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

In 2016 nickel stocks were friendless, brutalised by years of falling prices.

Multi-commodity miner BHP (ASX:BHP) had attempted to offload its WA-based nickel division a number of times. Western Areas (ASX:WSA) was slashing costs left and right, while Mincor (ASX:MCR) and Poseidon Nickel (ASX:POS) were forced to shut down their operations entirely.

Exploration essentially stopped dead.

Around 2017, the  ‘we need a crapload more nickel for batteries’ thematic emerged from the arse-end of company presentations.

These EV demand projections subsequently moved to the front and repeated ad nauseum by nickel companies who were (are still are) largely supplying the stainless steel industry.

But mines take many years to develop. It’s the demand outlook which is important, especially for explorers.

Recent high profile comments by Tesla’s Elon Musk have made this demand story extra palpable to investors.

The electric vehicle trailblazer alone could need up to 1.15 million tonnes of nickel a year — almost 50 per cent of current global supply — by 2030 to meet ambitious production targets. It’s a seemingly impossible goal, but the intent is there.

WA players are stepping up to the plate. In 2019, a revitalised Nickel West, once the red-headed stepchild of BHP’s portfolio, was given ‘core’ status and the cash to expand operations.

About 70 per cent of Nickel West’s ~80,000tpa production now goes to battery manufacturers.

A cashed-up Mincor has just started project development and will shortly be a nickel miner once again. Poseidon Nickel is considering a restart of its Black Swan operation.

But most importantly — a reinvigorated exploration sector has generated an extraordinary number of high profile WA nickel discoveries over the past 12 months.

These company making finds include Chalice Gold Mines’ (ASX:CHN) Julimar, Legend Mining’s (ASX:LEG) Mawson, Poseidon’s Golden Swan, Estrella Resources’ (ASX:ESR) Carr Boyd, and Azure’s (ASX:AZS) Andover.

There’s surely more to come.

Nickel investor sentiment is currently flying — 11 of the top 20 battery metals stocks (55 per cent) over the past month have nickel exposure.

Here’s how a basket of 105 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 CHANGE % 1 MONTH CHANGE % 1 YEAR CHANGE % SHARE PRICE [INTRADAY TUES] MARKET CAP
ESR Estrella Resources 180 1669 1991 0.23 $ 116,970,408.54
AOU Auroch Minerals 67 96 112 0.155 $ 38,155,960.43
ADV Ardiden 65 43 1129 0.043 $ 98,356,283.55
PM1 Pure Minerals 37 105 141 0.041 $ 30,126,721.08
BAR Barra Resources 36 73 81 0.038 $ 24,960,499.74
HNR Hannans 33 14 -20 0.008 $ 15,903,636.31
PUR Pursuit Minerals 30 -7 18 0.013 $ 6,241,421.11
CWX Carawine Resources 27 27 27 0.31 $ 32,731,416.14
RFR Rafaella Resources 24 44 5 0.115 $ 10,869,068.52
AVZ AVZ Minerals 23 56 133 0.098 $ 269,657,358.26
NIC Nickel Mines 21 33 50 0.9475 $ 1,957,851,670.64
TLG Talga Resources 21 22 79 0.93 $ 239,027,237.98
SGQ St George Mining 19 9 -26 0.125 $ 65,460,638.88
GBR Great Boulder Resources 17 67 67 0.082 $ 12,600,004.59
CZN Corazon 17 40 45 0.0035 $ 11,386,757.01
COB Cobalt Blue 12 9 -19 0.105 $ 24,931,243.05
SYA Sayona Mining 11 11 14 0.01 $ 28,431,914.30
MOH Moho Resources 9 -4 50 0.12 $ 8,343,792.84
INF Infinity Lithium 9 10 50 0.099 $ 30,099,514.68
TNG TNG Limited 9 28 53 0.125 $ 129,322,689.26
AZS Azure Minerals 8 86 173 0.41 $ 104,142,825.31
RLC Reedy Lagoon 8 8 367 0.014 $ 6,576,272.98
BUX Buxton Resources 7 -25 18 0.09 $ 12,244,988.88
SVD Scandivanadium 7 -46 67 0.015 $ 6,724,598.66
SLZ Sultan Resources 7 10 243 0.23 $ 12,018,186.50
MLL Mali Lithium 5 26 135 0.195 $ 65,754,446.22
MLX Metals X 5 3 -56 0.081 $ 73,488,551.43
FGR First Graphene 5 26 -13 0.1575 $ 81,482,567.68
LKE Lake Resources 4 20 89 0.072 $ 53,072,617.81
AML Aeon Metals 4 -14 9 0.125 $ 81,308,367.24
POS Poseidon Nickel 4 43 57 0.077 $ 200,845,339.16
VMC Venus Metals 4 12 56 0.28 $ 43,057,424.66
CLA Celsius Resources 3 6 127 0.034 $ 26,527,414.75
PLS Pilbara Minerals 3 -1 35 0.385 $ 846,302,548.22
LPI Lithium Power International 3 -11 -32 0.195 $ 51,287,711.09
CLQ Clean Teq Holdings 2 2 15 0.31 $ 246,331,867.65
OZL OZ Minerals 0 1 56 14.72 $ 5,021,649,322.44
LTR Liontown Resources 0 38 176 0.27 $ 500,118,520.67
CXO Core Lithium 0 25 28 0.05 $ 49,716,516.05
ALY Alchemy Resources 0 11 65 0.021 $ 14,789,355.97
NMT Neometals 0 8 9 0.2 $ 109,070,253.20
RXL Rox Resources 0 2 148 0.062 $ 124,795,536.24
AJM Altura Mining 0 0 21 0.07 $ 209,037,029.25
ATM Aneka Tambang 0 0 0 1 $ 1,303,649.00
BSM Bass Metals 0 0 -63 0.003 $ 11,783,627.21
IPT Impact Minerals 0 0 178 0.025 $ 42,652,446.89
LML Lincoln Minerals 0 0 60 0.008 $ 4,599,869.49
MNS Magnis Energy Tech 0 0 25 0.2 $ 137,877,635.61
TON Triton Minerals 0 -2 33 0.052 $ 58,992,339.48
G88 Golden Mile Resources 0 -3 -4 0.067 $ 8,119,209.65
GAL Galileo Mining 0 -4 126 0.26 $ 35,775,301.25
QXR Qx Resources 0 -7 -18 0.014 $ 6,196,433.22
LPD Lepidico 0 -11 -57 0.008 $ 41,485,880.30
SBR Sabre Resources 0 -17 150 0.01 $ 12,506,462.58
AVL Australian Vanadium 0 -25 9 0.012 $ 35,081,588.27
VRC Volt Resources 0 -27 -15 0.011 $ 22,226,109.10
JRV Jervois Mining -1 -1 46 0.33 $ 209,109,077.13
GXY Galaxy Resources -1 -18 41 1.28 $ 515,943,965.88
MCR Mincor Resources -1 -7 38 0.88 $ 379,561,628.16
BHP BHP Group -2 -5 3 35.83 $ 107,523,575,881.00
MIN Mineral Resources -2 -4 95 24.73 $ 4,790,376,525.40
PGM Platina Resources -2 -26 150 0.05 $ 20,204,324.65
BEM Blackearth Minerals -2 20 -6 0.049 $ 6,819,331.25
GME GME Resources -2 -16 -32 0.042 $ 22,274,677.20
JRL Jindalee Resources -3 31 124 0.55 $ 23,491,006.00
ASN Anson Resources -3 84 13 0.035 $ 27,420,787.42
PNN PepinNini Minerals -3 23 -34 0.175 $ 3,205,492.50
AQD Ausquest -3 -3 107 0.029 $ 18,287,982.39
AUZ Australian Mines -3 -15 -50 0.0145 $ 55,460,353.90
GED Golden Deeps -3 -15 -46 0.0145 $ 7,538,169.79
S2R S2 Resources -3 16 84 0.285 $ 85,020,618.33
BKT Black Rock Mining -4 2 -12 0.054 $ 38,289,726.92
LEG Legend Mining -4 -16 193 0.135 $ 348,170,643.73
LIT Lithium Australia -4 -5 16 0.052 $ 41,990,073.41
SRI Sipa Resources -4 -4 -15 0.077 $ 13,337,051.10
AGY Argosy Minerals -4 -14 -22 0.051 $ 54,033,613.47
ESS Essential Metals -4 13 -27 0.11 $ 15,842,024.84
IGO IGO -5 -6 -25 4.32 $ 2,605,414,919.94
PAN Panoramic Resources -5 5 -56 0.105 $ 215,345,970.42
INR Ioneer -5 86 15 0.195 $ 336,431,482.80
STK Strickland Metals -5 52 276 0.094 $ 39,301,542.97
CNJ Conico -5 20 80 0.018 $ 11,173,818.34
MRC Mineral Commodities -5 -3 59 0.35 $ 154,731,134.14
ARL Ardea Resources -6 4 25 0.5 $ 61,281,879.36
TMT Technology Metals -6 23 110 0.325 $ 39,360,000.00
EMH European Metals -6 2 43 0.45 $ 50,118,776.43
VUL Vulcan Energy -6 31 609 1.17 $ 82,596,327.75
AXE Archer Materials -7 -4 257 0.5 $ 116,915,003.92
CTM Centaurus Metals -7 32 228 0.64 $ 216,695,011.40
VR8 Vanadium Resources -7 0 -40 0.028 $ 10,479,768.26
GLN Galan Lithium -7 -16 -27 0.135 $ 25,784,898.72
DEV Devex Resources -7 2 265 0.31 $ 79,967,498.00
ORE Orocobre -8 -5 13 2.66 $ 911,715,423.40
TKL Traka Resources -9 0 92 0.021 $ 10,635,766.43
RNU Renascor Resources -9 -17 -29 0.01 $ 16,473,792.12
EGR Ecograf -10 23 168 0.185 $ 65,517,618.24
CHN Chalice Gold Mines -10 81 1608 3.16 $ 963,001,946.40
MAN Mandrake Resources -13 -13 265 0.062 $ 18,688,894.31
EUR European Lithium -15 -32 -49 0.041 $ 32,320,345.55
BSX Blackstone Minerals -16 -6 238 0.405 $ 136,141,180.75
MLS Metals Australia -17 -17 25 0.0025 $ 7,296,705.55
PLL Piedmont Lithium -18 180 273 0.42 $ 485,234,486.52
BOA Boadicea Resources -24 2 34 0.235 $ 14,176,915.23
WKT Walkabout Resources -24 -24 -33 0.17 $ 68,081,060.78
PSC Prospect Resources -32 -28 0 0.13 $ 37,171,748.12
WSA Western Areas 2 -3 -24 2.3 $ 632,650,000.00

NICKEL SMALL CAP STANDOUTS

A spectacular intersection at Estrella Resources’ (ASX:ESR) flagship Carr Boyd project could see it “joining an elite list of recent Western Australian nickel discoveries” like Julimar, Golden Swan and Mawson.

The discovery, announced October 8, sparked a 1,200 per cent increase in the explorer’s share price.

On October 12,  Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) potentially hit the big one in its very first drillhole at the Andover nickel-copper project, also in WA.

The share price of explorer Auroch Minerals (ASX:AOU), which is dialling in on WA’s next nickel discovery, is at its highest point since late 2017.

And Pure Minerals (ASX:PM1) flew after inking an offtake-potential project funding deal with the world’s biggest electric vehicle battery maker, LG Chem.

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – a non-binding agreement that comes before a legal one – is for the supply of 10,000t nickel and 1,000t cobalt each year from Pure’s TECH Project in Queensland.