Each week our High Voltage column wraps all the news driving ASX battery metals stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium.

INDUSTRY FOCUS

‘Lithium-ion batteries are catching on fire’ seems to be in the news again.

First, an explosion at a grid-scale battery facility in the US which left four firefighters injured, including three who were sent to a burn centre.

According to local press, the firefighters were inspecting the facility’s lithium-ion batteries when they were hit with an explosion.

 

 

Then this inferno at a Chinese car park:

 

The safety of lithium-ion batteries has always been a concern, but as the tech evolves these chemical firestorms are expected to become a thing of the past.

But it’s not always manufacturer error — sometimes people are just plain stupid.

Last week, it was revealed that someone actually fired a bullet from the passenger seat into a Model S battery pack that caught fire in 2014.

 

Lithium producers flag lower prices, but they’re still making money

Producers Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Orocobre (ASX:ORE) are less than bullish on the state of the lithium market right now.

Galaxy shelved its search for a JV partner at the Sal da Vida lithium brine project due to “prevailing market sentiment and current weakness in short term contract prices for lithium chemicals”.

It blames the US-China trade war for poor sentiment in China, which has noticeably impacted lithium prices.

Since the drop Chinese lithium chemical prices had “remained reasonably steady”  at lower levels, with current spot prices of US$11,500 per tonne reported for battery grade lithium carbonate and US$14,200 per tonne for lithium hydroxide.

Orocobre also says March quarter prices fell due to direct and indirect impacts of China’s prolonged market softness.

But while its gross cash margins fell 20 per cent from the previous quarter, Orocobre still boasts a very strong cash margin of 56 per cent or US$5258/tonne. So it’s not that bad.

via GIPHY

 

Has cobalt’s dramatic price plunge come to an end?

For cobalt, things could be looking up.

Some say the beleaguered metal’s horror run is over as prices rebound for the first time in five months.

This time last year, prices were above $US40/lb. Since then, oversupply and sluggish demand has seen a painfully long period of price declines.

But we may have seen the worst of it. The international cobalt benchmark price rebounded for the first time in five months at the end of March, and the momentum continued into April, Roskill says.

“With cobalt prices unable to fall much further, it appears that some restocking is taking place,” says Roskill.

“This should push prices up.”

For vanadium prices, lower is better

Vanadium prices have also plunged this year – but that isn’t such a bad thing, according to Mastermines boss David Gillam.

Most investors believe higher prices are better. What they don’t understand is that these higher prices prompt Chinese end users to substitute or bring on more domestic supply.

Gillam says that panic absolutely appears to be gone now as vanadium prices stabilise – and stability is crucial for the vanadium market.

“The best thing for vanadium is that we find the ground somewhere between $US10 to $US13 a pound and get some stability there,” he says.

“We see that as being very good for new entrants.”

NOW READ: Money Talks — Mathew Walker runs the ruler over EVs and energy storage stocks

SMALL CAP SPOTLIGHT

Of the battery metals players on our list, 51 advanced, 67 remained steady and 74 lost ground this past week.

But with everyone pulling up stumps for the Easter weekend, company news was sparse.

It’s hard to find a winner that released anything of note, so let’s just assume every sentence starts with “up on no news” to save time.

Highlight included vanadium plays Coziron Resources (ASX:CZR), TNG (ASX:TNG), and Pursuit (ASX:PUR), up 30 per cent, 25 per cent, and 14 per cent respectively.

Fellow US-based lithium explorers Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) and Reedy Lagoon (ASX:RLC) also jumped 17 per cent and 25 per cent.

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 [April 23] Market Cap
MRR MINREX RESOURCES 54-660.02 $1,917,554.50
KLH KALIA 50-670.003 $7,543,042.00
SI6 SIX SIGMA METALS 50-630.005 $2,745,019.00
SRN SUREFIRE RESOURCES33-670.004 $1,762,614.50
CZR COZIRON RESOURCES 30-480.013 $23,212,166.00
SUH SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE MINING2500.05 $4,423,473.50
TNG TNG 25-330.11 $105,981,416.00
RLC REEDY LAGOON25-760.005 $2,011,358.50
GPX GRAPHEX MINING 2100.28 $24,886,234.00
TKM TREK METALS 20-700.006 $1,873,821.63
ADV ARDIDEN 17-730.003 $5,884,831.00
MTH MITHRIL RESOURCES 17-700.007 $2,956,724.50
WCN WHITE CLIFF MINERALS 17-930.006 $3,292,428.25
CUL CULLEN RESOURCES 17-550.014 $2,372,507.50
PLL PIEDMONT LITHIUM 17250.18 $117,316,560.00
ARM AURORA MINERALS 15-460.015 $1,756,999.25
PUR PURSUIT MINERALS 14-790.025 $4,284,656.00
AZI ALTA ZINC 14-630.004 $7,286,537.00
BAT BATTERY MINERALS 14-640.025 $31,841,788.00
KTA KRAKATOA RESOURCES 12-300.028 $3,290,000.00
TAR TARUGA MINERALS 11-810.049 $6,917,194.50
4CE FORCE COMMODITIES 11-880.01 $4,245,158.50
BOA BOADICEA RESOURCES 11-90.2 $10,569,034.00
A4N ALPHA HPA 1030.115 $65,216,504.00
BAU BAUXITE RESOURCES 9-30.058 $12,436,495.00
ARE ARGONAUT RESOURCES8-410.013 $20,206,948.00
POW PROTEAN ENERGY 8-610.013 $4,048,684.25
EMH EUROPEAN METALS8-90.4 $58,656,892.00
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES 8-621.235 $425,209,536.00
LPI LITHIUM POWER INTERNATIONAL7-230.23 $61,690,768.00
WML WOOMERA MINING 7-800.032 $3,606,541.75
HAV HAVILAH RESOURCES 7-300.16 $34,919,848.00
AML AEON METALS 6-200.225 $151,440,688.00
KAI KAIROS MINERALS 6-500.018 $16,193,184.00
PSC PROSPECT RESOURCES 5-560.02 $40,922,300.00
VRC VOLT RESOURCES 5-400.02 $30,565,042.00
LKE LAKE RESOURCES4-560.052 $19,804,666.00
EUC EUROPEAN COBALT 4-630.027 $21,327,526.00
SEI SPECIALITY METALS4210.029 $16,091,416.00
HMX HAMMER METALS 3-210.031 $9,428,912.00
NXE NEW ENERGY MINERALS 3-870.032 $4,677,758.50
FGR FIRST GRAPHENE 3-110.165 $72,214,288.00
OKR OKAPI RESOURCES 3-560.175 $6,010,001.50
ORN ORION MINERALS 3-170.035 $65,580,672.00
INR IONEER 3-490.21 $302,371,616.00
INF INFINITY LITHIUM2-220.091 $17,115,400.00
MZZ MATADOR MINING2-250.225 $15,098,438.00
DEG DE GREY MINING 2-480.097 $41,469,268.00
MNS MAGNIS ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES2-330.2675 $161,951,040.00
RTR RUMBLE RESOURCES 2300.059 $23,533,254.00
NZC NZURI COPPER 2-60.315 $93,210,232.00
PSM PENINSULA MINES 0-600.004 $3,451,488.25
CDT CASTLE MINERALS 0-650.007 $1,566,571.88
BPL BROKEN HILL PROSPECTING 0-840.019 $2,809,784.50
CZI CASSINI RESOURCES 0530.11 $45,705,780.00
FEL FE 0-530.015 $5,866,919.50
NMT NEOMETALS 0-340.22 $119,674,336.00
PNN PEPINNINI LITHIUM 0-840.004 $3,864,927.50
NWC NEW WORLD COBALT 0-820.017 $9,375,800.00
CMC CHINA MAGNESIUM0900.04 $18,497,542.00
OAU ORA GOLD 0-670.008 $5,168,767.00
PIO PIONEER RESOURCES 0-400.015 $22,611,378.00
MLS METALS AUSTRALIA 0-600.002 $5,383,595.50
MTB MOUNT BURGESS MINING0-630.003 $1,355,638.13
NVA NOVA MINERALS 0-570.015 $11,612,012.00
KOR KORAB RESOURCES 0-200.035 $10,809,959.00
CLA CELSIUS RESOURCES 0-930.016 $12,872,707.00
GPP GREENPOWER ENERGY 0-790.0025 $3,913,426.00
RIE RIEDEL RESOURCES 0-880.008 $3,344,557.50
AYR ALLOY RESOURCES 0-670.003 $4,731,233.00
ZNC ZENITH MINERALS 0-680.057 $12,127,441.00
VXR VENTUREX RESOURCES 0180.23 $64,345,408.00
ENT ENTERPRISE METALS 0-140.012 $4,816,953.00
MXR MAXIMUS RESOURCES 0-330.077 $2,331,022.25
BGS BIRIMIAN 0-700.155 $40,999,068.00
AEE AURA ENERGY 0-590.012 $13,563,715.00
AUT AUTECO MINERALS 0200.006 $6,014,788.00
BAR BARRA RESOURCES 0-410.03 $16,166,722.00
THR THOR MINING0-660.017 $12,254,390.00
LRS LATIN RESOURCES 0-880.0015 $5,008,130.00
CADCAENEUS MINERALS 0-800.001 $3,723,928.75
DGR DGR GLOBAL 0450.135 $82,779,552.00
DTM DART MINING0-490.006 $5,568,257.00
LTR LIONTOWN RESOURCES 0-30.027 $39,280,416.00
BUX BUXTON RESOURCES 0-80.12 $16,326,652.00
VML VITAL METALS 0-60.009 $14,812,196.00
BDC BARDOC GOLD 0-590.046 $50,075,932.00
AMD ARROW MINERALS 0-590.012 $3,774,487.25
MCT METALICITY 0-700.009 $5,422,173.50
HIG HIGHLANDS PACIFIC 0260.105 $117,468,888.00
MZN MARINDI METALS 0-600.004 $8,389,484.00
EME ENERGY METALS 0160.11 $23,065,164.00
CHN CHALICE GOLD MINES 050.13 $34,653,856.00
BDI BLINA MINERALS000.001 $4,543,882.50
HGM HIGH GRADE METALS 0-850.008 $3,623,503.00
LML LINCOLN MINERALS 0-770.007 $4,024,885.75
SBR SABRE RESOURCES 0-690.005 $2,034,868.00
LCD LATITUDE CONSOLIDATED 0-630.016 $4,402,864.00
TKL TRAKA RESOURCES 0-620.014 $4,638,494.50
TRT TODD RIVER RESOURCES 0-180.071 $10,904,274.00
RDS REDSTONE RESOURCES 0-260.01 $4,739,643.00
DEV DEVEX RESOURCES 0-510.04 $4,225,606.00
PMY PACIFICO MINERALS 0-500.007 $14,395,066.00
OAR OAKDALE RESOURCES 0-60.017 $3,542,041.25
CNJ CONICO 0-670.015 $5,276,374.00
CZN CORAZON MINING 0-700.003 $4,142,066.00
RMX RED MOUNTAIN MINING 0-520.005 $3,890,184.00
JRL JINDALEE RESOURCES 0140.24 $8,398,746.00
IRC INTERMIN RESOURCES 0-390.13 $29,423,558.00
COB COBALT BLUE HOLDINGS 0-890.155 $18,689,030.00
MTC METALSTECH 0-910.019 $2,222,123.75
BYH BRYAH RESOURCES 0-460.068 $3,976,382.75
TNO TANDO RESOURCES 0-530.1 $19,472,510.00
SVD SCANDIVANADIUM 0-530.012 $4,222,393.00
MLM METALLICA MINERALS 0-540.023 $7,453,090.50
FCC FIRST COBALT0-790.165 $56,041,112.00
LPD LEPIDICO 0-30.04 $130,890,832.00
SXX SOUTHERN CROSS EXPLORATION0-380.005 $5,384,216.00
S32 SOUTH32 -1-83.46 $17,582,749,696.00
SO4 SALT LAKE POTASH -1-30.57 $116,542,880.00
AGY ARGOSY MINERALS -1-740.088 $89,276,192.00
SRK STRIKE RESOURCES -1530.084 $12,208,079.00
LIT LITHIUM AUSTRALIA-1-420.082 $37,770,780.00
BSX BLACKSTONE MINERALS -1-840.066 $7,405,514.50
TLG TALGA RESOURCES -2-140.63 $136,688,400.00
KDR KIDMAN RESOURCES -2-321.33 $546,476,480.00
IDA INDIANA RESOURCES -2-150.042 $4,451,785.00
TON TRITON MINERALS -2-450.04 $38,012,656.00
AVZ AVZ MINERALS -2-820.042 $93,611,136.00
SVM SOVEREIGN METALS -2-220.082 $29,460,442.00
POS POSEIDON NICKEL -350.04 $103,065,368.00
E25 ELEMENT 25 -3-300.2 $16,373,048.00
OMH OM HOLDINGS -3-91.1 $812,485,696.00
CLQ CLEAN TEQ-3-660.33 $253,750,848.00
PGM PLATINA RESOURCES -3-350.065 $17,168,206.00
JMS JUPITER MINES -3-40.325 $626,877,120.00
GME GME RESOURCES -3-590.057 $27,530,208.00
ARL ARDEA RESOURCES -3-550.44 $46,703,988.00
ASN ANSON RESOURCES -340.058 $28,905,016.00
SGQ ST GEORGE MINING -370.145 $43,226,852.00
RIO RIO TINTO -33598.48 $141,984,858,112.00
CRL COMET RESOURCES -3-580.03 $6,494,600.00
HXG HEXAGON RESOURCES -4-370.135 $39,390,760.00
BKT BLACK ROCK MINING -4610.084 $46,258,516.00
ERX EXORE RESOURCES -4560.08 $36,312,304.00
PAN PANORAMIC RESOURCES -4-270.39 $210,495,040.00
AJM ALTURA MINING -4-660.125 $265,682,816.00
AXE ARCHER EXPLORATION -4-540.076 $14,209,374.00
AUZ AUSTRALIAN MINES -4-730.024 $71,912,344.00
EUR EUROPEAN LITHIUM -4-420.11 $61,994,604.00
JRV JERVOIS MINING -4-440.21 $49,117,860.00
BEM BLACKEARTH MINERALS-4-590.065 $5,436,564.50
MIN MINERAL RESOURCES -5-716.37 $3,047,196,928.00
MQR MARQUEE RESOURCES-5-900.041 $1,752,515.63
AVL AUSTRALIAN VANADIUM -5-560.021 $39,476,876.00
KSN KINGSTON RESOURCES -5-140.019 $23,240,770.00
VMS VENTURE MINERALS -5-560.02 $9,891,628.00
N27 NORTHERN COBALT -5-810.056 $3,013,550.75
WKT WALKABOUT RESOURCES -52160.27 $83,668,680.00
GWR GWR GROUP -5-470.09 $22,816,570.00
TMT TECHNOLOGY METALS AUSTRALIA-5-600.165 $15,321,979.00
PLS PILBARA MINERALS -6-260.65 $1,219,956,736.00
GED GOLDEN DEEPS -6-370.033 $5,655,566.00
ORE OROCOBRE -6-353.285 $881,855,104.00
GBE GLOBE METALS AND MINING -670.015 $6,988,835.50
GLN GALAN LITHIUM -61420.285 $37,506,940.00
PM1 PURE MINERALS -7-220.014 $4,401,307.00
ESR ESTRELLA RESOURCES -7-520.013 $6,894,983.00
CGN CRATER GOLD MINING -7-410.013 $15,957,446.00
HWK HAWKSTONE MINING -8-730.012 $6,843,816.00
MEI METEORIC RESOURCES-8-680.013 $8,897,469.00
CAZ CAZALY RESOURCES -8-630.023 $6,021,838.50
ANW AUS TIN MINING -8-480.011 $22,006,242.00
IEC INTRA ENERGY-8690.022 $8,529,929.00
ADN ANDROMEDA METALS -8-210.0055 $7,455,245.50
HNR HANNANS -8-350.011 $21,867,500.00
CXO CORE LITHIUM -9-20.052 $35,417,800.00
CHK COHIBA MINERALS -9250.01 $6,646,142.50
BSM BASS METALS -9-660.01 $28,058,746.00
ARU ARAFURA RESOURCES -10-460.057 $41,119,976.00
SCI SILVER CITY MINERALS -10-760.009 $2,643,392.25
BMT BERKUT MINERALS -10-100.13 $7,061,166.50
AUR AURIS MINERALS -11-610.025 $10,217,034.00
SYA SAYONA MINING -11-710.016 $27,540,160.00
KNL KIBARAN RESOURCES -12-190.11 $32,188,306.00
RNU RENASCOR RESOURCES -13-340.021 $24,221,912.00
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES -13-441.61 $666,301,760.00
LI3 LITHIUM CONSOLIDATED -14-100.1 $8,628,102.00
DHR DARK HORSE RESOURCES -14-700.006 $11,856,520.00
VMC VENUS METALS-1570.155 $13,453,297.00
AOU AUROCH MINERALS -16-310.058 $5,829,205.50
CGM COUGAR METALS-50-860.001 $1,121,027.75