Each week our High Voltage column wraps all the news driving ASX battery metals stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium.

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

Industry focus

Could cobalt follow lithium and make a resurgence? Cobalt sales prices –albeit still relatively healthy from all reports — have been in slow decline since peaking early in the year.

Enter major miner, Glencore, which has cut production at its soon-to-be globally significant Katanga operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo for at least 7 months.

This could stabilise recent price declines caused by a perception that the current cobalt market is oversupplied, experts say.

Analysts are divided on whether the supply side impacts will be significant or not.

But they do agree that this event could put a floor underneath the price of the battery metal and even catalyse a new period of growth – with cobalt stocks set to benefit.

Katanga Mining is expected to become a significant, long term cobalt supplier. Source: CRU
Katanga Mining is expected to become a significant, long term cobalt supplier. Source: CRU

And Australian hard rock lithium projects received a boost from major miner Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) in general this week.

The global miner told investors that “a significant acceleration in demand for lithium hydroxide” from battery makers — at the expense of the industry standard lithium carbonate — prompted it to favour developments in Australia and hit pause on expansions at its Chilean brine operations.

This is because it is often cheaper to produce lithium hydroxide from hard rock.

Vanadium remains of the year’s best performing metals measured by its spot price, which has risen above $US37 per pound — up from $US5 in early 2017.

While the spot price is “a little too high at the moment” to be sustainable, they are expected to stabilise at about $US30/lb in the short term – far healthier than the $US4 to $US6 range it bounced between from 2009 to early 2017, David Gillam of mining industry consultancy Mastermines says.

But only about 10 per cent of vanadium projects are good enough to become long term operations, Mr Gillam says.

“We are looking for someone that can be the next [major vanadium producer] Bushveld or the next Largo,” he says.

“This means ore grades of around 0.8 per cent to 1.2 per cent for starters.”

But most importantly a project needs operating costs of about $US4/lb of vanadium produced.

“That’s really critical because we know the Chinese – who want prices to drop – want to align themselves with companies that can produce around that Largo [ a major producer of vanadium] price of around $US4/lb,” Mr Gillam says.

Source: Largo Resources
We’re going to need more vanadium — but only a few projects are good enough.

Nickel prices may remain weak for the next couple of years, but an increase in demand from battery makers makes the outlook extremely promising two to three years out.

This means junior nickel players heading towards production will be bringing their mines online at a time of rapidly rising demand.

“Demand for nickel in lithium-ion batteries will soon make batteries the second-largest end-use application for nickel,” Roskill says.

And small caps in the nickel and copper space are catching the eye of investment banks and other big investors as the EV revolution gathers steam.

Investment bank Canada’s IBK Capital Corp has set its sights on nickel and copper small caps with projects in Latin America and Africa.

“Given where we see demand for electric vehicles going [and] the evolving battery chemistry universe, nickel is something that we’re paying quite a close attention to,” IBK Capital senior vice president Miranda Werstiuk said at last week’s International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne.

“The other is copper —given the need for copper in electric vehicles.”

Small cap spotlight

Investor confidence in the small cap space continues to look more positive. Of the 200 battery metals stocks on our list, about 65 lost ground, 81 were ahead and 53 were steady last week.

Some of the big  winners were Monax Mining (ASX:MOX) up 50 per cent to 0.3c; First Cobalt (ASX:FCC) up 33 per cent to 28c, and Ardea Resources (ASX:ARL), up 28 per cent to 69c.

Potential near term nickel- cobalt producers Australian Mines (ASX:AUZ) and CleanTeq (ASX:CLQ) received 15 per cent and 17 per cent share price bumps, respectively.

The share price of Australia’s newest lithium producer, Altura Mining (ASX:AJM), was up 12.5 per cent to 22.5c for the week after securing a long-term supply deal with Chinese major Ganfeng Lithium.

The deal starts this year, with Altura to supply a minimum of 8,000 tonnes of lithium from its namesake mine in 2018 and increasing supply to 70,000 tonnes each year from 2019 to 2021.

And King River Copper (ASX:KRC) bounced back last week, recording a 32 per cent share price increase to 4.5c.

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 One-year price change Price Nov 12 (intraday) Market Cap
AML AEON METALS cobalt -0.051724137931 0.0576923076923 0.275 158.6M
AYR ALLOY RESOURCES cobalt 0 -0.555555555556 0.004 6.3M
AZI ALTA ZINC cobalt 0.2 -0.571428571429 0.006 8.2M
AJM ALTURA MINING lithium 0.125 -0.470588235294 0.225 446.0M
ADN ANDROMEDA METALS lithium 0 -0.333333333333 0.008 8.6M
ASN ANSON RESOURCES lithium 0.0512820512821 -0.414285714286 0.082 44.5M
ARU ARAFURA RESOURCE vanadium -0.0138888888889 -0.330188679245 0.071 47.2M
AXE ARCHER EXPLORATI cobalt 0.12676056338 -0.407407407407 0.08 15.3M
ARL ARDEA RESOURCES cobalt 0.289719626168 -0.634920634921 0.69 74.5M
ADV ARDIDEN lithium 0 -0.588235294118 0.007 11.7M
ARE ARGONAUT RESOURC lithium 0 -0.217391304348 0.018 28.0M
AGY ARGOSY MINERALS lithium 0.142857142857 0.0434782608696 0.24 203.2M
AMD ARROW MINERALS L lithium 0.0666666666667 -0.783783783784 0.016 4.9M
AGO ATLAS IRON lithium 0 1.5 0.045 432.9M
AEE AURA ENERGY lithium 0.0588235294118 -0.28 0.018 20.4M
AUR AURIS MINERALS L vanadium 0.190476190476 -0.264705882353 0.05 20.4M
AOU AUROCH MINERALS lithium -0.1375 -0.706382978723 0.069 7.9M
ARM AURORA MINERALS lithium 0 -0.435897435897 0.022 2.6M
ANW AUS TIN MINING L cobalt 0 1 0.018 37.6M
AUZ AUSTRALIAN MINES cobalt 0.148936170213 -0.584615384615 0.054 162.9M
AVL AUSTRALIAN VANAD vanadium -0.0243902439024 0.818181818182 0.04 67.9M
AVZ AVZ MINERALS lithium 0.0263157894737 -0.705660377358 0.078 154.9M
BAR BARRA RESOURCES cobalt -0.0512820512821 -0.412698412698 0.037 20.2M
BSM BASS METALS lithium 0 0 0.019 47.8M
BAT BATTERY MINERALS graphite 0 -0.6625 0.027 32.3M
BAU BAUXITE RESOURCE lithium 0 -0.333333333333 0.056 12.0M
BMT BERKUT MINERALS lithium 0 -0.8125 0.075 4.1M
BGS BIRIMIAN lithium -0.05 -0.518987341772 0.19 46.7M
BKT BLACK ROCK MININ graphite 0.117647058824 -0.40625 0.038 20.9M
BEM BLACKEARTH MINER graphite -0.05 0 0.095 5.8M
BSX BLACKSTONE MINER cobalt -0.0357142857143 -0.73 0.135 13.5M
BDI BLINA MINERALS N cobalt 0 0 0.002 4.3M
BOA BOADICEA RESOURC lithium 0.176470588235 -0.333333333333 0.1 5.3M
BPL BROKEN HILL PROS cobalt -0.170212765957 -0.290909090909 0.039 5.8M
BYH BRYAH RESOURCES manganese 0 -0.478947368421 0.099 5.6M
BUX BUXTON RESOURCES graphite 0.2 0.5 0.15 17.1M
CAD CAENEUS MINERALS lithium 0 -0.666666666667 0.001 14.1M
CFE CAPE LAMBERT RES lithium 0.15 0.0454545454545 0.023 23.3M
CZI CASSINI RESOURCE cobalt 0.197530864198 0 0.097 29.4M
CCZ CASTILLO COPPER cobalt -0.0344827586207 -0.569230769231 0.028 18.6M
CDT CASTLE MINERALS graphite 0.25 -0.859154929577 0.01 2.2M
CAZ CAZALY RESOURCES lithium -0.233333333333 -0.46511627907 0.023 5.3M
CLA CELSIUS RESOURCE cobalt -0.409523809524 -0.270588235294 0.062 47.0M
CHN CHALICE GOLD MIN vanadium 0.0322580645161 -0.219512195122 0.16 42.7M
CMC CHINA MAGNESIUM lithium 0 0.5 0.03 9.8M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDIN cobalt 0.170731707317 -0.697160883281 0.48 383.9M
COB COBALT BLUE HOLD cobalt 0.0434782608696 -0.127272727273 0.24 27.3M
CHK COHIBA MINERALS lithium 0.166666666667 -0.222222222222 0.007 3.9M
CLL COLLERINA COBALT cobalt 0.12 0.308411214953 0.14 79.4M
CRL COMET RESOURCES graphite 0.0625 -0.575 0.034 6.6M
CNJ CONICO cobalt 0 -0.521739130435 0.022 8.1M
CZN CORAZON MINING L cobalt -0.142857142857 -0.714285714286 0.006 7.6M
CXO CORE EXPLORATION lithium 0.125 -0.25 0.054 33.6M
CGM COUGAR METALS NL lithium 0 -0.8 0.003 2.9M
CZR COZIRON RESOURCE vanadium -0.230769230769 -0.6875 0.01 23.2M
CGN CRATER GOLD MINI graphite -0.0384615384615 0.923076923077 0.025 8.4M
CAS CRUSADER RESOURC lithium 0 -0.78021978022 0.02 10.0M
CUL CULLEN RES cobalt 0.105263157895 -0.363636363636 0.021 2.6M
DHR DARK HORSE RESOU lithium 0.2 -0.333333333333 0.006 10.9M
DTM DART MINING NL lithium -0.125 -0.222222222222 0.007 6.0M
DEG DE GREY MINING lithium -0.037037037037 -0.638888888889 0.13 49.6M
DEV DEVEX RESOURCES lithium 0.333333333333 -0.6 0.004 4.4M
DGR DGR GLOBAL lithium 0.0333333333333 0.55 0.155 82.8M
E25 ELEMENT 25 manganese -0.0526315789474 -0.428571428571 0.18 15.0M
EME ENERGY METALS vanadium 0.111111111111 0 0.15 31.5M
ENT ENTERPRISE METAL lithium 0.0714285714286 -0.464285714286 0.015 5.8M
ESR ESTRELLA RESOURC lithium 0.0952380952381 -0.206896551724 0.023 10.8M
EUC EUROPEAN COBALT cobalt 0.093023255814 -0.835087719298 0.047 36.6M
EUR EUROPEAN LITHIUM lithium 0 1.03703703704 0.11 63.0M
EMH EUROPEAN METALS lithium -0.047619047619 -0.473684210526 0.4 60.1M
FEL FE cobalt 0.214285714286 -0.346153846154 0.017 6.3M
FCC FIRST COBALT-CDI cobalt 0.333333333333 0 0.28 95.0M
FGR FIRST GRAPHENE L graphite 0 0.616161616162 0.16 66.6M
4CE FORCE COMMODITIE lithium 0.190476190476 -0.596774193548 0.025 10.6M
GLN GALAN LITHIUM lithium -0.0847457627119 2.80281690141 0.27 25.4M
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES lithium 0.0717054263566 -0.281818181818 2.765 1.1B
GBE GLOBE METALS AND graphite 0 -0.125 0.014 6.5M
GME GME RESOURCES lithium -0.147727272727 -0.568965517241 0.075 36.2M
GED GOLDEN DEEPS vanadium -0.0392156862745 0.139534883721 0.049 8.4M
GPX GRAPHEX MINING L graphite -0.0625 -0.181818181818 0.225 17.7M
GPP GREENPOWER ENERG lithium 0 -0.809523809524 0.004 6.3M
GWR GWR GROUP lithium -0.193548387097 0.388888888889 0.125 32.8M
HMX HAMMER METALS cobalt -0.0967741935484 -0.263157894737 0.028 7.8M
HNR HANNANS lithium 0 -0.47619047619 0.011 19.8M
HAV HAVILAH RESOURCE cobalt 0.027027027027 -0.173913043478 0.19 42.6M
HWK HAWKSTONE MINING lithium 0.0869565217391 0 0.025 13.7M
HXG HEXAGON RESOURCE graphite 0.0333333333333 -0.162162162162 0.155 45.2M
HGM HIGH GRADE METAL cobalt -0.12 -0.3125 0.022 12.7M
HIG HIGHLANDS PAC cobalt 0.05 0 0.105 120.2M
IDA INDIANA RESOURCE graphite -0.0526315789474 -0.349397590361 0.054 5.2M
INF INFINITY LITHIUM lithium 0.293103448276 -0.625 0.075 13.5M
IRC INTERMIN RES vanadium 0 0.148148148148 0.155 37.7M
IEC INTRA ENERGY COR lithium 0 0.714285714286 0.012 4.7M
JRV JERVOIS MINING cobalt -0.2 -0.68932038835 0.16 39.1M
JMS JUPITER MINES manganese 0.0483870967742 0 0.325 646.5M
KAI KAIROS MINERALS lithium 0 -0.763636363636 0.026 21.3M
KLH KALIA lithium -0.2 -0.714285714286 0.004 12.6M
KNL KIBARAN RESOURCE graphite -0.09375 -0.09375 0.145 42.7M
KDR KIDMAN RESOURCES lithium 0.0601503759398 -0.11875 1.41 559.4M
KRC KING RIVER COPPE vanadium 0.323529411765 2.46153846154 0.045 54.5M
KSN KINGSTON RESOURC lithium 0.15 0.0952380952381 0.023 29.4M
KOR KORAB RESOURCES lithium -0.107142857143 -0.166666666667 0.025 8.0M
KTA KRAKATOA RESOURC lithium -0.0740740740741 -0.390243902439 0.025 3.2M
LKE LAKE RESOURCES lithium -0.0666666666667 -0.608 0.098 35.3M
LRS LATIN RESOURCES lithium 0.25 -0.375 0.005 12.8M
LCD LATITUDE CONSOLI lithium -0.0555555555556 -0.433333333333 0.017 4.7M
LPD LEPIDICO lithium 0.0588235294118 -0.6 0.018 57.1M
LML LINCOLN MINERALS graphite 0 -0.8 0.008 4.6M
LTR LIONTOWN RESOURC lithium 0.190476190476 -0.0384615384615 0.025 24.7M
LIT LITHIUM AUSTRALI lithium 0 -0.612 0.097 45.0M
LI3 LITHIUM CONSOLID lithium 0 -0.6 0.09 8.1M
LPI LITHIUM POWER IN lithium 0.0740740740741 -0.553846153846 0.29 76.1M
MNS MAGNIS ENERGY TE graphite 0.2 -0.327102803738 0.36 198.6M
MZN MARINDI METALS L lithium 0 -0.772727272727 0.005 11.9M
MQR MARQUEE RESOURCE lithium -0.122222222222 -0.684 0.079 3.4M
MZZ MATADOR MINING lithium -0.1 -0.0357142857143 0.27 15.9M
MXR MAXIMUS RESOURCE lithium 0 -0.5 0.001 3.5M
MCT METALICITY lithium -0.0588235294118 -0.567567567568 0.016 10.1M
MLM METALLICA MINRAL cobalt 0.366666666667 -0.163265306122 0.041 12.9M
MLS METALS AUSTRALIA lithium 0 -0.5 0.003 8.2M
MTC METALSTECH lithium -0.233333333333 -0.849180327869 0.046 5.1M
MEI METEORIC RESOURC cobalt 0 -0.808219178082 0.014 8.0M
MIN MINERAL RESOURCE lithium -0.0368932038835 -0.188658669575 14.88 2.9B
MRR MINREX RESOURCES cobalt 0.0869565217391 -0.833333333333 0.025 2.3M
MTH MITHRIL RESOURCE lithium 0 -0.766666666667 0.007 1.4M
MOX MONAX MINING lithium 0.5 -0.666666666667 0.003 1.8M
MTB MOUNT BURGESS vanadium 0 -0.444444444444 0.005 2.2M
NMT NEOMETALS lithium 0 -0.48 0.26 138.7M
NWC NEW WORLD COBALT cobalt 0.0285714285714 -0.742857142857 0.036 18.6M
N27 NORTHERN COBALT lithium 0.222222222222 -0.770833333333 0.11 5.3M
NVA NOVA MINERALS lithium 0.25 0.666666666667 0.025 18.7M
NZC NZURI COPPER cobalt -0.0204081632653 0.170731707317 0.24 72.5M
OAR OAKDALERESOURCES lithium 0 -0.581395348837 0.018 1.2M
OKR OKAPI RESOURCES cobalt -0.05 -0.542168674699 0.19 6.5M
OMH OM HLDGS manganese 0.119230769231 2.12903225806 1.455 1.0B
ORN ORION MINERALS L lithium -0.0740740740741 -0.137931034483 0.025 48.7M
ORE OROCOBRE lithium 0.0835322195704 -0.227365554799 4.54 1.1B
PMY PACIFICO MINERAL manganese 0.4 0 0.007 9.5M
PAN PANORAMIC RESOUR cobalt -0.0425531914894 -0.0625 0.45 232.4M
PSM PENINSULA MINES lithium 0.2 -0.7 0.006 5.1M
PNN PEPINNINI LITHIU lithium -0.166666666667 -0.9 0.005 3.4M
PLL PIEDMONT LITHIUM lithium -0.0384615384615 -0.418604651163 0.125 69.9M
PLS PILBARA MINERALS lithium -0.00581395348837 -0.149253731343 0.855 1.5B
PIO PIONEER RESOURCE lithium -0.0555555555556 -0.613636363636 0.017 25.6M
PGM PLATINA RESOURCE cobalt 0.103448275862 -0.727659574468 0.064 16.4M
POS POSEIDON NICKEL lithium -0.0204081632653 -0.0588235294118 0.048 129.5M
PSC PROSPECT RESOURC lithium -0.0357142857143 -0.470588235294 0.027 53.6M
POW PROTEAN ENERGY L vanadium 0.0434782608696 -0.225806451613 0.024 7.1M
PM1 PURE MINERALS lithium. Manganese 0.153846153846 -0.444444444444 0.015 4.7M
PUR PURSUIT MINERALS vanadium -0.121951219512 -0.751724137931 0.036 4.9M
RMX RED MOUNTAIN MIN cobalt 0 -0.666666666667 0.007 4.7M
RDS REDSTONE RESOURC vanadium -0.0588235294118 0.230769230769 0.016 7.4M
RLC REEDY LAGOON lithium 0 -0.883333333333 0.007 2.8M
RNU RENASCOR RESOURC graphite 0 -0.457142857143 0.019 17.3M
RIE RIEDEL RESOURCES cobalt 0 -0.647058823529 0.03 12.5M
RIO RIO TINTO lithium 0.0535919356897 0.119593220339 82.57 122.5B
RTR RUMBLE RESOURCES vanadium 0 -0.411764705882 0.05 16.1M
SBR SABRE RES vanadium -0.1 -0.1 0.009 3.7M
SO4 SALT LAKE POTASH vanadium -0.063829787234 -0.169811320755 0.44 80.5M
SYA SAYONA MINING lithium 0 -0.289473684211 0.027 48.0M
SCI SILVER CITY MINE lithium 0 -0.5 0.018 4.4M
SI6 SIX SIGMA METALS lithium 0 -0.583333333333 0.005 2.1M
S32 SOUTH32 manganese -0.0396174863388 0.046130952381 3.515 18.0B
SXX SOUTHERN CROSS vanadium 0 -0.4 0.006 6.5M
SUH SOUTHERN HEMISPH lithium 0 -0.713513513514 0.053 4.6M
SVM SOVEREIGN METALS graphite 0.0128205128205 -0.281818181818 0.079 21.9M
SEI SPECIALITY METAL lithium -0.0714285714286 -0.1875 0.013 7.2M
SPI SPITFIRE MATERIA manganese 0.121212121212 -0.408 0.074 69.6M
SGQ ST GEORGE MINING cobalt 0.206896551724 0.346153846154 0.175 53.7M
SRK STRIKE RESOURCES lithium 0 -0.166666666667 0.06 8.7M
SRN SUREFIRE RESOURC vanadium -0.1 -0.470588235294 0.009 4.2M
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES graphite 0.121037463977 -0.518564356436 1.945 666.6M
TLG TALGA RESOURCES graphite 0.0215053763441 -0.103773584906 0.475 102.2M
TNO TANDO RESOURCES vanadium -0.125 0.0194174757282 0.105 22.3M
TAR TARUGA MINERALS lithium 0.0655737704918 -0.285714285714 0.065 9.2M
TAW TAWANA RESOURCES lithium 0.0377358490566 -0.303797468354 0.275 164.8M
TMT TECHNOLOGY METAL vanadium 0.078431372549 1.39130434783 0.55 37.1M
THR THOR MINING-CDI lithium -0.103448275862 -0.133333333333 0.026 17.6M
THX THUNDELARRA cobalt -0.0588235294118 -0.272727272727 0.016 10.2M
TNG TNG vanadium 0 -0.25 0.12 115.7M
TRT TODD RIVER RESOU lithium -0.0555555555556 -0.440789473684 0.085 7.7M
TKL TRAKA RESOURCES lithium 0.03125 -0.377358490566 0.033 10.9M
TKM TREK METALS lithium 0.3 -0.638888888889 0.013 3.4M
TON TRITON MINERALS graphite 0 -0.388888888889 0.044 39.9M
VMS VENTURE MINERALS lithium 0.0454545454545 -0.206896551724 0.023 13.0M
VXR VENTUREX RESOURC lithium -0.152173913043 -0.5 0.195 49.2M
VMC VENUS METALS COR lithium -0.114285714286 0.347826086957 0.155 13.5M
VML VITAL METALS cobalt 0 0.166666666667 0.007 12.2M
VRC VOLT RESOURCES L graphite 0.210526315789 0 0.023 32.0M
WKT WALKABOUT RESOUR lithium -0.04 0.0666666666667 0.096 29.2M
WCN WHITE CLIFF MINE cobalt 0 -0.909638554217 0.015 1.3M
WML WOOMERA MINING L lithium -0.134020618557 0 0.084 10.1M
ZNC ZENITH MINERALS lithium -0.047619047619 -0.384615384615 0.08 16.8M
ZEU ZEUS RESOURCES L lithium 0 0.0833333333333 0.013 2.3M