High Voltage: here’s all the latest news driving battery metals stocks
Mining & Resources
Each week High Voltage tracks a list of ASX 200 battery metals stocks 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 table showing the recent performance of 200 ASX battery metal stocks
Vanadium prices smashed through the magical $20/kg mark last week – and just kept going up – while both graphite and manganese pricing remained strong.
There are more signs that lithium prices are stabilising, but despite solid long-term fundamentals cobalt had another shocker – falling to $US54,500/t by Wednesday’s close.
Just 33 per cent of the battery metals-exposed small caps on our list made gains this week – about 22 per cent saw no change, and 44 per cent suffered losses.
Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX) was one of the week’s big winners, increasing 28 per cent to 16c after identifying significant 1km long copper, gold and cobalt targets at its Little Gem project in Canada.
“Along with the recent Erebor cobalt-gold discovery nearby, the Little Gem project is shaping up to be a world class Cobalt district,” Blackstone said.
Canadian explorer Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN) has kicked off its first week as a publicly listed company, trading at a 23 per cent premium to its initial public offering price.
It traded as high as 32c in the first hour of trade. About 333,000 shares changed hands in nine trades worth $96,162 just before midday Tuesday.
The share price of fellow manganese hopeful Element 25 (ASX:E25) increased by 15 per cent to 18.5c this week.
Element is putting the feelers out for investors, as it looks to develop Australia’s largest onshore manganese deposit in WA – a high purity project which it says is well placed to supply both traditional and battery markets.
Tesla’s landmark $91 million lithium ion grid battery in South Australia made its French operator Neoen about $13 million in revenue across the first half of 2018, the French energy giant has confirmed.
This first half revenue from the Hornsdale Power Reserve included $2.24m under the power purchase agreement with the South Australian government, a Neoen spokesperson told Stockhead via email.
But the largest revenues — $10.75m for the half – were related to the sale of services to the grid, showing how useful grid storage can be to the national electricity market.
Now for behind the meter storage — as much as half of Australia’s energy will come from private rooftop solar by 2050, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
That could open an opportunity for a virtual power plants (VPP) , networks of buildings – in this case private homes — with rooftop solar and storage that are connected and managed via a software platform.
It’s early days for the concept — right now the aim is to demonstrate VPPs can make money, Tesla energy director Mark Twidell told the All Energy conference in Melbourne on Wednesday.
A 250 megawatt VPP has been operating in South Australia since January — connected to 100 Tesla batteries installed in public housing. It is designed to scale up to 50,000 homes by 2022.
High Purity Alumina (HPA) stocks aren’t on our list yet — but that may change soon, with the HPA price now well above the $US20-$US30/kg long-term prices ASX-listed companies are plugging in to the financial modelling of their new projects.
And yet the four main HPA stocks on the ASX – Altech (ASX:ATC), Hill End (ASX:HEG), Collerina (ASX:CLL) and FYI Resources (ASX:FYI) – are trading lower than they were six month ago, despite the ongoing strength of the HPA market.
Nickel is also not included on our list — yet — but demand for next generation high nickel, low cobalt NCM batteries for electric vehicles could significantly increase demand – and the supply could struggle to keep up.
Nickel prices have plummeted more than 20 per cent in four months, taking ASX nickel stocks with them — but experts expect a turn-around in 2019.
Wood Mackenzie also see a modest rise in price next year to about $US14,500/t, and then going forward, prices increasing further as EV demand takes hold.
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