• Roskill forecasts demand for nickel chemicals to grow by over 500% between 2021 and 2030
  • It’s not just metals: battery makers are also getting hit with sharp price rises and supply shortages for non-active materials
  • Several lithium players raise significant cash to advance projects

Our High Voltage column wraps all the news driving ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel and vanadium.

 

Roskill forecasts the demand for nickel and cobalt chemicals will grow by over 500% and 100%, respectively, between 2021 and 2030 — and the race to secure “green” battery-grade nickel units is intensifying.

LGES — a subsidiary of LG Chem, the world’s #1 producer of advanced batteries for the electric vehicle industry – has now inked a binding offtake with AUZ’s ‘Sconi’ nickel-cobalt project in QLD.

It recently signed a similar offtake with fellow QLD nickel-cobalt play Queensland Pacific (ASX:QPM).

“Seemingly eager to source nickel that is unlikely to attract similar ESG supply chain scrutiny compared to Southeast Asian material, these companies are increasingly locking in supply from alternative sources, including Australia,” Roskill says.

“The Australian nickel industry has seen a flurry of business deals so far in 2021.

“One of LG Chem’s customers, Tesla, recently announced that it had secured a long-term offtake agreement for nickel from BHP Nickel West’s operation.”

 

Battery makers getting squeezed by high costs: Benchmark

Battery metals prices are up considerably since late 2020, but battery makers are also getting hit with sharp price rises and supply shortages for non-active materials, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence says.

“Prices for binder and separator materials, and solvents, began trending upwards in late-2020 and have since seen sustained higher prices and constrained supply,” the pricing agency says.

“Traditionally, these price rises would not substantially affect cell cost reductions, but manufacturers now need to pay close attention to the bill of materials which plays a greater role than ever in total production costs.

“While cell makers face pricing pressure from these peripheral materials, critical raw material prices have increased considerably since late 2020, with Benchmark’s Lithium Carbonate Index up 111.6%, nickel sulphate prices (EXW China) up 25.6%, and cobalt hydroxide prices up 64.2% year-to-date in July 2021.”

 

Lithium plays cash in

Over the past month almost every lithium stock on the ASX finished handily in the green.

While the speculative fervour has now cooled (for now), several lithium players cashed in by raising significant amounts of money to advance their projects.

On August 11, Core Lithium (ASX:CXO) pocketed a heady $91m from big investors at 31c per share – a 13.9% discount to the last closing price.

Together with the $34 million Ganfeng equity investment, Stage 1 project development of the ‘Finniss’ lithium project is now fully funded, with Core on track for first production in late 2022.

European Lithium (ASX:EUR) also placed $6.95m with strong investor support.

On August 13, Galan Lithium (ASX:GLN) completed a $50m institutional placement at $1.15 a share; a small ~10% discount to the last closing price.

Once finalised, that gives Galan a total cash balance of ~$65m to advance its brine assets in Argentina and hard rock projects in WA.

Lithium Power International (ASX:LPI) raised $12.4m from instos at a 10.3% discount to the last closing price on Thursday last week.

And then there’s Sayona (ASX:SYA), which raised about $20m from an oversubscribed share purchase plan after getting applications totalling $68m — more than 13 times the initial target of $5m.

Funds raised from the share placement, together with $45m obtained from a previous placement, will help settle the acquisition of North American Lithium (NAL) and advance the ‘Abitibi’ lithium hub.

It was a more subdued week for battery metals stocks after the bonkers, lithium-led run of the preceding fortnight.

Eight stocks were up, 103 down, and 16 didn’t move post some big cap raises and as punters looked to cash out some of their gains.

Here’s how a basket of ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, and vanadium are performing>>>

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop:

CODE COMPANY 1 WEEK RETURN % 1 MONTH RETURN % 6 MONTH RETURN % 1 YEAR RETURN % PRICE [INTRADAY MON] MARKET CAP
CNJ Conico 17 94 126 312 0.07 $ 64,145,692.87
AUZ Australian Mines 15 5 2 7 0.023 $ 98,981,859.62
AZS Azure Minerals 13 8 -21 61 0.265 $ 63,393,322.81
BAR Barra Resources 5 -5 -17 -23 0.02 $ 13,552,162.02
MCR Mincor Resources 5 20 31 81 1.35 $ 536,135,195.32
CHN Chalice Mining 3 0 53 336 6.56 $ 2,209,393,006.80
ARU Arafura Resource 2 6 -44 64 0.1325 $ 185,993,679.84
SGQ St George Mining 2 0 -33 -22 0.066 $ 38,886,601.84
BRB Breaker Resources 0 34 10 -14 0.215 $ 63,538,981.16
MRC Mineral Commodities 0 -6 -63 -39 0.15 $ 80,098,595.10
MLS Metals Australia 0 0 0 -20 0.002 $ 8,454,376.09
SBR Sabre Resources 0 0 -43 -20 0.004 $ 6,732,254.60
HNR Hannans 0 17 -7 -13 0.007 $ 16,519,840.34
ALY Alchemy Resources 0 0 -22 -18 0.014 $ 9,411,408.34
GW1 Greenwing Resources 0 2 -17 43 0.25 $ 24,578,621.10
POS Poseidon Nickel 0 24 62 135 0.115 $ 315,988,559.46
BEM Blackearth Minerals 0 14 -14 213 0.125 $ 26,087,432.04
AGY Argosy Minerals 0 48 35 198 0.155 $ 187,540,755.60
QXR Qx Resources 0 -8 -33 -43 0.012 $ 7,996,347.85
ATM Aneka Tambang 0 0 0 2 1 $ 1,303,649.00
AJM Altura Mining 0 0 0 0 0.07 $ 209,037,029.25
LML Lincoln Minerals 0 0 0 33 0.008 $ 4,599,869.49
AQD Ausquest 0 0 -20 -38 0.02 $ 16,463,796.62
TKL Traka Resources 0 -7 -33 -39 0.014 $ 8,709,510.52
INR Ioneer -1 31 8 367 0.49 $ 847,367,620.95
SRI Sipa Resources -2 -2 7 -27 0.062 $ 11,130,380.31
GME GME Resources -2 20 -10 53 0.055 $ 31,119,098.77
GXY Galaxy Resources -2 38 100 362 5.28 $ 2,669,935,635.84
STK Strickland Metals -3 -19 75 -9 0.039 $ 41,065,004.15
CTM Centaurus Metals -3 15 6 94 0.93 $ 299,044,275.24
MOH Moho Resources -3 -9 -24 -54 0.06 $ 6,196,524.12
ARR American Rare Earths -4 59 37 242 0.13 $ 41,316,999.12
IPT Impact Minerals -4 -4 -46 -48 0.0125 $ 26,309,333.95
ARL Ardea Resources -4 -1 -14 -3 0.485 $ 66,946,596.22
SLZ Sultan Resources -4 -5 -13 -3 0.175 $ 12,168,518.08
NKL Nickelx -4 25 0.225 $ 12,037,500.00
AML Aeon Metals -5 -10 -46 -63 0.057 $ 43,535,267.63
NTU Northern Minerals -5 6 -24 9 0.037 $ 179,143,379.74
ORE Orocobre -5 34 78 218 9.03 $ 2,982,120,552.52
G88 Golden Mile Resources -5 -2 20 -10 0.053 $ 7,140,934.73
PAN Panoramic Resources -6 13 17 150 0.17 $ 358,909,950.70
MLX Metals X -6 16 19 204 0.255 $ 235,889,177.42
PUR Pursuit Minerals -6 3 18 303 0.06 $ 55,620,834.96
IGO IGO Limited -6 11 39 107 9.24 $ 6,671,529,432.53
PLS Pilbara Minerals -6 50 106 609 2.18 $ 5,928,334,781.98
AVL Australian Vanadium -6 53 21 142 0.029 $ 85,051,938.95
CWX Carawine Resources -7 0 5 -7 0.21 $ 22,322,429.91
FGR First Graphene -7 -18 -16 52 0.205 $ 109,944,197.20
PGM Platina Resources -7 -17 40 49 0.067 $ 28,234,852.23
TNG TNG Limited -7 33 -17 8 0.08 $ 103,708,254.32
OZL OZ Minerals -7 5 2 45 21.48 $ 6,965,742,190.56
ESR Estrella Resources -7 -13 -44 144 0.039 $ 44,157,662.12
TMT Technology Metals -7 26 15 123 0.39 $ 58,569,442.23
ADV Ardiden -7 63 -28 -19 0.013 $ 25,792,250.59
S2R S2 Resources -7 -4 -26 -35 0.13 $ 44,084,765.06
LEG Legend Mining -7 -19 -39 -46 0.076 $ 209,390,314.80
CZN Corazon -8 -8 -35 -38 0.037 $ 7,513,003.33
HXG Hexagon Energy -8 0 -20 26 0.072 $ 32,112,995.54
BSX Blackstone -8 11 -17 1 0.42 $ 129,414,554.10
COB Cobalt Blue -8 -13 -33 140 0.24 $ 70,146,759.05
VMC Venus Metals -8 -8 -17 -24 0.175 $ 26,438,769.53
FFX Firefinch -8 31 110 304 0.525 $ 483,322,095.99
GBR Great Boulder Resources -8 -5 97 60 0.081 $ 27,355,870.08
INF Infinity Lithium -8 -12 -52 -2 0.092 $ 36,262,310.04
EUR European Lithium -8 28 6 47 0.069 $ 72,809,492.28
LKE Lake Resources -8 46 61 1529 0.57 $ 579,075,589.56
VR8 Vanadium Resources -8 -4 20 96 0.055 $ 23,014,425.78
GED Golden Deeps -8 0 -8 -21 0.011 $ 8,534,365.84
LTR Liontown Resources -8 15 119 548 0.875 $ 1,600,217,779.44
ADD Adavale Resources -8 -26 -13 286 0.054 $ 15,549,731.19
NIC Nickel Mines -9 2 -23 61 1.005 $ 2,427,003,034.22
JRV Jervois Mining -9 -13 1 43 0.45 $ 488,346,171.28
BKT Black Rock Mining -9 11 -14 194 0.15 $ 127,450,869.90
AVZ AVZ Minerals -9 14 14 259 0.2225 $ 707,997,989.60
LPD Lepidico -10 73 -21 153 0.019 $ 116,889,865.06
PEK Peak Resources -10 -7 -29 98 0.085 $ 152,228,722.96
LIT Lithium Australia -10 18 -13 141 0.13 $ 115,430,010.84
VUL Vulcan Energy -10 45 91 2262 12.99 $ 1,316,375,504.40
NMT Neometals -11 42 100 329 0.75 $ 441,442,998.78
PSC Prospect Resources -11 20 100 83 0.33 $ 120,809,913.53
CLA Celsius Resources -11 -23 -45 60 0.024 $ 26,180,702.03
HAS Hastings Tech Metals -11 15 -19 26 0.195 $ 338,998,776.87
DEV Devex Resources -12 -16 2 10 0.23 $ 67,723,472.74
WKT Walkabout Resources -12 -4 33 2 0.22 $ 97,843,547.21
QPM Queensland Pacific -12 24 105 1025 0.18 $ 235,132,297.93
BUX Buxton Resources -12 -20 42 21 0.092 $ 12,653,155.18
CXO Core Lithium -13 37 43 616 0.315 $ 447,515,493.47
LPI Lithium Power International -13 25 -2 53 0.275 $ 87,312,486.31
TON Triton Minerals -13 -6 -36 -35 0.034 $ 37,437,446.21
RXL Rox Resources -13 -9 -31 -58 0.37 $ 59,890,893.32
REE Rarex Limited -13 2 -24 28 0.087 $ 37,439,515.54
TLG Talga Group -13 -2 -17 117 1.26 $ 380,553,532.03
VML Vital Metals -14 36 49 276 0.064 $ 253,408,218.12
AOU Auroch Minerals -14 -16 -37 68 0.16 $ 48,317,840.84
GLN Galan Lithium -14 9 135 597 1.045 $ 244,076,144.71
RNU Renascor Resources -14 25 121 514 0.086 $ 159,690,490.42
VRC Volt Resources -14 -21 62 53 0.0275 $ 65,881,392.80
JRL Jindalee Resources -15 43 100 545 3.3 $ 177,835,206.78
MNS Magnis Energy Technologies -15 25 19 60 0.345 $ 297,419,054.72
GL1 Global Lithium -15 28 0.34 $ 29,362,045.68
LYC Lynas Rare Earths -15 14 13 163 6.55 $ 5,703,827,405.07
BHP BHP Group -15 -9 -6 15 44.69 $ 130,814,146,809.96
GAL Galileo Mining -16 -5 -14 -13 0.295 $ 36,490,807.28
NWC New World Resources -17 -9 35 92 0.069 $ 107,949,783.64
SYR Syrah Resources -17 11 7 210 1.225 $ 590,380,595.51
SYA Sayona Mining -17 56 234 1273 0.12 $ 701,891,522.50
MIN Mineral Resources -17 -12 35 81 50.92 $ 9,634,971,881.10
HWK Hawkstone Mining -17 36 -5 90 0.038 $ 63,501,660.59
PLL Piedmont Lithium -18 -18 0 694 0.715 $ 393,772,661.00
EGR Ecograf -18 22 22 919 0.815 $ 364,365,101.79
EMH European Metals -18 20 24 325 1.7 $ 208,147,144.00
SRL Sunrise -20 -17 -43 2 1.51 $ 142,291,448.82
ESS Essential Metals -20 46 46 79 0.175 $ 39,203,554.50
AAJ Aruma Resources -21 17 -8 -43 0.069 $ 7,099,382.11
MAN Mandrake Resources -21 -42 -26 53 0.061 $ 26,429,209.55
RFR Rafaella Resources -21 -15 -4 17 0.077 $ 14,687,166.19
PAM Pan Asia Metals -22 12 -12 0.145 $ 8,048,796.60
PNN PepinNini Minerals -22 -4 -29 60 0.285 $ 12,552,028.72
RLC Reedy Lagoon -23 13 -37 70 0.017 $ 7,990,444.82
AXE Archer Materials -23 41 129 298 1.83 $ 380,269,931.82
PRL Province Resources -23 -4 75 292 0.135 $ 157,627,373.54
BOA Boadicea Resources -23 -16 -18 22 0.185 $ 15,151,479.53
ARN Aldoro Resources -23 22 74 309 0.47 $ 40,451,456.24
IXR Ionic Rare Earths -24 -7 -47 155 0.028 $ 101,771,985.42
ASN Anson Resources -24 19 4 263 0.087 $ 74,588,584.29
BMM Balkan Mining and Minerals -28 41 0.5 $ 17,225,000.00
CHR Charger Metals -29 145 0.49 $ 15,680,000.49