM Platina Resources 0.0525 -13% -17% -36% -19% $23,022,264.13
LEG Legend Mining 0.07 -13% 21% -23% -50% $195,614,636.19
JRV Jervois Global Ltd 0.625 -13% 9% 20% 40% $941,349,634.44
MRR Minrex Resources Ltd 0.055 -13% 53% 189% 112% $38,060,044.39
WKT Walkabout Resources 0.24 -13% 17% 20% 50% $113,068,778.00
GLN Galan Lithium Ltd 1.53 -13% -21% 49% 197% $458,647,694.21
CHN Chalice Mining Ltd 7.11 -13% -19% 9% 57% $2,556,169,012.80
LSR Lodestar Minerals 0.0095 -14% 6% -5% -37% $13,909,373.48
SYA Sayona Mining Ltd 0.125 -14% 0% 59% 239% $916,747,848.25
HYM Hyperion Metals Ltd 0.86 -14% -5% -17% 79% $126,237,084.36
CTM Centaurus Metals Ltd 1.105 -14% -4% 28% 32% $381,539,247.72
GW1 Greenwing Resources 0.425 -14% 5% 102% 6% $48,542,111.95
ALY Alchemy Resource Ltd 0.012 -14% 9% -12% -23% $11,428,138.68
FFX Firefinch Ltd 0.625 -14% -17% 52% 221% $777,569,892.00
FRS Forrestaniaresources 0.355 -14% 25% 0% 0% $9,677,250.00
ADV Ardiden Ltd 0.0145 -15% 32% 71% -46% $32,525,030.34
EUR European Lithium Ltd 0.115 -15% 0% 80% 37% $121,746,442.07
BOA Boadicea Resources 0.2 -15% -5% -9% -19% $16,316,977.95
AQD Ausquest Limited 0.017 -15% 0% -26% -26% $14,010,536.79
VUL Vulcan Energy 8.37 -15% -19% -6% 15% $1,131,825,342.80
PLL Piedmont Lithium Inc 0.61 -15% -18% -11% -2% $333,922,853.00
LIT Lithium Australia NL 0.11 -15% -4% -4% -33% $118,501,150.74
AOU Auroch Minerals Ltd 0.11 -15% -4% -48% -56% $36,105,179.90
VR8 Vanadium Resources 0.071 -15% 9% 29% 54% $33,590,978.55
PLS Pilbara Min Ltd 3.14 -16% 6% 77% 166% $9,674,588,680.25
MIN Mineral Resources. 53.87 -16% -2% -14% 39% $10,787,124,052.32
BEM Blackearth Minerals 0.13 -16% 13% 24% 86% $29,658,861.05
AAJ Aruma Resources Ltd 0.082 -16% 19% 49% -10% $10,202,881.74
TMT Technology Metals 0.305 -16% 0% -10% -22% $62,116,723.95
AR3 Austrare 0.85 -17% -2% 15% 0% $62,120,190.33
AR3 Austrare 0.85 -17% -2% 15% 0% $62,120,190.33
CNB Carnaby Resource Ltd 1.355 -17% 84% 299% 287% $173,333,632.25
BSX Blackstone Ltd 0.585 -17% 6% 29% 21% $287,742,441.60
SLZ Sultan Resources Ltd 0.17 -17% 3% -13% -11% $11,473,174.19
AVZ AVZ Minerals Ltd 0.66 -18% -6% 207% 207% $2,278,361,632.80
TLG Talga Group Ltd 1.4 -18% -9% 6% -12% $420,492,236.22
LEL Lithenergy 0.93 -18% 6% 111% 0% $41,625,000.00
GAL Galileo Mining Ltd 0.185 -18% -12% -42% -50% $34,523,887.03
NWC New World Resources 0.069 -18% -7% -8% 25% $111,625,697.54
QPM Queensland Pacific 0.16 -18% -6% -3% 129% $254,613,666.62
VML Vital Metals Limited 0.05 -18% 2% -2% 9% $208,274,154.20
FGR First Graphene Ltd 0.18 -18% -12% -27% -44% $104,560,987.34
TNG TNG Limited 0.072 -18% -8% 3% -37% $102,742,948.43
ARU Arafura Resource Ltd 0.18 -18% -10% 38% -39% $294,579,293.08
NVA Nova Minerals Ltd 0.9 -18% -21% -25% -54% $172,994,193.60
ARR American Rare Earths 0.29 -18% 76% 245% 152% $121,479,353.42
AKE Allkem Limited 8.83 -18% -10% 13% 51% $5,839,734,367.76
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 0.035 -19% 13% 106% 67% $18,079,288.59
QEM QEM Limited 0.175 -19% -5% -3% 40% $19,849,083.28
DEV Devex Resources Ltd 0.39 -19% -19% 42% 63% $122,531,747.91
BKT Black Rock Mining 0.195 -19% -11% 44% 18% $173,729,112.00
LYC Lynas Rare Earths 8.88 -19% -9% 25% 65% $8,365,355,105.58
INR Ioneer Ltd 0.635 -19% -15% 57% 84% $1,322,603,717.36
AGY Argosy Minerals Ltd 0.315 -19% 15% 142% 75% $405,406,592.96
CXO Core Lithium 0.71 -19% 31% 149% 118% $1,222,375,377.14
DTM Dart Mining NL 0.079 -19% -1% -39% -57% $10,830,710.91
ARN Aldoro Resources 0.31 -19% -16% -38% 32% $27,725,962.59
ARN Aldoro Resources 0.31 -19% -16% -38% 32% $27,725,962.59
CZN Corazon Ltd 0.033 -20% -11% -18% -34% $10,075,479.71
AXE Archer Materials 0.97 -20% -15% -40% 13% $250,042,879.07
INF Infinity Lithium 0.16 -20% -3% 52% -29% $64,183,865.68
LOT Lotus Resources Ltd 0.24 -20% -21% 55% 85% $248,879,730.98
EGR Ecograf Limited 0.56 -20% -16% -18% 35% $261,193,406.22
GSM Golden State Mining 0.092 -20% 12% -34% -44% $7,976,446.56
AML Aeon Metals Ltd. 0.043 -20% 13% -23% -70% $36,363,973.30
AZL Arizona Lithium Ltd 0.135 -21% 50% 382% 400% $259,404,388.88
MNS Magnis Energy Tech 0.47 -21% 3% 74% 154% $442,373,441.70
SYR Syrah Resources 1.635 -21% 0% 21% 34% $827,899,640.18
GBR Greatbould Resources 0.13 -21% -4% 53% 177% $48,226,834.22
MAN Mandrake Res Ltd 0.044 -21% -10% -46% -54% $23,089,827.36
LTR Liontown Resources 1.3475 -21% -13% 90% 238% $2,970,791,690.80
SHH Shree Minerals Ltd 0.011 -21% 22% -15% -42% $11,695,605.81
PNN PepinNini Minerals 0.43 -22% 8% 46% -15% $27,178,447.54
SRL Sunrise 1.71 -22% -4% -14% -38% $157,601,288.25
TMB Tambourahmetals 0.225 -22% -2% 0% 0% $9,886,223.52
JRL Jindalee Resources 2.28 -22% 12% -8% 56% $124,439,121.80
ASN Anson Resources Ltd 0.12 -23% 9% 64% 29% $117,460,917.20
RAG Ragnar Metals Ltd 0.037 -23% 28% -31% -36% $14,162,025.78
RMX Red Mount Min Ltd 0.01 -23% 11% 0% -41% $16,109,041.32
IMI Infinitymining 0.15 -23% -9% 0% 0% $10,350,000.00
PAM Pan Asia Metals 0.53 -23% 12% 266% 179% $38,670,788.10
IXR Ionic Rare Earths 0.053 -23% 23% 71% 23% $194,136,272.30
EMS Eastern Metals 0.215 -23% 16% 0% 0% $7,476,000.00
A8G Australasian Metals 0.51 -23% 6% 252% 0% $20,486,951.94
CHR Charger Metals 0.68 -24% 79% 249% 0% $25,304,517.65
PEK Peak Rare Earths Ltd 0.695 -24% -13% -49% -44% $139,406,773.10
NMT Neometals Ltd 1.26 -25% 15% 123% 269% $712,889,314.80
NMT Neometals Ltd 1.26 -25% 15% 123% 269% $712,889,314.80
RNU Renascor Res Ltd 0.195 -25% 63% 187% 596% $369,304,842.08
PVW PVW Res Ltd 0.415 -25% 12% 137% 177% $29,440,546.88
AM7 Arcadia Minerals 0.225 -26% 7% 32% 0% $7,927,507.75
MRC Mineral Commodities 0.14 -26% 41% -10% -65% $69,548,782.42
EVR Ev Resources Ltd 0.061 -28% 17% 165% 61% $55,334,044.26
LRV Larvottoresources 0.165 -28% 38% 0% 0% $5,269,500.00
LPI Lithium Pwr Int Ltd 0.59 -28% 42% 151% 71% $200,542,662.60
LPD Lepidico Ltd 0.035 -29% -3% 133% 9% $236,489,466.34
WCN White Cliff Min Ltd 0.02 -29% 25% 54% -26% $11,863,927.98
WR1 Winsome Resources 0.39 -29% 15% 0% 0% $49,750,197.78
EFE Eastern Resources 0.056 -29% 6% 250% 400% $57,780,091.34
VRC Volt Resources Ltd 0.019 -30% -27% -46% 0% $53,525,543.10
ADD Adavale Resource Ltd 0.045 -30% 7% -22% -41% $16,198,062.94
TEM Tempest Minerals 0.021 -30% -5% 12% -38% $8,753,819.76
AVL Aust Vanadium Ltd 0.032 -32% 14% 28% 3% $101,723,682.29
BNR Bulletin Res Ltd 0.095 -32% 38% 67% 16% $27,755,757.70
ESS Essential Metals Ltd 0.385 -35% 114% 175% 148% $92,995,154.56
CAE Cannindah Resources 0.23 -37% 35% 297% 619% $123,237,560.49
BMM Balkanminingandmin 0.345 -38% -4% -14% 0% $11,462,500.00
KZR Kalamazoo Resources 0.32 -12 -14 -9 -43 $46,460,000.00

 

SMALL CAP STANDOUTS

 

MORELLA CORPORATION (ASX:1MC)

The reborn Altura Mining has had little to report, but has seen its shares charge 40% in the year to date, prompting a speeding ticket from the ASX last week.

Its Fish Lake Valley project is in the US lithium industry’s version of God’s Country, located midway along the 550km stretch from the Nevada cities of Las Vegas and Reno and just a few hundred klicks from Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory.

30km as the crow flies is the Silver Peak mine owned by lithium chemicals giant Albemarle and Argosy’s (ASX:AGY) Tonopah project is only 20km away.

Back in November, Altura commissioned Recion Technologies to conduct a lab-based evaluation program to assess the Fish Lake brine’s suitability for direct lithium extraction, a form of processing gaining more favour among lithium proponents including 2021 boom stock Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), which will assess the process at its newly acquired Rincon project in Argentina.

 

 

Morella Corp share price today:

 

 

 

ESTRELLA RESOURCES (ASX:ESR)

WA explorer ESR struck two broad zones of massive (the highest-grade stuff) and semi-massive (almost as good) nickel-copper sulphides below the old ‘Carr Boyd’ underground mine, it announced on Monday.

It was worked between 1972 and 1976 by BHP predecessor Western Mining Corporation before being mothballed due to low nickel prices.

Work will now focus on identifying where, and how far, this mineralisation is going “so as to exploit [its] further potential”.

It yesterday added to that line of investigation with downhole EM surveying “(extending the) potential of (the) new zone below T5 nickel-copper deposit,” with modelling indicating the mineralisation remains open to both the north and south.

“T5 continues to provide an exciting opportunity for Estrella to extend the footprint of the high grade nickel sulphides we have intersected in recent drilling at depth,” Estrella MD Chris Daws said.

“The refinement in how we utilise DHEM surveys to guide us is evolving and we are gaining an understanding of the capabilities and limitations in identifying the mineralisation.

“The latest round of surveys at depth unequivocally informs us that the limit of the T5 mineralisation is yet to be found.”

In 2020, an intersection at T5 pushed ESR into #5 spot on Stockhead’s Best Performing Resources Stocks of 2020.

The ESR share price has drifted badly since that rerating event in 2020. It’s fallen back from those heady days and is now trading at a market cap of ~$40m, up 55% over the past month.

 

 

Estrella Resources share price today: