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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 codeCompanyFocusOne-week price changeOne-year price changePrice Nov 12 (intraday)Market Cap
AMLAEON METALScobalt-0.0517241379310.05769230769230.275158.6M
AYRALLOY RESOURCEScobalt0-0.5555555555560.0046.3M
AZIALTA ZINCcobalt0.2-0.5714285714290.0068.2M
AJMALTURA MININGlithium0.125-0.4705882352940.225446.0M
ADNANDROMEDA METALSlithium0-0.3333333333330.0088.6M
ASNANSON RESOURCESlithium0.0512820512821-0.4142857142860.08244.5M
ARUARAFURA RESOURCEvanadium-0.0138888888889-0.3301886792450.07147.2M
AXEARCHER EXPLORATIcobalt0.12676056338-0.4074074074070.0815.3M
ARLARDEA RESOURCEScobalt0.289719626168-0.6349206349210.6974.5M
ADVARDIDENlithium0-0.5882352941180.00711.7M
AREARGONAUT RESOURClithium0-0.2173913043480.01828.0M
AGYARGOSY MINERALSlithium0.1428571428570.04347826086960.24203.2M
AMDARROW MINERALS Llithium0.0666666666667-0.7837837837840.0164.9M
AGOATLAS IRONlithium01.50.045432.9M
AEEAURA ENERGYlithium0.0588235294118-0.280.01820.4M
AURAURIS MINERALS Lvanadium0.190476190476-0.2647058823530.0520.4M
AOUAUROCH MINERALSlithium-0.1375-0.7063829787230.0697.9M
ARMAURORA MINERALSlithium0-0.4358974358970.0222.6M
ANWAUS TIN MINING Lcobalt010.01837.6M
AUZAUSTRALIAN MINEScobalt0.148936170213-0.5846153846150.054162.9M
AVLAUSTRALIAN VANADvanadium-0.02439024390240.8181818181820.0467.9M
AVZAVZ MINERALSlithium0.0263157894737-0.7056603773580.078154.9M
BARBARRA RESOURCEScobalt-0.0512820512821-0.4126984126980.03720.2M
BSMBASS METALSlithium000.01947.8M
BATBATTERY MINERALSgraphite0-0.66250.02732.3M
BAUBAUXITE RESOURCElithium0-0.3333333333330.05612.0M
BMTBERKUT MINERALSlithium0-0.81250.0754.1M
BGSBIRIMIANlithium-0.05-0.5189873417720.1946.7M
BKTBLACK ROCK MININgraphite0.117647058824-0.406250.03820.9M
BEMBLACKEARTH MINERgraphite-0.0500.0955.8M
BSXBLACKSTONE MINERcobalt-0.0357142857143-0.730.13513.5M
BDIBLINA MINERALS Ncobalt000.0024.3M
BOABOADICEA RESOURClithium0.176470588235-0.3333333333330.15.3M
BPLBROKEN HILL PROScobalt-0.170212765957-0.2909090909090.0395.8M
BYHBRYAH RESOURCESmanganese0-0.4789473684210.0995.6M
BUXBUXTON RESOURCESgraphite0.20.50.1517.1M
CADCAENEUS MINERALSlithium0-0.6666666666670.00114.1M
CFECAPE LAMBERT RESlithium0.150.04545454545450.02323.3M
CZICASSINI RESOURCEcobalt0.19753086419800.09729.4M
CCZCASTILLO COPPERcobalt-0.0344827586207-0.5692307692310.02818.6M
CDTCASTLE MINERALSgraphite0.25-0.8591549295770.012.2M
CAZCAZALY RESOURCESlithium-0.233333333333-0.465116279070.0235.3M
CLACELSIUS RESOURCEcobalt-0.409523809524-0.2705882352940.06247.0M
CHNCHALICE GOLD MINvanadium0.0322580645161-0.2195121951220.1642.7M
CMCCHINA MAGNESIUMlithium00.50.039.8M
CLQCLEAN TEQ HOLDINcobalt0.170731707317-0.6971608832810.48383.9M
COBCOBALT BLUE HOLDcobalt0.0434782608696-0.1272727272730.2427.3M
CHKCOHIBA MINERALSlithium0.166666666667-0.2222222222220.0073.9M
CLLCOLLERINA COBALTcobalt0.120.3084112149530.1479.4M
CRLCOMET RESOURCESgraphite0.0625-0.5750.0346.6M
CNJCONICOcobalt0-0.5217391304350.0228.1M
CZNCORAZON MINING Lcobalt-0.142857142857-0.7142857142860.0067.6M
CXOCORE EXPLORATIONlithium0.125-0.250.05433.6M
CGMCOUGAR METALS NLlithium0-0.80.0032.9M
CZRCOZIRON RESOURCEvanadium-0.230769230769-0.68750.0123.2M
CGNCRATER GOLD MINIgraphite-0.03846153846150.9230769230770.0258.4M
CASCRUSADER RESOURClithium0-0.780219780220.0210.0M
CULCULLEN REScobalt0.105263157895-0.3636363636360.0212.6M
DHRDARK HORSE RESOUlithium0.2-0.3333333333330.00610.9M
DTMDART MINING NLlithium-0.125-0.2222222222220.0076.0M
DEGDE GREY MININGlithium-0.037037037037-0.6388888888890.1349.6M
DEVDEVEX RESOURCESlithium0.333333333333-0.60.0044.4M
DGRDGR GLOBALlithium0.03333333333330.550.15582.8M
E25ELEMENT 25manganese-0.0526315789474-0.4285714285710.1815.0M
EMEENERGY METALSvanadium0.11111111111100.1531.5M
ENTENTERPRISE METALlithium0.0714285714286-0.4642857142860.0155.8M
ESRESTRELLA RESOURClithium0.0952380952381-0.2068965517240.02310.8M
EUCEUROPEAN COBALTcobalt0.093023255814-0.8350877192980.04736.6M
EUREUROPEAN LITHIUMlithium01.037037037040.1163.0M
EMHEUROPEAN METALSlithium-0.047619047619-0.4736842105260.460.1M
FELFEcobalt0.214285714286-0.3461538461540.0176.3M
FCCFIRST COBALT-CDIcobalt0.33333333333300.2895.0M
FGRFIRST GRAPHENE Lgraphite00.6161616161620.1666.6M
4CEFORCE COMMODITIElithium0.190476190476-0.5967741935480.02510.6M
GLNGALAN LITHIUMlithium-0.08474576271192.802816901410.2725.4M
GXYGALAXY RESOURCESlithium0.0717054263566-0.2818181818182.7651.1B
GBEGLOBE METALS ANDgraphite0-0.1250.0146.5M
GMEGME RESOURCESlithium-0.147727272727-0.5689655172410.07536.2M
GEDGOLDEN DEEPSvanadium-0.03921568627450.1395348837210.0498.4M
GPXGRAPHEX MINING Lgraphite-0.0625-0.1818181818180.22517.7M
GPPGREENPOWER ENERGlithium0-0.8095238095240.0046.3M
GWRGWR GROUPlithium-0.1935483870970.3888888888890.12532.8M
HMXHAMMER METALScobalt-0.0967741935484-0.2631578947370.0287.8M
HNRHANNANSlithium0-0.476190476190.01119.8M
HAVHAVILAH RESOURCEcobalt0.027027027027-0.1739130434780.1942.6M
HWKHAWKSTONE MININGlithium0.086956521739100.02513.7M
HXGHEXAGON RESOURCEgraphite0.0333333333333-0.1621621621620.15545.2M
HGMHIGH GRADE METALcobalt-0.12-0.31250.02212.7M
HIGHIGHLANDS PACcobalt0.0500.105120.2M
IDAINDIANA RESOURCEgraphite-0.0526315789474-0.3493975903610.0545.2M
INFINFINITY LITHIUMlithium0.293103448276-0.6250.07513.5M
IRCINTERMIN RESvanadium00.1481481481480.15537.7M
IECINTRA ENERGY CORlithium00.7142857142860.0124.7M
JRVJERVOIS MININGcobalt-0.2-0.689320388350.1639.1M
JMSJUPITER MINESmanganese0.048387096774200.325646.5M
KAIKAIROS MINERALSlithium0-0.7636363636360.02621.3M
KLHKALIAlithium-0.2-0.7142857142860.00412.6M
KNLKIBARAN RESOURCEgraphite-0.09375-0.093750.14542.7M
KDRKIDMAN RESOURCESlithium0.0601503759398-0.118751.41559.4M
KRCKING RIVER COPPEvanadium0.3235294117652.461538461540.04554.5M
KSNKINGSTON RESOURClithium0.150.09523809523810.02329.4M
KORKORAB RESOURCESlithium-0.107142857143-0.1666666666670.0258.0M
KTAKRAKATOA RESOURClithium-0.0740740740741-0.3902439024390.0253.2M
LKELAKE RESOURCESlithium-0.0666666666667-0.6080.09835.3M
LRSLATIN RESOURCESlithium0.25-0.3750.00512.8M
LCDLATITUDE CONSOLIlithium-0.0555555555556-0.4333333333330.0174.7M
LPDLEPIDICOlithium0.0588235294118-0.60.01857.1M
LMLLINCOLN MINERALSgraphite0-0.80.0084.6M
LTRLIONTOWN RESOURClithium0.190476190476-0.03846153846150.02524.7M
LITLITHIUM AUSTRALIlithium0-0.6120.09745.0M
LI3LITHIUM CONSOLIDlithium0-0.60.098.1M
LPILITHIUM POWER INlithium0.0740740740741-0.5538461538460.2976.1M
MNSMAGNIS ENERGY TEgraphite0.2-0.3271028037380.36198.6M
MZNMARINDI METALS Llithium0-0.7727272727270.00511.9M
MQRMARQUEE RESOURCElithium-0.122222222222-0.6840.0793.4M
MZZMATADOR MININGlithium-0.1-0.03571428571430.2715.9M
MXRMAXIMUS RESOURCElithium0-0.50.0013.5M
MCTMETALICITYlithium-0.0588235294118-0.5675675675680.01610.1M
MLMMETALLICA MINRALcobalt0.366666666667-0.1632653061220.04112.9M
MLSMETALS AUSTRALIAlithium0-0.50.0038.2M
MTCMETALSTECHlithium-0.233333333333-0.8491803278690.0465.1M
MEIMETEORIC RESOURCcobalt0-0.8082191780820.0148.0M
MINMINERAL RESOURCElithium-0.0368932038835-0.18865866957514.882.9B
MRRMINREX RESOURCEScobalt0.0869565217391-0.8333333333330.0252.3M
MTHMITHRIL RESOURCElithium0-0.7666666666670.0071.4M
MOXMONAX MININGlithium0.5-0.6666666666670.0031.8M
MTBMOUNT BURGESSvanadium0-0.4444444444440.0052.2M
NMTNEOMETALSlithium0-0.480.26138.7M
NWCNEW WORLD COBALTcobalt0.0285714285714-0.7428571428570.03618.6M
N27NORTHERN COBALTlithium0.222222222222-0.7708333333330.115.3M
NVANOVA MINERALSlithium0.250.6666666666670.02518.7M
NZCNZURI COPPERcobalt-0.02040816326530.1707317073170.2472.5M
OAROAKDALERESOURCESlithium0-0.5813953488370.0181.2M
OKROKAPI RESOURCEScobalt-0.05-0.5421686746990.196.5M
OMHOM HLDGSmanganese0.1192307692312.129032258061.4551.0B
ORNORION MINERALS Llithium-0.0740740740741-0.1379310344830.02548.7M
OREOROCOBRElithium0.0835322195704-0.2273655547994.541.1B
PMYPACIFICO MINERALmanganese0.400.0079.5M
PANPANORAMIC RESOURcobalt-0.0425531914894-0.06250.45232.4M
PSMPENINSULA MINESlithium0.2-0.70.0065.1M
PNNPEPINNINI LITHIUlithium-0.166666666667-0.90.0053.4M
PLLPIEDMONT LITHIUMlithium-0.0384615384615-0.4186046511630.12569.9M
PLSPILBARA MINERALSlithium-0.00581395348837-0.1492537313430.8551.5B
PIOPIONEER RESOURCElithium-0.0555555555556-0.6136363636360.01725.6M
PGMPLATINA RESOURCEcobalt0.103448275862-0.7276595744680.06416.4M
POSPOSEIDON NICKELlithium-0.0204081632653-0.05882352941180.048129.5M
PSCPROSPECT RESOURClithium-0.0357142857143-0.4705882352940.02753.6M
POWPROTEAN ENERGY Lvanadium0.0434782608696-0.2258064516130.0247.1M
PM1PURE MINERALSlithium. Manganese0.153846153846-0.4444444444440.0154.7M
PURPURSUIT MINERALSvanadium-0.121951219512-0.7517241379310.0364.9M
RMXRED MOUNTAIN MINcobalt0-0.6666666666670.0074.7M
RDSREDSTONE RESOURCvanadium-0.05882352941180.2307692307690.0167.4M
RLCREEDY LAGOONlithium0-0.8833333333330.0072.8M
RNURENASCOR RESOURCgraphite0-0.4571428571430.01917.3M
RIERIEDEL RESOURCEScobalt0-0.6470588235290.0312.5M
RIORIO TINTOlithium0.05359193568970.11959322033982.57122.5B
RTRRUMBLE RESOURCESvanadium0-0.4117647058820.0516.1M
SBRSABRE RESvanadium-0.1-0.10.0093.7M
SO4SALT LAKE POTASHvanadium-0.063829787234-0.1698113207550.4480.5M
SYASAYONA MININGlithium0-0.2894736842110.02748.0M
SCISILVER CITY MINElithium0-0.50.0184.4M
SI6SIX SIGMA METALSlithium0-0.5833333333330.0052.1M
S32SOUTH32manganese-0.03961748633880.0461309523813.51518.0B
SXXSOUTHERN CROSSvanadium0-0.40.0066.5M
SUHSOUTHERN HEMISPHlithium0-0.7135135135140.0534.6M
SVMSOVEREIGN METALSgraphite0.0128205128205-0.2818181818180.07921.9M
SEISPECIALITY METALlithium-0.0714285714286-0.18750.0137.2M
SPISPITFIRE MATERIAmanganese0.121212121212-0.4080.07469.6M
SGQST GEORGE MININGcobalt0.2068965517240.3461538461540.17553.7M
SRKSTRIKE RESOURCESlithium0-0.1666666666670.068.7M
SRNSUREFIRE RESOURCvanadium-0.1-0.4705882352940.0094.2M
SYRSYRAH RESOURCESgraphite0.121037463977-0.5185643564361.945666.6M
TLGTALGA RESOURCESgraphite0.0215053763441-0.1037735849060.475102.2M
TNOTANDO RESOURCESvanadium-0.1250.01941747572820.10522.3M
TARTARUGA MINERALSlithium0.0655737704918-0.2857142857140.0659.2M
TAWTAWANA RESOURCESlithium0.0377358490566-0.3037974683540.275164.8M
TMTTECHNOLOGY METALvanadium0.0784313725491.391304347830.5537.1M
THRTHOR MINING-CDIlithium-0.103448275862-0.1333333333330.02617.6M
THXTHUNDELARRAcobalt-0.0588235294118-0.2727272727270.01610.2M
TNGTNGvanadium0-0.250.12115.7M
TRTTODD RIVER RESOUlithium-0.0555555555556-0.4407894736840.0857.7M
TKLTRAKA RESOURCESlithium0.03125-0.3773584905660.03310.9M
TKMTREK METALSlithium0.3-0.6388888888890.0133.4M
TONTRITON MINERALSgraphite0-0.3888888888890.04439.9M
VMSVENTURE MINERALSlithium0.0454545454545-0.2068965517240.02313.0M
VXRVENTUREX RESOURClithium-0.152173913043-0.50.19549.2M
VMCVENUS METALS CORlithium-0.1142857142860.3478260869570.15513.5M
VMLVITAL METALScobalt00.1666666666670.00712.2M
VRCVOLT RESOURCES Lgraphite0.21052631578900.02332.0M
WKTWALKABOUT RESOURlithium-0.040.06666666666670.09629.2M
WCNWHITE CLIFF MINEcobalt0-0.9096385542170.0151.3M
WMLWOOMERA MINING Llithium-0.13402061855700.08410.1M
ZNCZENITH MINERALSlithium-0.047619047619-0.3846153846150.0816.8M
ZEUZEUS RESOURCES Llithium00.08333333333330.0132.3M