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

Fears of lithium oversupply continue to fade despite rating service Moody’s heading for that familiar well again in its latest note.

This is partially because supply ramp-up is seeing its share of issues, Benchmark Minerals Intelligence boss Simon Moores recently told Stockhead.

“Clearly, the Atacama [Chilean lithium brine operations] scaling is proving problematic, which adds to the view that major oversupply in lithium has not, and will not, come to fruition anytime soon,” he says.

Australia is bringing more spodumene lithium supply online next year, but this supply is being locked up by the big two Chinese producers, “leaving questions over how other lithium chemical producers will get reliable, reasonably priced feedstock”.

“These are only two [parts] of an increasingly complex lithium supply picture – a sign of a rapidly scaling supply chain,” Mr Moores says.

“All these issues for lithium supply have reared their head in 2018. Expect more of the same in 2019.”

The large electric vehicle (EV) battery factory count just keeps growing (more than 60 megafactories in the pipeline by 2028, according to the latest from Benchmark Minerals).

The latest big one is Korean company SK Innovation – supplier to big carmakers like Daimler and Hyundai – which is building its first US battery factory at a cost of more than $2.3 billion. Construction starts next year.

Innovation is also happening at breakneck speeds.

German chemical giant BASF has discovered that by upping the amount of manganese and using much less nickel and cobalt it can slash the cost of an EV battery by way more than half.

BASF is developing a battery chemistry that comprises 70 per cent manganese, 20 per cent nickel and less than 5 per cent cobalt.

Marco Romero, the chief of Canadian explorer Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN), told Stockhead that the development has “incredible implications”.

“The battery industry has been desperately trying to find a way to engineer cobalt out of these batteries,” he said.

“So to be able to replace the cobalt with manganese all of a sudden changes the game potentially for the entire electric vehicle industry globally.

“They’re now talking about taking the cost per kilowatt hour of batteries down to $US40 ($55.26). Until recently the industry was hoping to get to $US100 — down from where it is right now which is closer to $US200.”

According to Mr Romero, this particular chemistry make-up means electric vehicles would be just as competitive as petrol-powered cars.

Until now the push by battery makers was for a chemistry make-up of 80 per cent nickel, 10 per cent manganese and 10 per cent cobalt, shifting from the current combination of 60 per cent nickel, 20 per cent manganese and 20 per cent cobalt.

But now it looks as if manganese is the key to much cheaper batteries and a substantial reduction in cobalt, which faces supply constraints and ethical issues over how it is mined.

About 90 per cent of manganese goes into steel-making, but it’s increasingly used in next-generation battery and power storage applications.

SMALL CAP SPOTLIGHT

Of the ~200 battery metals stocks on our list, about 72 lost ground, 69 were ahead and 45 were steady.

Major small cap winners included Cohiba Minerals (ASX:CHK) up 260 per cent, Black Rock Mining (ASX:BKT) up 20 per cent, and First Graphene (ASX:FGR) up 19 per cent.

Advanced explorer Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) had a stronger week — up 31 per cent to 3.8c — after unveiling a bigger resource at its flagship Gabanintha vanadium project.

The revised estimate includes a high-grade zone which increased 3.3 per cent to 96.7 million tonnes at 1 per cent V2O5.

The 19-hole drilling campaign also helped fine tune the mine plan to be unveiled in the upcoming pre-feasibility study (PFS), Australian Vanadium managing director Vince Algar said.

“By incorporating these new results into our PFS, we are better able to attract the attention of key vanadium investors and market participants,” he said.

Preparation of the final PFS document is currently underway with final reports to be handed to the board in December.

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

TickerShort NameOne Week Price ChangeOne Year Price ChangePrice December 23Market Cap
CHK COHIBA MINERALS2.60.640.01810.6M
ORN ORION MINERALS 0.45-0.030.02952.5M
ARE ARGONAUT RESOURCES0.39-0.070.02540.4M
AOU AUROCH MINERALS0.33-0.590.087.9M
KLH KALIA 0.33-0.760.00410.1M
AVL AUSTRALIAN VANADIUM0.311.240.03857.9M
GBE GLOBE METALS AND MINING0.29-0.050.0188.4M
JRV JERVOIS MINING0.21-0.620.2343.5M
SI6 SIX SIGMA METALS0.2-0.60.0062.3M
PNN PEPINNINI LITHIUM0.2-0.840.0064.1M
MZN MARINDI METALS 0.2-0.570.00611.9M
MTH MITHRIL RESOURCES0.2-0.80.0061.6M
AZI ALTA ZINC 0.2-0.570.0066.8M
ADV ARDIDEN 0.2-0.630.00610.1M
BKT BLACK ROCK MINING0.2-0.260.04222.0M
FGR FIRST GRAPHENE 0.190.230.18574.7M
HNR HANNANS 0.18-0.130.01321.9M
ENT ENTERPRISE METALS0.18-0.280.0133.8M
SCI SILVER CITY MINE0.17-0.550.0143.4M
OKR OKAPI RESOURCES0.16-0.560.2157.4M
TAW TAWANA RESOURCES0.15-0.140.315173.4M
SRN SUREFIRE RESOURCES0.14-0.530.0083.1M
LTR LIONTOWN RESOURCES0.13-0.040.02628.3M
KTA KRAKATOA RESOURCES0.13-0.470.0273.2M
EUC EUROPEAN COBALT0.13-0.810.04532.0M
ORE OROCOBRE 0.11-0.274.561.1B
GED GOLDEN DEEPS 0.11-0.180.0427.0M
CRL COMET RESOURCES0.09-0.640.0356.2M
EUR EUROPEAN LITHIUM0.09-0.330.1265.7M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS0.09-0.730.425309.7M
SEI SPECIALITY METAL0.08-0.130.0137.2M
MIN MINERAL RESOURCES0.08-0.215.642.9B
GLN GALAN LITHIUM0.082.860.2724.4M
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES0.08-0.282.781.1B
KOR KORAB RESOURCES0.080.080.0288.3M
TLG TALGA RESOURCES0.07-0.290.43598.0M
S32 SOUTH32 0.070.023.3215.8B
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES0.07-0.561.805560.1M
PIO PIONEER RESOURCES0.07-0.450.01624.1M
KDR KIDMAN RESOURCES0.06-0.151.35535.4M
VMC VENUS METALS 0.060.260.1712.6M
OAR OAKDALE RESOURCES0.06-0.590.017974.7k
MLM METALLICA MINERALS0.06-0.310.03510.6M
ANW AUS TIN MINING 0.060.640.01835.6M
RNU RENASCOR RESOURCES0.06-0.420.01919.6M
E25 ELEMENT 25 0.06-0.280.1917.2M
TNO TANDO RESOURCES0.050.750.1121.3M
TNG TNG 0.05-0.190.11100.9M
NVA NOVA MINERALS 0.05-0.370.02216.3M
COB COBALT BLUE HOLDINGS0.05-0.40.22525.6M
VMS VENTURE MINERALS0.05-0.570.02312.0M
LKE LAKE RESOURCES0.05-0.390.11541.9M
SYA SAYONA MINING0.04-0.540.02437.7M
SVM SOVEREIGN METALS0.04-0.380.07420.5M
KAI KAIROS MINERALS0.04-0.590.02521.3M
DEG DE GREY MINING0.04-0.310.12553.6M
PAN PANORAMIC RESOURCES0.04-0.060.39174.3M
SRK STRIKE RESOURCES0.04-0.120.0578.0M
CXO CORE LITHIUM 0.03-0.330.0638.0M
PGM PLATINA RESOURCES0.03-0.640.06316.1M
SGQ ST GEORGE MINING0.03-0.570.16550.7M
LIT LITHIUM AUSTRALIA0.03-0.470.145.9M
PLS PILBARA MINERALS0.03-0.20.841.5B
BAR BARRA RESOURCES0.03-0.340.03518.3M
TON TRITON MINERALS0.02-0.460.04238.0M
BEM BLACKEARTH MINERALS0.020.0875.5M
NZC NZURI COPPER 0.020.080.2779.9M
OMH OM HOLDINGS 0.021.261.41.0B
RIO RIO TINTO 0.010.0674.99107.0B
ZNC ZENITH MINERALS0-0.380.07515.7M
ZEU ZEUS RESOURCES0-0.070.0132.3M
WCN WHITE CLIFF MINERALS0-0.920.0132.8M
VRC VOLT RESOURCES 0-0.170.0230.6M
VML VITAL METALS 0-0.130.00712.2M
TMT TECHNOLOGY METALS00.930.42528.7M
TKM TREK METALS 0-0.680.013.1M
SUH SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE0-0.730.043.5M
SO4 SALT LAKE POTASH0-0.150.4589.9M
SBR SABRE RESOURCES 0-0.220.0072.8M
RMX RED MOUNTAIN MINING0-0.610.0074.7M
RLC REEDY LAGOON 0-0.760.0083.2M
PSC PROSPECT RESOURCES0-0.520.02553.2M
NWC NEW WORLD COBALT0-0.770.02513.3M
MTB MOUNT BURGESS0-0.380.0052.2M
MQR MARQUEE RESOURCES0-0.690.0773.3M
MNS MAGNIS ENERGY 0-0.30.315189.5M
MLS METALS AUSTRALIA0-0.50.0037.0M
LRS LATIN RESOURCES0-0.640.00410.0M
LPI LITHIUM POWER 0-0.490.26569.6M
LPD LEPIDICO 0-0.750.01753.7M
LML LINCOLN MINERALS0-0.820.0063.4M
LCD LATITUDE CONSOLIDATED0-0.180.0185.0M
KNL KIBARAN RESOURCES0-0.190.1334.5M
IRC INTERMIN RESOURCES 0-0.060.14535.3M
HXG HEXAGON RESOURCES00.040.14542.3M
GPP GREENPOWER ENERGY0-0.80.0046.3M
GME GME RESOURCES 0-0.490.07636.6M
FEL FE 0-0.50.0145.2M
EME ENERGY METALS 00.040.121.0M
DTM DART MINING 000.0076.0M
CZR COZIRON RESOURCES0-0.50.01121.4M
CGM COUGAR METALS 0-0.750.0032.9M
CAD CAENEUS MINERALS0-0.670.00114.1M
BYH BRYAH RESOURCES0-0.480.0985.5M
BMT BERKUT MINERALS0-0.70.0794.2M
BGS BIRIMIAN 0-0.580.246.7M
BDI BLINA MINERALS 0-0.50.0014.4M
AYR ALLOY RESOURCES000.0046.3M
AUR AURIS MINERALS 0-0.270.04418.0M
ARU ARAFURA RESOURCES0-0.390.06237.8M
ARM AURORA MINERALS0-0.480.0212.5M
AML AEON METALS 0-0.020.275152.7M
AEE AURA ENERGY 0-0.140.01920.4M
ADN ANDROMEDA METALS000.0076.5M
WKT WALKABOUT RESOURCES-0.01-0.450.09128.0M
CZI CASSINI RESOURCES-0.010.20.0932.8M
AVZ AVZ MINERALS -0.01-0.650.081149.2M
ASN ANSON RESOURCES-0.01-0.190.07738.1M
JMS JUPITER MINES -0.020.285558.3M
BAU BAUXITE RESOURCES-0.02-0.310.05612.0M
TAR TARUGA MINERALS-0.02-0.590.0557.8M
FCC FIRST COBALT-0.02-0.820.25584.8M
NMT NEOMETALS -0.02-0.50.23127.8M
AUZ AUSTRALIAN MINES-0.02-0.540.042109.7M
HAV HAVILAH RESOURCES-0.03-0.10.1840.4M
ARL ARDEA RESOURCES-0.03-0.620.6164.6M
CMC CHINA MAGNESIUM-0.030.250.0310.3M
PUR PURSUIT MINERALS-0.03-0.790.0294.1M
DGR DGR GLOBAL -0.030.450.14585.8M
BUX BUXTON RESOURCES-0.030.170.1416.2M
IDA INDIANA RESOURCES-0.04-0.290.0545.2M
MZZ MATADOR MINING-0.04-0.110.2514.0M
PLL PIEDMONT LITHIUM-0.04-0.330.1269.9M
CLL COLLERINA COBALT-0.04-0.240.1162.4M
POS POSEIDON NICKEL-0.0400.043111.0M
HWK HAWKSTONE MINING-0.05-0.420.02112.5M
GWR GWR GROUP -0.050.170.10529.0M
AJM ALTURA MINING -0.05-0.510.2364.1M
KSN KINGSTON RESOURCES-0.05-0.140.01923.2M
CGN CRATER GOLD MINING-0.05-0.050.0195.3M
CFE CAPE LAMBERT RESOURCES-0.05-0.30.01918.2M
HIG HIGHLANDS PAC-0.05-0.020.092100.5M
VXR VENTUREX RESOURCES-0.05-0.220.17542.0M
TRT TODD RIVER RESOURCES-0.06-0.380.08513.2M
RTR RUMBLE RESOURCES-0.06-0.190.0517.9M
RDS REDSTONE RESOURCES-0.060.230.0167.4M
AMD ARROW MINERALS -0.07-0.750.0134.4M
AGY ARGOSY MINERALS-0.07-0.160.19161.6M
BAT BATTERY MINERALS-0.08-0.590.02426.7M
BSX BLACKSTONE MINERALS-0.08-0.780.1213.5M
TKL TRAKA RESOURCES-0.08-0.570.0237.6M
CUL CULLEN RESOURCES -0.09-0.50.0212.7M
WML WOOMERA MINING -0.090.0829.0M
AXE ARCHER EXPLORATION-0.09-0.350.07114.5M
POW PROTEAN ENERGY -0.09-0.20.026.4M
ESR ESTRELLA RESOURCES-0.09-0.290.029.3M
CNJ CONICO -0.09-0.560.027.7M
CDT CASTLE MINERALS-0.09-0.710.012.2M
MCT METALICITY -0.1-0.540.01912.0M
CAZ CAZALY RESOURCES-0.1-0.640.0194.4M
EMH EUROPEAN METALS-0.1-0.540.32546.0M
KRC KING RIVER COPPER-0.120.03642.1M
MTC METALSTECH -0.1-0.880.0354.0M
CLA CELSIUS RESOURCES-0.11-0.620.05138.5M
MEI METEORIC RESOURCES-0.12-0.820.0158.6M
BSM BASS METALS -0.12-0.120.01543.2M
HMX HAMMER METALS -0.12-0.410.0226.4M
THX THUNDELARRA -0.13-0.60.0148.9M
BPL BROKEN HILL PROSPECTING-0.13-0.40.0345.2M
MRR MINREX RESOURCES-0.13-0.870.021.9M
PM1 PURE MINERALS-0.13-0.460.0134.4M
CZN CORAZON MINING-0.14-0.680.0066.3M
INF INFINITY LITHIUM-0.15-0.640.07616.1M
SXX SOUTHERN CROSS-0.17-0.440.0055.4M
RIE RIEDEL RESOURCES-0.17-0.820.0156.3M
PSM PENINSULA MINES-0.17-0.750.0054.3M
PMY PACIFICO MINERALS-0.17-0.170.0058.1M
DHR DARK HORSE RESOURCES-0.17-0.740.0059.9M
4CE FORCE COMMODITIES-0.17-0.630.0198.5M
N27 NORTHERN COBALT-0.18-0.890.073.8M
GPX GRAPHEX MINING-0.18-0.340.217.3M
CCZ CASTILLO COPPER-0.22-0.630.02112.2M
BOA BOADICEA RESOURCES-0.26-0.070.136.9M
CHN CHALICE GOLD -0.26-0.380.11533.3M
LI3 LITHIUM CONSOLIDATED-0.26-0.640.066.3M
IEC INTRA ENERGY -0.270.570.0114.3M
HGM HIGH GRADE METAL-0.28-0.720.0136.3M
THR THOR MINING-0.31-0.390.02517.6M