High Voltage: EV ramp-up in 2021 paints a very bullish picture for battery metals
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Our High Voltage column wraps all the news driving ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel and vanadium.
Pundits expect this EV boom to be long and lucrative for raw materials like nickel, cobalt, lithium and graphite.
The number of EVs due to hits the streets in the next few years tells a very bullish story.
Ford’s first mass-market electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E is due for release next year. Rivian releases its R1T pickup truck, and VW and Nissan their first electric compact SUVs priced for the masses.
German luxury carmaker BMW has also come out and said it will build a quarter of a million more electric cars than originally planned between 2021 and 2023. Phone maker Apple is dipping its toes in the pool.
Even Toyota, a laggard when it comes to EVs, is releasing a baby EV called the C+ pod in 2022:
In Australia there will be as many as 30 electric car models to choose from in 2021. Hopefully that includes Tesla’s awesome CyberTruck, a dystopian take on the 4×4 ute:
Here’s how a basket of 105 ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, and vanadium are performing>>>
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop:
Last week, Congo-based AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ) – a former high profile darling of the circa 2018’s lithium wave – locked in an offtake agreement with Chinese lithium giant Ganfeng.
AVZ’s still-undeveloped Manano project will sell 160,000 tonnes per year of spodumene concentrate, or 30 per cent of planned production, to Ganfeng for an initial five years.
“This … offtake agreement with GFL will greatly assist the company in meeting any conditions precedent that are required for our prospective financiers,” AVZ boss Nigel Ferguson says.
“Over the coming months, I look forward to finalising other offtake agreements which are currently under negotiation, not only for our lithium products but also for our tin and tantalum materials,” AVZ boss Nigel Ferguson says.
The stock gained 53 per cent to 14c per share over the past week.
Cobalt Blue (ASX:COB) – one of the last remaining pure play cobalt explorers on the ASX — is planning pilot plant production for Q1 next year.
A pilot plant is a smaller version of the real thing, designed to see if the processing tech works at scale. It’s very important for battery metals project developers.
First production is targeted in late February 2021, with samples to be sent to prospective offtake partners.
“Our commercial aim is to make battery ready cobalt sulphate from this facility on a scale sufficient to provide test samples (~10 kgs) for global commercial partners,” the company says.
“The Pilot Plant data will be used to define a larger Demonstration Plant activity scheduled for 2H 2021.”
Cobalt Blue says it is currently working with 15 global partners who have expressed interest in receiving cobalt samples, with a view to qualifying it as a supplier to the global battery industry.
To date LG International, Mitsubishi Corporation and Sojitz Corporation have become named partners.
European Metals Holdings (ASX:EMH) has soared after the company’s shares started trading on the US Nasdaq exchange’s international program.
The company said it has experienced increased investor interest from the US in its Cinovec project, the third largest lithium resource in Europe.
European Metals will join the Nasdaq platform under the code ERPNF to “accelerate exposure to US investors”, increase trading liquidity in its shares, and heighten awareness of its brand.
Galan Lithium (ASX:GLN) is flying, up 156 per cent since the start of November.
The reason? It’s Hombre Muerto West (HMW) project in Argentina — a high grade lithium resource ~7.5km long, up to ~2.5km wide and 718m deep – is a certified industry leader.
A preliminary economic assessment (PEA) released in December placed HMW in the lowest quartile of lithium carbonate projects for production costs, with a US$1 billion pre-tax net present value and an internal rate of return of 22.8 per cent.
HMW would produce lithium at about US$3518 per tonne – already one of the lowest cash cost points in the industry, against Roskill’s average long-term lithium carbonate price (2020-2040) of US$11,687/t.