High Voltage: here’s all the latest news driving battery metals stocks
Mining & Resources
Each week our new High Voltage column wraps the big news driving battery metal stocks.
We track a list of ASX 200 battery metals stocks (see below) including explorers with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium — stocks that are used in energy storage and generally driven by battery news, even if their main application is not yet battery storage.
>>>Scroll down for a list of 200 ASX battery metal stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium
Lithium hopeful Lepidico (ASX:LPD) had no news this week, but its share price jumped 37 per cent to 2.6c anyway – and got a price query from the ASX in response.
A subsequent share placement closed significantly oversubscribed, raising at least $7.9 million towards developing its L-Max® pilot plant, which will produce battery-grade lithium carbonate from non-conventional sources, including mine waste.
GME Resources also saw a 35 per cent share price bump to 11.5c on no news.
GME (ASX:GME) released a pre-feasibility study in early August for its NiWest nickel-cobalt project in Western Australia which boasted a life of mine profit of $791m.
Lithium producer Tawana Resources (ASX:TAW) jumped 22 per cent to 30.5c after securing the $40 million it needs to pursue an ASX listing with Singapore-listed merger partner Alliance Mineral Assets.
The $40 million funding package from a consortium of lenders — led by Tribeca Investment Partners — strengthens Tawana’s balance sheet and is expected to expedite the ASX listing of Alliance.
The share price of graphene player Archer Exploration rose 21 per cent to 9.7c when it announced a partnership with an unnamed leading German biotech company.
Archer (ASX:AXE) is looking to tap into the global biosensor market – which is expected to grow to $US27 billion by 2021.
Panoramic Resources had a good week, and its share price increased 13 per cent to 55c in response.
Panoramic (ASX: PAN) is on track the ship the first nickel, copper and cobalt from its Savannah mine in early March 2019 after a two-year hiatus.
The cobalt price looks like it may be stabilising after it took a steep 42 per cent dive from a record high of $US43 ($59) per pound in March – bottoming out at $US25 per pound in early August.
But things are looking up, with analysts mostly bullish on where cobalt will go from here — Wood Mackenzie sees a short-term surplus before cobalt demand looks to be expanding by around 13 kilotons a year by the early 2020s, meaning the equivalent of a major new mine is required each year
In contrast, vanadium prices are on a tear — now at their highest point since 2005, pushing through the magical $US20/lb mark on Friday last week amid ongoing supply concerns.
That’s good news for the 20-or so ASX stocks with exposure to vanadium; but the big question for investors is whether the price is sustainable.
History shows us that vanadium prices are volatile, with pattern of long periods of low prices followed by a spike, then a fall.
This time, industry can see this price being sustained at elevated levels for quite some time to come, until new supply comes into the mix.
And demand for High Purity Alumina — a critical safety material in lithium batteries — is expected to grow dramatically as battery component makers invest in new production capacity.
That’s the conclusion of HPA explorer Hill End Gold (ASX:HEG) after a series of meetings with battery makers in China and the US.
“One Chinese battery separator manufacturer was currently using three tonnes of HPA a day, which was going to increase to 45 tonnes per day – or 16,000 tonnes a year,” Hill End Gold managing director Martin McFarlane told Stockhead.
“We knew they were going up — but the size of those expansions plans really took us by surprise,” Mr McFarlane said
And talking of safe batteries – scientists think they have discovered a way to stop sodium batteries from exploding — which could lead to the replacement of lithium in some batteries.
But this isn’t expected to happen anytime soon – if at all. In terms of helping meet demand for renewable energy storage, vanadium is a far more likely solution than sodium.
Tesla’s massive lithium ion grid battery in South Australia made its French owner Neoen up to $US17 million revenue in just six months, according to a report in Electrek magazine.
The numbers are revealed in a prospectus Neoen recently filed ahead of an initial public offering and listing on the Paris stock exchange.
If accurate, the favourable economics represent a huge boost to the stationary storage market and for battery metals stocks covering lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel and vanadium.
Here’s a table of 200 ASX battery metal stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium:
Swipe or scroll for full table. Click headings to sort