"Impossible to see, the future is."

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

It’s the oversupply thematic keeping lithium and cobalt in the doldrums, once again.

But a couple of notable moments in the past week show just how tenuous these supply projections can be.

Canadian lithium producer Nemaska says it underestimated construction costs and needs a lazy $400 million to complete construction at its vertically integrated Whabouchi project in Quebec.

The 30-year project is expected to be a substantial player – producing about 23,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide and 11,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate a year for the EV sector.

 

 

Then it was cobalt’s turn.

Mining giant Glencore had already said that a wave of supply from its subsidiary Katanga would be deferred until at least 2020 after the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Government wasn’t convinced by the miner’s plan to remove radioactivity from the cobalt.

But then it  reportedly slashed workforce numbers at the 27,000 tonnes a year Mutanda mine, also in the DRC, amid rising production costs and an “uncertain political climate”.

And now there’s speculation that Zambian copper-cobalt refiner Chambishi Metals, which sources most of its feedstock from the DRC, has suspended operations.

Last year, Mutanda and Katanga together were expected to contribute around 50,000 tonnes of mined supply in 2019, CRU senior analyst George Heppel says.

That’s about 30 per cent of global cobalt supply, and more than 40 per cent of DRC production.

 

 

“Given the expected reduction in output from Mutanda (as well as the halting of shipments from Katanga), we expect to see about 15,000 tonnes less output from the DRC in the first half of 2019,” Mr Heppel told Stockhead.

But high stockpiles – built up during the cobalt frenzy of 2018 — means prices probably won’t recover for a while.

It’s generally accepted that we have enough cobalt until about 2022/2023; then things get hairy for battery makers and EV manufacturers.

This is when oversupply will turn into a supply deficit – just in time for a number of junior cobalt players to get their ducks lined up and enter production.

SMALL CAP SPOTLIGHT

Of the companies on our list, about 71 lost ground, 60 were ahead and 61 were steady this week.

Over the past year the amount of stocks which have posted  share price gains is tiny. But this has been trending upwards over the past month or so, despite negative sentiment.

Check this out:

battery metals

Graphite explorers had a strong hit-out this week.

The #1 spot went to graphite play Graphex Mining (ASX:GPX), up 39.5 per cent to 27c  on no news.

Earlier in the month Graphex said new Tanzanian government guidelines gave it the green light to export graphite from its Chilalo project, a key step as it works to get its hands on a $112m funding package.

Several regulatory moves by the Tanzania government had created uncertainty for ASX-listed miners active in the east African country.

This cash windfall could see Chilalo funded through to production, but first Graphex must complete a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) and resolve these jurisdictional risk issues.

Joining Graphex were fellow graphite plays Exore (ASX:ERX), up 26 per cent to 7.7c , Volt Resources (ASX:VRC) up 21 per cent to 2.3c, and Battery Minerals (ASX:BAT), up 17 per cent to 2.8c.

Conico (ASX:CNJ)  was up almost 20 per cent for the week after JV partner Barra Resources improved the economics of the Mt Thirsty project to mitigate the “temporary dip in cobalt spot pricing”.

It did this by boosting the amount of nickel and cobalt it could extract from ore, to 85-88 per cent for cobalt and 32-37 per cent for nickel.

A 2017 scoping study was based on far lower recoveries of 73 per cent for cobalt and 21 per cent for nickel.

Barra reckons improved recoveries means far higher project revenues for minimal additional cost.

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

TickerName1 Week Price Change %1 Year Price Change %Share Price [Mon Feb18]Market Cap
GPX GRAPHEX MINING 39.4737-18.46150.27 $20,359,630.00
AUT AUTECO MINERALS 33.333333.33330.008 $6,768,485.00
ERX EXORE RESOURCES 26.229548.07690.077 $35,381,220.00
PMY PACIFICO MINERALS 25-33.33330.005 $8,232,189.50
CRL COMET RESOURCES 25-58.76290.04 $8,757,100.00
VRC VOLT RESOURCES 21.0526-32.35290.023 $33,475,998.00
SXX SOUTHERN CROSS EXPLORATION20-250.005 $6,461,059.00
DTM DART MINING 20-31.62390.006 $4,640,214.00
MTH MITHRIL RESOURCES 20-87.2710.007 $2,111,946.00
CNJ CONICO 18.75-44.11770.019 $6,683,407.00
BAT BATTERY MINERALS 16.6667-66.66670.028 $33,410,146.00
TKM TREK METALS 16.6667-74.07410.007 $2,498,429.00
SGQ ST GEORGE MINING 16-27.50.145 $43,226,852.00
JMS JUPITER MINES 14.5455347.81140.305 $607,287,232.00
GBE GLOBE METALS AND MINING 14.2857-5.88240.016 $7,454,758.00
LPD LEPIDICO 11.7647-64.15090.022 $60,411,152.00
VXR VENTUREX RESOURCES 11.627900.25 $61,982,536.00
BKT BLACK ROCK MINING 11.594248.07690.076 $43,080,376.00
GLN GALAN LITHIUM 11.1111159.25920.35 $39,232,016.00
ENT ENTERPRISE METALS 11.1111-33.33330.01 $3,880,627.50
MLM METALLICA MINERALS 10.7143-39.21570.031 $9,703,422.00
PGM PLATINA RESOURCES 9.8361-52.14290.072 $19,281,216.00
NZC NZURI COPPER 9.5238-20.68970.23 $68,058,264.00
E25 ELEMENT 25 9.0909-250.18 $14,693,761.00
CZR COZIRON RESOURCES 9.0909-47.82610.012 $21,426,616.00
CGN CRATER GOLD MINING 8.3333-31.57890.011 $23,614,774.00
CAZ CAZALY RESOURCES 8.3333-350.026 $5,820,476.50
BMT BERKUT MINERALS 8.3333-52.72730.078 $4,236,700.00
AVZ AVZ MINERALS 7.8947-85.6140.0435 $71,761,536.00
BEM BLACKEARTH MINERALS 7.4074-55.38460.087 $5,288,338.50
JRV JERVOIS MINING 6.9767-55.76920.23 $48,001,544.00
TLG TALGA RESOURCES 6.9444-450.385 $85,095,136.00
ORN ORION MINERALS 6.8966-31.11110.031 $63,706,940.00
ARU ARAFURA RESOURCES 6.383-52.89430.049 $35,348,752.00
RDS REDSTONE RESOURCES 6.2547.18620.017 $8,006,393.00
TKL TRAKA RESOURCES 6.25-73.84620.017 $5,301,136.50
HAV HAVILAH RESOURCES 5.8824-280.18 $37,102,340.00
INF INFINITY LITHIUM CORP 5.6338-51.61290.075 $14,262,833.00
FCC FIRST COBALT CORP-CDI5.2632-81.48150.2 $67,864,368.00
MQR MARQUEE RESOURCES LIMITED5.2632-850.06 $2,436,424.25
A4N ALPHA HPA 5-13.3750.1 $56,710,000.00
CMC CHINA MAGNESIUM CORP 5-22.22220.021 $8,248,771.00
AOU AUROCH MINERALS 4.8387-38.09520.065 $6,532,730.00
S32 SOUTH32 4.670320.82743.83 $19,195,582,464.00
IRC INTERMIN RESOURCES 4.1667-34.21050.13 $30,600,500.00
MIN MINERAL RESOURCES 3.981-9.195517.66 $3,234,934,784.00
CZI CASSINI RESOURCES 3.614521.12680.088 $27,986,074.00
AML AEON METALS 3.508820.40820.29 $170,366,224.00
EUR EUROPEAN LITHIUM 3.3333-59.56520.093 $51,142,704.00
SO4 SALT LAKE POTASH 3.29670.53480.48 $95,915,824.00
BSX BLACKSTONE MINERALS 3.2609-750.095 $9,413,815.00
PLS PILBARA MINERALS 3.125-20.48190.665 $1,133,933,696.00
HIG HIGHLANDS PACIFIC 2.43931.250.1025 $114,737,056.00
AUZ AUSTRALIAN MINES 2.381-52.74730.042 $115,781,288.00
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES 2.2785-41.27912.07 $819,123,264.00
BDC BARDOC GOLD 2.2222-600.046 $41,206,308.00
TAR TARUGA MINERALS 1.6667-34.40860.061 $8,611,202.00
ZNC ZENITH MINERALS 1.4493-58.82350.07 $14,255,063.00
AXE ARCHER EXPLORATION 1.3889-30.47620.073 $13,973,889.00
RIO RIO TINTO 0.80619.042292.9 $133,548,376,064.00
GWR GWR GROUP 042.85710.105 $25,351,744.00
DGR DGR GLOBAL 027.65960.12 $76,647,736.00
ARE ARGONAUT RESOURCES 018.18180.026 $40,413,896.00
GED GOLDEN DEEPS 017.14290.041 $7,026,612.50
WKT WALKABOUT RESOURCES 015.78950.105 $33,467,472.00
VMC VENUS METALS CORP 013.04350.13 $10,861,763.00
OMH OM HOLDINGS 012.25771.4 $1,030,379,584.00
KOR KORAB RESOURCES 000.027 $8,339,111.50
ADN ANDROMEDA METALS 000.007 $7,590,956.00
EME ENERGY METALS 000.105 $22,016,748.00
BDI BLINA MINERALS 000.001 $4,363,882.50
CHN CHALICE GOLD MINES 0-7.40740.13 $35,986,700.00
K KIBARAN RESOURCES 0-14.81480.115 $34,460,120.00
BAR BARRA RESOURCES 0-21.73910.036 $18,861,176.00
KTA KRAKATOA RESOURCES 0-21.8750.025 $2,937,500.00
BOA BOADICEA RESOURCES 0-22.50.155 $8,191,001.50
ESR ESTRELLA RESOURCES 0-250.015 $7,378,249.50
TNG TNG 0-27.58620.105 $101,164,080.00
BSM BASS METALS 0-33.33330.014 $38,660,244.00
OAR OAKDALERESOURCES 0-34.28570.023 $1,502,766.75
HXG HEXAGON RESOURCES 0-350.13 $37,931,840.00
SVM SOVEREIGN METALS 0-39.16670.073 $24,930,310.00
PIO PIONEER RESOURCES 0-39.28570.016 $24,065,794.00
MLS METALS AUSTRALIA 0-400.003 $7,025,393.50
BYH BRYAH RESOURCES 0-44.82760.08 $4,868,009.50
OKR OKAPI RESOURCES 0-45.78310.225 $7,727,145.00
NMT NEOMETALS 0-47.1970.2 $114,234,600.00
THX THUNDELARRA 0-47.82610.012 $7,753,150.50
VMS VENTURE MINERALS 0-48.57140.019 $9,371,016.00
DEV DEVEX RESOURCES 0-49.35350.047 $3,953,426.50
KAI KAIROS MINERALS 0-500.021 $17,045,456.00
NVA NOVA MINERALS 0-51.35140.019 $15,522,683.00
ANW AUS TIN MINING 0-52.94120.017 $29,822,562.00
MZN MARINDI METALS 0-54.54550.005 $9,923,794.00
AYR ALLOY RESOURCES 0-57.14290.003 $4,731,233.00
PSC PROSPECT RESOURCES 0-57.44680.02 $42,968,416.00
HMX HAMMER METALS 0-58.18180.023 $6,914,536.00
FEL FE 0-59.18370.02 $5,978,047.50
AGY ARGOSY MINERALS 0-60.29410.135 $129,289,520.00
HNR HANNANS 0-61.90480.008 $17,891,590.00
AJM ALTURA MINING 0-64.86490.13 $245,686,288.00
CAD CAENEUS MINERALS 0-66.66670.001 $14,063,075.00
CFE CAPE LAMBERT RESOURCES 0-68.62740.016 $16,214,425.00
PSM PENINSULA MINES 0-69.23080.004 $3,451,488.25
SI6 SIX SIGMA METALS 0-69.23080.004 $1,830,012.63
CZN CORAZON MINING 0-72.22220.005 $6,326,416.50
SBR SABRE RESOURCES 0-72.22220.005 $2,034,868.00
SUH SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE MINING0-74.16670.031 $2,742,553.50
CGM COUGAR METALS 0-77.77780.002 $1,955,605.38
GPP GREENPOWER ENERGY 0-78.57140.003 $4,696,111.00
ADV ARDIDEN 0-78.94740.004 $6,707,521.00
KLH KALIA 0-800.002 $5,028,695.00
LML LINCOLN MINERALS 0-82.35290.006 $4,024,885.75
LRS LATIN RESOURCES 0-83.33330.003 $5,818,230.00
DHR DARK HORSE RESOURCES 0-83.33330.004 $7,904,346.50
NWC NEW WORLD COBALT 0-84.26970.014 $7,721,247.00
RIE RIEDEL RESOURCES 0-85.18520.012 $5,016,836.50
RLC REEDY LAGOON CORP 0-86.04650.006 $2,413,630.25
HGM HIGH GRADE METALS 0-86.36360.009 $4,076,440.75
4CE FORCE COMMODITIES 0-87.34180.01 $4,239,158.50
PNN PEPINNINI LITHIUM 0-87.50.0045 $3,243,035.00
WML WOOMERA MINING -1.6667-94.10.059 $6,536,857.00
CXO CORE LITHIUM -1.7544-15.15150.057 $38,195,668.00
PLL PIEDMONT LITHIUM -2-40.60610.1 $67,038,036.00
TON TRITON MINERALS -2.2222-52.68820.044 $41,721,208.00
GME GME RESOURCES -2.3529-40.36140.083 $41,946,200.00
AUR AURIS MINERALS -2.5-4.8780.039 $15,938,572.00
TRT TODD RIVER RESOURCES -2.7027-45.60.072 $10,904,274.00
TMT TECHNOLOGY METALS AUSTRALIA-3.22585.26320.28 $21,013,000.00
AEE AURA ENERGY -3.2258-34.78260.015 $16,679,019.00
BGS BIRIMIAN -3.2258-67.74190.15 $36,779,416.00
KDR KIDMAN RESOURCES -3.2491-27.9571.375 $530,284,608.00
ASN ANSON RESOURCES -3.5294-56.84210.085 $42,105,800.00
BUX BUXTON RESOURCES -4.1667-4.16670.11 $15,646,375.00
SRK STRIKE RESOURCES -4.3478-35.29410.044 $6,104,039.50
SYA SAYONA MINING -4.3478-66.15380.022 $37,867,720.00
DEG DE GREY MINING -4.5455-19.23080.11 $46,547,136.00
THR THOR MINING PLC-CDI-4.5455-67.69230.02 $15,054,911.00
LIT LITHIUM AUSTRALIA -4.6512-53.14290.081 $37,304,476.00
POS POSEIDON NICKEL -4.878-11.36360.039 $103,065,368.00
PUR PURSUIT MINERALS -5-63.80950.036 $6,962,566.00
MXR MAXIMUS RESOURCES -5.1948-36.52170.074 $2,179,657.25
KSN KINGSTON RESOURCES -5.2632-18.18180.018 $22,017,570.00
MZZ MATADOR MINING LIMITED-5.2632-46.26870.18 $10,237,833.00
RNU RENASCOR RESOURCES -5.2632-48.57140.019 $21,915,062.00
MRR MINREX RESOURCES -5.2632-800.018 $1,725,799.13
CLA CELSIUS RESOURCES -5.4545-52.72730.052 $38,618,124.00
LKE LAKE RESOURCES -5.5556-59.20.052 $17,940,948.00
HWK HAWKSTONE MINING -5.8824-33.33330.016 $9,695,406.00
COB COBALT BLUE HOLDINGS -5.8824-76.11940.16 $20,557,934.00
VML VITAL METALS -6.25-16.66670.007 $13,940,890.00
LCD LATITUDE CONSOLIDATED -6.25-400.015 $4,127,685.00
LI3 LITHIUM CONSOLIDATED -6.25-45.45450.06 $5,540,149.50
POW PROTEAN ENERGY -6.25-65.11630.014 $4,914,064.00
INR IONEER -6.4516-65.88240.145 $206,497,696.00
PM1 PURE MINERALS -6.6667-17.64710.014 $4,401,307.00
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS -6.8493-72.35770.34 $250,019,216.00
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES -6.9686-60.96491.34 $458,743,616.00
IEC INTRA ENERGY CORP -7.1429-13.33330.014 $4,652,688.50
EMH EUROPEAN METALS HLDS LT-CDI-7.1429-32.29170.325 $47,658,724.00
SVD SCANDIVANADIUM -7.1429-48.68420.013 $4,574,259.50
AMD ARROW MINERALS -7.1429-66.66670.013 $4,403,568.50
CHK COHIBA MINERALS -7.6923200.013 $8,639,985.00
MCT METALICITY -7.6923-65.71430.012 $7,832,028.50
AVL AUSTRALIAN VANADIUM -8-41.02560.023 $45,398,408.00
TNO TANDO RESOURCES -8.333339.23290.105 $21,294,580.00
RTR RUMBLE RESOURCES -8.3333-13.72550.049 $15,709,246.00
LTR LIONTOWN RESOURCES -8.3333-43.58970.022 $23,813,736.00
RMX RED MOUNTAIN MINING -8.3333-500.0055 $4,279,202.50
MNS MAGNIS ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES L-8.5714-18.98730.33 $201,674,880.00
SEI SPECIALITY METALS INTERNATIO-8.6957-22.22220.022 $12,207,281.00
BAU BAUXITE RESOURCES -8.7521.66670.073 $17,153,786.00
ARL ARDEA RESOURCES -8.8235-65.55560.46 $50,395,400.00
ORE OROCOBRE -9.009-54.91073.08 $797,675,648.00
LPI LITHIUM POWER INTERNATIONAL-9.0909-43.18180.25 $66,941,044.00
PAN PANORAMIC RESOURCES -9.2784-2.22220.45 $225,010,224.00
MTC METALSTECH -10-820.027 $3,859,478.25
EUC EUROPEAN COBALT -11.1111-760.024 $19,042,434.00
MEI METEORIC RESOURCES -11.1111-80.95240.008 $5,170,102.00
CUL CULLEN RESOURCES -11.7647-63.90370.015 $2,880,902.00
CDT CASTLE MINERALS -12.5-68.18180.007 $1,790,367.75
FGR FIRST GRAPHENE -13.333340.135 $62,051,852.00
N27 NORTHERN COBALT -13.3333-88.69570.052 $2,924,864.25
IDA INDIANA RESOURCES -16.6667-27.70780.045 $4,620,906.50
AZI ALTA ZINC -16.6667-500.006 $6,844,828.50
BPL BROKEN HILL PROSPECTING -16.6667-69.23080.02 $2,957,668.00
SCI SILVER CITY MINERALS -16.6667-76.19050.011 $3,524,523.00
ARM AURORA MINERALS -19.0476-500.017 $2,459,799.00
MTB MOUNT BURGESS MINING -20-55.55560.004 $1,768,317.63
SRN SUREFIRE RESOURCES -20-76.66670.004 $1,762,614.50
NXE NEW ENERGY MINERALS -25-89.9160.03 $4,526,863.50
WCN WHITE CLIFF MINERALS -37.5-93.96830.009 $2,540,728.25