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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 >>


High prices may hamper the EV boom
HSBC says delayed or cancelled mining projects – alongside “robust” battery demand – means lithium and cobalt supply will remain “reasonably tight”, according to Bloomberg.

This will lead to higher lithium and cobalt prices, which will slow electricity vehicle (EV) uptake over the next few years, according to analysts.

HSBC now says 776,000 tonnes per year of lithium will be required by 2025 — a 88 per cent increase from its last estimate more than a year ago.

HSBC revised down its market share projections for full EVs to 9.4 per cent, compared with an earlier estimate of 10.5 per cent by 2025.

It also went against the grain by doubling its forecast for plug-in hybrid EVs (or PHEVs) from 2.4 per cent to 5.5 per cent of the market by 2025.

A PHEV is a type of hybrid electric vehicle that combines a gasoline or diesel engine with an electric motor and battery.

“High lithium and cobalt prices – but also limited supply and lower demand for pure EVs -– now favour more plug-in hybrids in the short to medium term vs. our previous expectation,” HSBC analysts say.

But other analysts reckon the decline of PHEV vehicles has already started.

Non-DRC cobalt projects just got more attractive

It’s official – the Congo is raising royalties on cobalt.

The Democratic Republic of Congo – which controls about 60 per cent of global supply — has labelled cobalt a “strategic” metal and slapped a 10 per cent royalty on it.

That is almost triple the 3.5 per cent previously levied on the battery metal.

(As a point of reference; in Australia cobalt royalties are somewhere between 2.5 per cent and 5 per cent across the various states.)

The royalty hike represents a bit of a double-edged sword for battery metals stocks.

On one hand, it’s a crappy turn of events for ASX-listed juniors like Nzuri Copper (ASX:NZC) which is trying to bring a copper and cobalt mine called “Kalongwe” into production in the Congo.

On the other hand, junior stocks with cobalt projects in more stable jurisdictions (like Australia) are looking a lot more attractive to investors and off-take partners right about now.

The Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia.
The Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia.

Hornsdale is a Rockstar

For stationary storage, that decisive moment when cost and performance reach parity with established alternatives is arguably here.

Stationary storage systems are big batteries often designed to store excess power from the power grid, including from renewable sources, for use during expensive peak demand periods.

It also includes residential and industrial ‘behind the meter’ systems.

Analysts and industry insiders are constantly revising their stationary storage projections upwards as the industry accelerates.

In 2016, for example, BNEF expected 25GW of installed storage by 2028, and for the market to be worth $US250 billion by 2040.

BNEF now reckons the global energy storage market will grow to a cumulative 942GW by 2040, worth about $US620 billion in investment over the next 22 years.

The main driver for the bullishness? Faster-than-expected falls in storage system costs.

In December, it was revealed that the misunderstood and much maligned 129MWh Hornsdale power reserve in South Australia, better known as ‘Tesla’s big battery’, had already saved $40 million in wholesale market costs after just one year in operation.

The world’s largest lithium-ion battery energy storage system was built at a cost of about $90 million and is owned and operated by French company Neoen.

The positive impact of the battery’s services have already been recognised by the Australian Energy Market Operator(AEMO), which stated that frequency and ancillary services (FCAS) provided by Hornsdale were more “rapid and precise, compared to the service typically provided by a conventional synchronous (usually gas) generation unit”.

FCAS is a group of services that help stabilise the grid.

If the frequency falls or rises outside a certain range, blackouts will happen such as the one South Australia experienced in September 2016.

Franck Woitiez, Managing Director Neoen Australia, said the success of Hornsdale had strengthened the commercial case for new battery projects in Australia.

“Hornsdale Power Reserve is an example of the projects that will underpin a modern energy system in Australia and Neoen is excited to continue leading this sector.”

Incredibly, batteries for stationary storage will make up just 7 per cent of total demand by 2040, with EVs taking dominant market share.

Global battery storage uptake over time. source: CNESA
Global battery storage uptake over time. source: CNESA



It’s been a rough week — of the ~200 battery metals stocks on our list, about 104 lost ground, 27 were ahead and 57 were steady.

Major small cap winners included Celsius Resources (ASX:CLA) up 16 per cent, Vital Metals (ASX:BKT) up 14 per cent, and European Metals (ASX:EMH) up 11 per cent.

There was also some great news for lithium-focused Kidman Resources (ASX:KDR) today.

Objections to Kidman’s application for exemption from minimum spending requirements on its Mt Holland tenements have been withdrawn, and forfeiture applications at Mt Holland will be dismissed.

This settlement provides certainty for Kidman and its joint venture partner SQM, and will enable them to progress the integrated project development at Mt Holland “unimpeded”, the company says.

“This settlement resolves this matter completely,” Kidman managing director Martin Donohoe said.

“With the settlement concluded, funding secured through to final investment decision and our recent lithium hydroxide offtake agreements with Tesla, Inc. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd, we will be able to wholly focus on progressing the development of the Mt Holland lithium project.”

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

TickerNameWeekly Price Change12 Month Price ChangeCurrent price (Monday intraday)Market Cap
FEL FE 0.214285714286-0.3928571428570.0176.3M
LML LINCOLN MINERALS0.166666666667-0.781250.0074.0M
CLA CELSIUS RESOURCES0.156862745098-0.5629629629630.05939.9M
VML VITAL METALS0.1428571428570.1428571428570.00813.9M
EMH EUROPEAN METALS0.107692307692-0.4857142857140.3652.8M
CAZ CAZALY RESOURCES0.105263157895-0.56250.0214.8M
CZR COZIRON RESOURCES0.0909090909091-0.4545454545450.01221.4M
BSX BLACKSTONE MINERALS0.0833333333333-0.7592592592590.1310.6M
THR THOR MINING0.08-0.2894736842110.02718.5M
WCN WHITE CLIFF MINERALS0.0769230769231-0.9156626506020.0143.2M
HGM HIGH GRADE METALS0.0769230769231-0.7021276595740.0146.3M
BOA BOADICEA RESOURCES0.0769230769231-0.1250.147.9M
THX THUNDELARRA0.0714285714286-0.6052631578950.0159.5M
SCI SILVER CITY MINERALS0.0714285714286-0.50.0153.7M
PUR PURSUIT MINERALS0.0689655172414-0.7862068965520.0314.6M
KDR KIDMAN RESOURCES0.062962962963-0.1303030303031.435535.4M
RDS REDSTONE RESOURCES0.06250.3076923076920.0177.9M
E25 ELEMENT 25 0.0526315789474-0.2307692307690.216.8M
CGN CRATER GOLD MINING0.052631578947400.025.6M
OKR OKAPI RESOURCES0.046511627907-0.4767441860470.2257.7M
CHN CHALICE GOLD MINES0.0434782608696-0.3513513513510.1232.0M
VXR VENTUREX RESOURCES0.0285714285714-0.20.1843.2M
HAV HAVILAH RESOURCES0.0277777777778-0.0750.18539.3M
ARL ARDEA RESOURCES0.0245901639344-0.6069182389940.62561.9M
SO4 SALT LAKE POTASH0.0222222222222-0.1320754716980.4694.0M
BMT BERKUT MINERALS0.0126582278481-0.6923076923080.084.3M
ZEU ZEUS RESOURCES 0-0.07142857142860.0132.3M
VRC VOLT RESOURCES 0-0.2307692307690.0230.6M
TON TRITON MINERALS0-0.4615384615380.04238.9M
SXX SOUTHERN CROSS0-0.4444444444440.0055.4M
SVM SOVEREIGN METALS0-0.3833333333330.07420.5M
SBR SABRE RES 0-0.2222222222220.0072.8M
RMX RED MOUNTAIN MINING0-0.5882352941180.0074.7M
RIE RIEDEL RESOURCES0-0.8235294117650.0156.3M
PSC PROSPECT RESOURCES0-0.5098039215690.02549.1M
POW PROTEAN ENERGY0-0.2307692307690.026.4M
PNN PEPINNINI LITHIUM0-0.8378378378380.0064.1M
PMY PACIFICO MINERALS0-0.1666666666670.0058.1M
PM1 PURE MINERALS 0-0.5185185185190.0134.1M
PIO PIONEER RESOURCES0-0.4482758620690.01622.6M
OAR OAKDALERESOURCES0-0.5853658536590.017974.7k
NZC NZURI COPPER 00.01886792452830.2779.9M
NVA NOVA MINERALS0-0.3714285714290.02217.1M
NMT NEOMETALS 0-0.4831460674160.23125.1M
MZN MARINDI METALS0-0.5714285714290.00611.9M
MRR MINREX RESOURCES0-0.8571428571430.021.9M
LI3 LITHIUM CONSOLIDATED0-0.6571428571430.065.4M
KNL KIBARAN RESOURCES0-0.1612903225810.1333.1M
KAI KAIROS MINERALS0-0.5370370370370.02520.5M
IEC INTRA ENERGY00.5714285714290.0114.3M
HMX HAMMER METALS0-0.4054054054050.0226.4M
GWR GWR GROUP 00.1666666666670.10526.6M
GBE GLOBE METALS AND MINING0-0.05263157894740.0188.4M
EUC EUROPEAN COBALT0-0.81250.04535.0M
ESR ESTRELLA RESOURCES0-0.2857142857140.029.8M
ENT ENTERPRISE METALS0-0.2777777777780.0135.0M
EME ENERGY METALS 00.04166666666670.121.0M
DHR DARK HORSE RESOURCES0-0.7368421052630.0059.9M
DEG DE GREY MINING0-0.3421052631580.12550.4M
CUL CULLEN RESOURCES 0-0.5961538461540.0212.9M
CNJ CONICO 0-0.5652173913040.027.0M
CMC CHINA MAGNESIUM00.3043478260870.0310.6M
CGM COUGAR METALS0-0.7272727272730.0032.9M
CDT CASTLE MINERALS0-0.729729729730.012.2M
CAD CAENEUS MINERALS0-0.6666666666670.00114.1M
BGS BIRIMIAN 0-0.5789473684210.246.7M
ARM AURORA MINERALS0-0.4473684210530.0212.5M
AMD ARROW MINERALS0-0.7346938775510.0134.1M
AEE AURA ENERGY 0-0.1739130434780.01920.4M
WKT WALKABOUT RESOURES-0.010989010989-0.5135135135140.0927.1M
WML WOOMERA MINING-0.012195121951200.0819.1M
AVZ AVZ MINERALS -0.0123456790123-0.6595744680850.08153.0M
GME GME RESOURCES-0.0131578947368-0.4186046511630.07536.2M
ZNC ZENITH MINERALS-0.0133333333333-0.4080.07415.7M
AXE ARCHER EXPLORATION-0.0140845070423-0.3333333333330.0713.0M
TAW TAWANA RESOURCES-0.015873015873-0.1388888888890.31179.2M
OMH OM HLDGS -0.01785714285711.21.3751.0B
TAR TARUGA MINERALS-0.0181818181818-0.5846153846150.0547.6M
IDA INDIANA RESOURCES-0.0185185185185-0.3026315789470.0535.1M
LPI LITHIUM POWER -0.0188679245283-0.4901960784310.2666.9M
COB COBALT BLUE-0.0222222222222-0.476190476190.2226.1M
POS POSEIDON NICKEL-0.023255813953500.042116.3M
BPL BROKEN HILL PROSPECTING-0.0294117647059-0.4107142857140.0334.9M
RIO RIO TINTO -0.03013735164690.021919348039972.73108.0B
GLN GALAN LITHIUM-0.0370370370372.466666666670.2626.0M
PAN PANORAMIC RESOURES-0.0384615384615-0.01055408970980.375185.4M
NWC NEW WORLD COBALT-0.04-0.760.02412.7M
PLL PIEDMONT LITHIUM-0.0416666666667-0.3611111111110.11576.6M
VMS VENTURE MINERALS-0.0434782608696-0.60.02211.5M
DEV DEVEX RESOURCES-0.0444444444444-0.6446280991740.0434.0M
MNS MAGNIS ENERGY TECH-0.047619047619-0.3478260869570.3183.3M
HWK HAWKSTONE MINING-0.047619047619-0.4285714285710.0212.0M
AUZ AUSTRALIAN MINES-0.047619047619-0.60.04115.3M
LIT LITHIUM AUSTRALIA-0.05-0.4864864864860.09544.5M
GPX GRAPHEX MINING-0.05-0.3666666666670.1915.7M
JMS JUPITER MINES-0.052631578947400.27528.9M
RNU RENASCOR RESOURCES-0.0526315789474-0.4705882352940.01820.8M
KSN KINGSTON RESOURCES-0.0526315789474-0.1428571428570.01822.0M
CFE CAPE LAMBERT RESOURCES-0.0526315789474-0.3793103448280.01819.2M
CHK COHIBA MINERALS-0.05555555555560.4166666666670.0179.5M
ANW AUS TIN MINING-0.05555555555560.4166666666670.01733.6M
CZI CASSINI RESOURCES-0.05555555555560.1805555555560.08531.1M
LPD LEPIDICO -0.0588235294118-0.7647058823530.01653.7M
FCC FIRST COBALT-0.0588235294118-0.8344827586210.2481.4M
AOU AUROCH MINERALS-0.0625-0.6250.0757.4M
BSM BASS METALS -0.0666666666667-0.1250.01438.1M
AUR AURIS MINERALS-0.0681818181818-0.3166666666670.04116.8M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS-0.0705882352941-0.7484076433120.395298.5M
TRT TODD RIVER RESOURCES-0.0705882352941-0.4233576642340.07912.7M
N27 NORTHERN COBALT-0.0714285714286-0.8934426229510.0653.3M
BUX BUXTON RESOURCES-0.071428571428600.1317.7M
KOR KORAB RESOURCES-0.07142857142860.040.0268.0M
AML AEON METALS -0.0727272727273-0.08928571428570.255146.9M
KTA KRAKATOA RESOURCES-0.0740740740741-0.5098039215690.0252.9M
AJM ALTURA MINING-0.075-0.5256410256410.185345.9M
HNR HANNANS -0.0769230769231-0.20.01225.8M
INF INFINITY LITHIUM-0.0789473684211-0.6818181818180.0712.9M
AGY ARGOSY MINERALS-0.0789473684211-0.2222222222220.175166.2M
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES-0.0791366906475-0.3263157894742.561.1B
RTR RUMBLE RESOURCES-0.08-0.192982456140.04616.4M
FGR FIRST GRAPHENE-0.08108108108110.2592592592590.1768.7M
SYA SAYONA MINING-0.0833333333333-0.5769230769230.02239.5M
BAT BATTERY MINERALS-0.0833333333333-0.6451612903230.02225.6M
MIN MINERAL RESOURCES-0.0850383631714-0.26803069053714.312.7B
SRK STRIKE RESOURCES-0.0877192982456-0.18750.0527.6M
S32 SOUTH32 -0.0903614457831-0.05919003115263.0215.7B
MQR MARQUEE RESOURCES-0.0909090909091-0.720.073.0M
PLS PILBARA MINERALS-0.0952380952381-0.262135922330.761.4B
GED GOLDEN DEEPS -0.0952380952381-0.2549019607840.0386.9M
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES-0.0997229916898-0.6026894865531.625544.6M
CXO CORE LITHIUM -0.1-0.4857142857140.05439.3M
HXG HEXAGON RESOURCES-0.103448275862-0.0370370370370.1339.4M
DGR DGR GLOBAL -0.1034482758620.30.1385.8M
ORN ORION MINERALS -0.103448275862-0.1034482758620.02648.7M
ASN ANSON RESOURCES-0.103896103896-0.2886597938140.06934.7M
JRV JERVOIS MINING-0.108695652174-0.6611570247930.20548.0M
LCD LATITUDE -0.111111111111-0.2727272727270.0164.4M
TLG TALGA RESOURCES-0.114942528736-0.3583333333330.38581.7M
LTR LIONTOWN RESOURCES-0.115384615385-0.3235294117650.02326.1M
VMC VENUS METALS -0.117647058824-0.06250.1513.9M
MZZ MATADOR MINING-0.12-0.2666666666670.2211.9M
ARE ARGONAUT RESOURCES-0.12-0.2142857142860.02234.2M
ORE OROCOBRE -0.122807017544-0.3694829760441.1B
RLC REEDY LAGOON -0.125-0.8205128205130.0072.8M
PGM PLATINA RESOURCES-0.126984126984-0.7179487179490.05515.1M
ARU ARAFURA RESOURCES-0.129032258065-0.4653465346530.05432.7M
TKL TRAKA RESOURCES-0.130434782609-0.6153846153850.027.6M
MEI METEORIC RESOURCES-0.133333333333-0.8354430379750.0138.0M
ADN ANDROMEDA METALS-0.142857142857-0.1428571428570.0067.0M
BAR BARRA RESOURCES-0.142857142857-0.4117647058820.0316.2M
CCZ CASTILLO COPPER-0.142857142857-0.6727272727270.01811.0M
TNO TANDO RESOURCES-0.1454545454550.4242424242420.09419.2M
SGQ ST GEORGE MINING-0.151515151515-0.7052631578950.1441.7M
TMT TECHNOLOGY METALS-0.1529411764710.6363636363640.3627.3M
TNG TNG -0.154545454545-0.3111111111110.09395.1M
MCT METALICITY -0.157894736842-0.6279069767440.0169.6M
AVL AUSTRALIAN VANADIUM-0.1578947368420.7777777777780.03254.4M
LKE LAKE RESOURCES-0.165217391304-0.5317073170730.09634.7M
SI6 SIX SIGMA METALS-0.166666666667-0.68750.0052.3M
MTH MITHRIL RESOURCES-0.166666666667-0.8275862068970.0051.2M
CZN CORAZON MINING-0.166666666667-0.7368421052630.0056.3M
AZI ALTA ZINC -0.166666666667-0.5833333333330.0056.8M
HIG HIGHLANDS PACIFIC-0.184782608696-0.2105263157890.07582.0M
TKM TREK METALS -0.2-0.7419354838710.0082.5M
MLM METALLICA MINERALS-0.2-0.4509803921570.0289.0M
4CE FORCE COMMODITIES-0.210526315789-0.70.0157.6M
MTC METALSTECH -0.228571428571-0.9052631578950.0273.2M
CRL COMET RESOURCES-0.228571428571-0.7244897959180.0276.9M
BKT BLACK ROCK MINING-0.238095238095-0.4482758620690.03217.2M
SRN SUREFIRE RESOURCES-0.25-0.6470588235290.0062.6M
ADV ARDIDEN -0.333333333333-0.7777777777780.0048.4M
KLH KALIA -0.5-0.8666666666670.0025.0M