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

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

 

SMALL CAP SPOTLIGHT

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

Ticker Name Weekly Price Change 12 Month Price Change Current price (Monday intraday) Market Cap
FEL FE 0.214285714286 -0.392857142857 0.017 6.3M
LML LINCOLN MINERALS 0.166666666667 -0.78125 0.007 4.0M
CLA CELSIUS RESOURCES 0.156862745098 -0.562962962963 0.059 39.9M
VML VITAL METALS 0.142857142857 0.142857142857 0.008 13.9M
SUH SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE 0.125 -0.7 0.045 4.0M
EMH EUROPEAN METALS 0.107692307692 -0.485714285714 0.36 52.8M
CAZ CAZALY RESOURCES 0.105263157895 -0.5625 0.021 4.8M
CZR COZIRON RESOURCES 0.0909090909091 -0.454545454545 0.012 21.4M
BSX BLACKSTONE MINERALS 0.0833333333333 -0.759259259259 0.13 10.6M
THR THOR MINING 0.08 -0.289473684211 0.027 18.5M
WCN WHITE CLIFF MINERALS 0.0769230769231 -0.915662650602 0.014 3.2M
HGM HIGH GRADE METALS 0.0769230769231 -0.702127659574 0.014 6.3M
BOA BOADICEA RESOURCES 0.0769230769231 -0.125 0.14 7.9M
THX THUNDELARRA 0.0714285714286 -0.605263157895 0.015 9.5M
SCI SILVER CITY MINERALS 0.0714285714286 -0.5 0.015 3.7M
PUR PURSUIT MINERALS 0.0689655172414 -0.786206896552 0.031 4.6M
KDR KIDMAN RESOURCES 0.062962962963 -0.130303030303 1.435 535.4M
RDS REDSTONE RESOURCES 0.0625 0.307692307692 0.017 7.9M
E25 ELEMENT 25 0.0526315789474 -0.230769230769 0.2 16.8M
CGN CRATER GOLD MINING 0.0526315789474 0 0.02 5.6M
OKR OKAPI RESOURCES 0.046511627907 -0.476744186047 0.225 7.7M
CHN CHALICE GOLD MINES 0.0434782608696 -0.351351351351 0.12 32.0M
VXR VENTUREX RESOURCES 0.0285714285714 -0.2 0.18 43.2M
HAV HAVILAH RESOURCES 0.0277777777778 -0.075 0.185 39.3M
ARL ARDEA RESOURCES 0.0245901639344 -0.606918238994 0.625 61.9M
SO4 SALT LAKE POTASH 0.0222222222222 -0.132075471698 0.46 94.0M
BMT BERKUT MINERALS 0.0126582278481 -0.692307692308 0.08 4.3M
ZEU ZEUS RESOURCES 0 -0.0714285714286 0.013 2.3M
VRC VOLT RESOURCES 0 -0.230769230769 0.02 30.6M
TON TRITON MINERALS 0 -0.461538461538 0.042 38.9M
SXX SOUTHERN CROSS 0 -0.444444444444 0.005 5.4M
SVM SOVEREIGN METALS 0 -0.383333333333 0.074 20.5M
SEI SPECIALITY METALS 0 -0.1875 0.013 7.2M
SBR SABRE RES 0 -0.222222222222 0.007 2.8M
RMX RED MOUNTAIN MINING 0 -0.588235294118 0.007 4.7M
RIE RIEDEL RESOURCES 0 -0.823529411765 0.015 6.3M
PSM PENINSULA MINES 0 -0.75 0.005 4.3M
PSC PROSPECT RESOURCES 0 -0.509803921569 0.025 49.1M
POW PROTEAN ENERGY 0 -0.230769230769 0.02 6.4M
PNN PEPINNINI LITHIUM 0 -0.837837837838 0.006 4.1M
PMY PACIFICO MINERALS 0 -0.166666666667 0.005 8.1M
PM1 PURE MINERALS 0 -0.518518518519 0.013 4.1M
PIO PIONEER RESOURCES 0 -0.448275862069 0.016 22.6M
OAR OAKDALERESOURCES 0 -0.585365853659 0.017 974.7k
NZC NZURI COPPER 0 0.0188679245283 0.27 79.9M
NVA NOVA MINERALS 0 -0.371428571429 0.022 17.1M
NMT NEOMETALS 0 -0.483146067416 0.23 125.1M
MZN MARINDI METALS 0 -0.571428571429 0.006 11.9M
MTB MOUNT BURGESS 0 -0.5 0.005 2.2M
MRR MINREX RESOURCES 0 -0.857142857143 0.02 1.9M
MLS METALS AUSTRALIA 0 -0.5 0.003 9.4M
LRS LATIN RESOURCES 0 -0.6 0.004 8.6M
LI3 LITHIUM CONSOLIDATED 0 -0.657142857143 0.06 5.4M
KNL KIBARAN RESOURCES 0 -0.161290322581 0.13 33.1M
KAI KAIROS MINERALS 0 -0.537037037037 0.025 20.5M
IRC INTERMIN RESOURCES 0 0 0.145 34.1M
IEC INTRA ENERGY 0 0.571428571429 0.011 4.3M
HMX HAMMER METALS 0 -0.405405405405 0.022 6.4M
GWR GWR GROUP 0 0.166666666667 0.105 26.6M
GPP GREENPOWER ENERGY 0 -0.8 0.004 6.3M
GBE GLOBE METALS AND MINING 0 -0.0526315789474 0.018 8.4M
EUR EUROPEAN LITHIUM 0 -0.52 0.12 65.8M
EUC EUROPEAN COBALT 0 -0.8125 0.045 35.0M
ESR ESTRELLA RESOURCES 0 -0.285714285714 0.02 9.8M
ENT ENTERPRISE METALS 0 -0.277777777778 0.013 5.0M
EME ENERGY METALS 0 0.0416666666667 0.1 21.0M
DTM DART MINING 0 0 0.007 6.5M
DHR DARK HORSE RESOURCES 0 -0.736842105263 0.005 9.9M
DEG DE GREY MINING 0 -0.342105263158 0.125 50.4M
CUL CULLEN RESOURCES 0 -0.596153846154 0.021 2.9M
CNJ CONICO 0 -0.565217391304 0.02 7.0M
CMC CHINA MAGNESIUM 0 0.304347826087 0.03 10.6M
CGM COUGAR METALS 0 -0.727272727273 0.003 2.9M
CDT CASTLE MINERALS 0 -0.72972972973 0.01 2.2M
CAD CAENEUS MINERALS 0 -0.666666666667 0.001 14.1M
BYH BRYAH RESOURCES 0 -0.51 0.098 6.0M
BGS BIRIMIAN 0 -0.578947368421 0.2 46.7M
BEM BLACKEARTH MINERALS 0 0 0.087 5.3M
BDI BLINA MINERALS 0 -0.5 0.001 4.4M
BAU BAUXITE RESOURCES 0 -0.3 0.056 12.0M
AYR ALLOY RESOURCES 0 0 0.004 5.5M
ARM AURORA MINERALS 0 -0.447368421053 0.021 2.5M
AMD ARROW MINERALS 0 -0.734693877551 0.013 4.1M
AEE AURA ENERGY 0 -0.173913043478 0.019 20.4M
WKT WALKABOUT RESOURES -0.010989010989 -0.513513513514 0.09 27.1M
WML WOOMERA MINING -0.0121951219512 0 0.081 9.1M
AVZ AVZ MINERALS -0.0123456790123 -0.659574468085 0.08 153.0M
GME GME RESOURCES -0.0131578947368 -0.418604651163 0.075 36.2M
ZNC ZENITH MINERALS -0.0133333333333 -0.408 0.074 15.7M
AXE ARCHER EXPLORATION -0.0140845070423 -0.333333333333 0.07 13.0M
TAW TAWANA RESOURCES -0.015873015873 -0.138888888889 0.31 179.2M
OMH OM HLDGS -0.0178571428571 1.2 1.375 1.0B
TAR TARUGA MINERALS -0.0181818181818 -0.584615384615 0.054 7.6M
IDA INDIANA RESOURCES -0.0185185185185 -0.302631578947 0.053 5.1M
LPI LITHIUM POWER -0.0188679245283 -0.490196078431 0.26 66.9M
COB COBALT BLUE -0.0222222222222 -0.47619047619 0.22 26.1M
POS POSEIDON NICKEL -0.0232558139535 0 0.042 116.3M
BPL BROKEN HILL PROSPECTING -0.0294117647059 -0.410714285714 0.033 4.9M
RIO RIO TINTO -0.0301373516469 0.0219193480399 72.73 108.0B
GLN GALAN LITHIUM -0.037037037037 2.46666666667 0.26 26.0M
PAN PANORAMIC RESOURES -0.0384615384615 -0.0105540897098 0.375 185.4M
NWC NEW WORLD COBALT -0.04 -0.76 0.024 12.7M
PLL PIEDMONT LITHIUM -0.0416666666667 -0.361111111111 0.115 76.6M
VMS VENTURE MINERALS -0.0434782608696 -0.6 0.022 11.5M
DEV DEVEX RESOURCES -0.0444444444444 -0.644628099174 0.043 4.0M
MNS MAGNIS ENERGY TECH -0.047619047619 -0.347826086957 0.3 183.3M
HWK HAWKSTONE MINING -0.047619047619 -0.428571428571 0.02 12.0M
AUZ AUSTRALIAN MINES -0.047619047619 -0.6 0.04 115.3M
LIT LITHIUM AUSTRALIA -0.05 -0.486486486486 0.095 44.5M
GPX GRAPHEX MINING -0.05 -0.366666666667 0.19 15.7M
JMS JUPITER MINES -0.0526315789474 0 0.27 528.9M
RNU RENASCOR RESOURCES -0.0526315789474 -0.470588235294 0.018 20.8M
KSN KINGSTON RESOURCES -0.0526315789474 -0.142857142857 0.018 22.0M
CFE CAPE LAMBERT RESOURCES -0.0526315789474 -0.379310344828 0.018 19.2M
CHK COHIBA MINERALS -0.0555555555556 0.416666666667 0.017 9.5M
ANW AUS TIN MINING -0.0555555555556 0.416666666667 0.017 33.6M
CZI CASSINI RESOURCES -0.0555555555556 0.180555555556 0.085 31.1M
LPD LEPIDICO -0.0588235294118 -0.764705882353 0.016 53.7M
FCC FIRST COBALT -0.0588235294118 -0.834482758621 0.24 81.4M
AOU AUROCH MINERALS -0.0625 -0.625 0.075 7.4M
BSM BASS METALS -0.0666666666667 -0.125 0.014 38.1M
AUR AURIS MINERALS -0.0681818181818 -0.316666666667 0.041 16.8M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS -0.0705882352941 -0.748407643312 0.395 298.5M
TRT TODD RIVER RESOURCES -0.0705882352941 -0.423357664234 0.079 12.7M
N27 NORTHERN COBALT -0.0714285714286 -0.893442622951 0.065 3.3M
BUX BUXTON RESOURCES -0.0714285714286 0 0.13 17.7M
KOR KORAB RESOURCES -0.0714285714286 0.04 0.026 8.0M
AML AEON METALS -0.0727272727273 -0.0892857142857 0.255 146.9M
KTA KRAKATOA RESOURCES -0.0740740740741 -0.509803921569 0.025 2.9M
AJM ALTURA MINING -0.075 -0.525641025641 0.185 345.9M
HNR HANNANS -0.0769230769231 -0.2 0.012 25.8M
INF INFINITY LITHIUM -0.0789473684211 -0.681818181818 0.07 12.9M
AGY ARGOSY MINERALS -0.0789473684211 -0.222222222222 0.175 166.2M
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES -0.0791366906475 -0.326315789474 2.56 1.1B
RTR RUMBLE RESOURCES -0.08 -0.19298245614 0.046 16.4M
FGR FIRST GRAPHENE -0.0810810810811 0.259259259259 0.17 68.7M
SYA SAYONA MINING -0.0833333333333 -0.576923076923 0.022 39.5M
BAT BATTERY MINERALS -0.0833333333333 -0.645161290323 0.022 25.6M
MIN MINERAL RESOURCES -0.0850383631714 -0.268030690537 14.31 2.7B
SRK STRIKE RESOURCES -0.0877192982456 -0.1875 0.052 7.6M
S32 SOUTH32 -0.0903614457831 -0.0591900311526 3.02 15.7B
MQR MARQUEE RESOURCES -0.0909090909091 -0.72 0.07 3.0M
PLS PILBARA MINERALS -0.0952380952381 -0.26213592233 0.76 1.4B
GED GOLDEN DEEPS -0.0952380952381 -0.254901960784 0.038 6.9M
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES -0.0997229916898 -0.602689486553 1.625 544.6M
CXO CORE LITHIUM -0.1 -0.485714285714 0.054 39.3M
HXG HEXAGON RESOURCES -0.103448275862 -0.037037037037 0.13 39.4M
DGR DGR GLOBAL -0.103448275862 0.3 0.13 85.8M
ORN ORION MINERALS -0.103448275862 -0.103448275862 0.026 48.7M
ASN ANSON RESOURCES -0.103896103896 -0.288659793814 0.069 34.7M
JRV JERVOIS MINING -0.108695652174 -0.661157024793 0.205 48.0M
LCD LATITUDE -0.111111111111 -0.272727272727 0.016 4.4M
TLG TALGA RESOURCES -0.114942528736 -0.358333333333 0.385 81.7M
LTR LIONTOWN RESOURCES -0.115384615385 -0.323529411765 0.023 26.1M
VMC VENUS METALS -0.117647058824 -0.0625 0.15 13.9M
MZZ MATADOR MINING -0.12 -0.266666666667 0.22 11.9M
ARE ARGONAUT RESOURCES -0.12 -0.214285714286 0.022 34.2M
ORE OROCOBRE -0.122807017544 -0.36948297604 4 1.1B
RLC REEDY LAGOON -0.125 -0.820512820513 0.007 2.8M
PGM PLATINA RESOURCES -0.126984126984 -0.717948717949 0.055 15.1M
ARU ARAFURA RESOURCES -0.129032258065 -0.465346534653 0.054 32.7M
TKL TRAKA RESOURCES -0.130434782609 -0.615384615385 0.02 7.6M
MEI METEORIC RESOURCES -0.133333333333 -0.835443037975 0.013 8.0M
ADN ANDROMEDA METALS -0.142857142857 -0.142857142857 0.006 7.0M
BAR BARRA RESOURCES -0.142857142857 -0.411764705882 0.03 16.2M
CCZ CASTILLO COPPER -0.142857142857 -0.672727272727 0.018 11.0M
TNO TANDO RESOURCES -0.145454545455 0.424242424242 0.094 19.2M
SGQ ST GEORGE MINING -0.151515151515 -0.705263157895 0.14 41.7M
TMT TECHNOLOGY METALS -0.152941176471 0.636363636364 0.36 27.3M
TNG TNG -0.154545454545 -0.311111111111 0.093 95.1M
MCT METALICITY -0.157894736842 -0.627906976744 0.016 9.6M
AVL AUSTRALIAN VANADIUM -0.157894736842 0.777777777778 0.032 54.4M
LKE LAKE RESOURCES -0.165217391304 -0.531707317073 0.096 34.7M
SI6 SIX SIGMA METALS -0.166666666667 -0.6875 0.005 2.3M
MTH MITHRIL RESOURCES -0.166666666667 -0.827586206897 0.005 1.2M
CZN CORAZON MINING -0.166666666667 -0.736842105263 0.005 6.3M
AZI ALTA ZINC -0.166666666667 -0.583333333333 0.005 6.8M
INR IONEER -0.1731 -0.1591 0.19 279.3M
HIG HIGHLANDS PACIFIC -0.184782608696 -0.210526315789 0.075 82.0M
TKM TREK METALS -0.2 -0.741935483871 0.008 2.5M
MLM METALLICA MINERALS -0.2 -0.450980392157 0.028 9.0M
4CE FORCE COMMODITIES -0.210526315789 -0.7 0.015 7.6M
MTC METALSTECH -0.228571428571 -0.905263157895 0.027 3.2M
CRL COMET RESOURCES -0.228571428571 -0.724489795918 0.027 6.9M
BKT BLACK ROCK MINING -0.238095238095 -0.448275862069 0.032 17.2M
SRN SUREFIRE RESOURCES -0.25 -0.647058823529 0.006 2.6M
ADV ARDIDEN -0.333333333333 -0.777777777778 0.004 8.4M
KLH KALIA -0.5 -0.866666666667 0.002 5.0M