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

Experts are seriously side-eyeing the latest news from Nikola Motors about its hydrogen-electric trucks.

After patent trolling Tesla and bagging the company out for its electric semi truck claims, Nikola is claiming to have made a breakthrough battery with “a record energy density of 1,100 watt-hours per kg on the material level and 500 watt-hours per kg on the production cell level”.

This may well be the battery breakthrough they claim, but experts are looking at Nikola’s track record on delivery on promises (not great) and transferring that skepticism to the latest promise to double the range of electric vehicles without increasing battery size and weight.

Prices across the board remain, frankly, disappointing as news reports from around the world point to battery metals remaining in the doldrums.

From Chile where the world’s second-largest lithium miner Chemical and Mining Society suffers under low prices and weak demand, to China where portside manganese prices ticked up slightly but maintained their downward trend, the end of 2019 isn’t looking too sparky.

Research house Antaike says cobalt production is set to grow, but it won’t be a patch on what was dug up this year.

It forecasts cobalt product to rise by 5,000 tonnes or 3.5 per cent in 2020, on this year, but that is half of what the 2019 growth was on the year before.

However, Antaike is predicting some good news: cobalt prices in 2020 are seen to hover around $US18 ($26.49) per pound, up from $US16-16.50 per pound this year on the back of that mining pull back.

And miners beware: a Kiwi company in Taupo has found a way to get battery-grade lithium out of geothermal fluid.

Geo40 has been making money extracting silica, but is about to massively expand to get into lithium as well with a $NZ20m ($18.9m) large-scale commercial plant for silica and other metals extraction built by 2021.

It has Independence Group (ASX:IGO) CEO Peter Bradford on the board and savvy Australian investors were able to buy into Geo40 in 2017, when it raised $11m here.

 

SMALL CAP SPOTLIGHT

Of the companies on our list, 66 lost ground, 47 were ahead and 36 were steady this week.

#1 METALSTECH (ASX:MTC) +386%

Isn’t this an indictment on battery metals right now: Metalstech shares surged last week not because of any funky lithium play, but because it’s looking at buying a gold mine in Slovakia.

It’s a historical mine that has produced 1.5m ounces of gold and 6.7m ounces of silver, and has an existing JORC measured and indicated resource of 1.01 million ounces at 2.05 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold.

The company’s plan is to use modern gold processing technology to the open pit site.

Metalstech is still looking at exploring for lithium in Canada, but is still reviewing data for the Cancet project in Quebec.

#2 ALTA ZINC (ASX:AZI) +20%

The base metals explorer was up for the week after its mining contractor, Edilmac Srl, started drilling into the Pian Bracca exploration zone of the Gorno Zinc project in Italy.

The site returned in October samples that averaged 19.1 per cent zinc, 4.4 per cent lead, and 128g/t silver from a length of 2.7m, and 39.5 per cent zinc, 9.4 per cent lead, and 128 g/t silver from 2m.

Also in the news was Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL), which is proposing a processing plant in Geraldton, much to the delight of mayor Shane Van Styn, who is eyeing the employment possibilities for his town.

The company plans to mine vanadium near Meekatharra and truck it to a processing plant it intends to build near Mullewa.

And sewer saver Calix (ASX:CLX) has built its advanced battery reactor in Bacchus Marsh, just outside Melbourne. The BATMn reactor cost $2.7m and is designed to make battery-quality metals from, for example, crushed manganese.

Code Name Price Nov 25 1 Year Return % 1 Week Return % Market Cap
MTC METALSTECH LTD 0.069 70 386 $7,718,957
MRR MINREX RESOURCES LTD 0.014 -53 40 $1,342,288
POW PROTEAN ENERGY LTD 0.005 -78 25 $1,557,186
AZI ALTA ZINC LTD 0.007 32 20 $13,032,892
MZZ MATADOR MINING LIMITED 0.245 -13 18 $22,254,482
VML VITAL METALS LTD 0.013 86 18 $27,853,946
HIP HIPO RESOURCES LTD 0.02 67 18 $7,730,209
LCD LATITUDE CONSOLIDATED LTD 0.014 -22 17 $3,302,148
IEC INTRA ENERGY CORP LTD 0.007 -53 17 $2,714,068
MTH MITHRIL RESOURCES LTD 0.013 40 17 $3,432,725
RMX RED MOUNTAIN MINING LTD 0.007 0 17 $5,929,258
GED GOLDEN DEEPS LTD 0.026 -30 16 $6,943,099
CZR COZIRON RESOURCES LTD 0.008 -27 14 $16,664,410
SRK STRIKE RESOURCES LTD 0.045 -18 13 $7,521,042
TNG TNG LTD 0.11 11 12 $112,454,512
ARL ARDEA RESOURCES LTD 0.78 13 11 $86,802,320
LRS LATIN RESOURCES LTD 0.01 -90 11 $1,712,690
FGR FIRST GRAPHENE LTD 0.15 -6 11 $71,208,016
SYA SAYONA MINING LTD 0.01 -56 10 $19,447,974
MQR MARQUEE RESOURCES LIMITED 0.066 -14 10 $4,198,267
PAN PANORAMIC RESOURCES LTD 0.3975 -1 10 $238,796,032
EUC EUROPEAN COBALT LTD 0.023 -43 10 $16,757,341
WCN WHITE CLIFF MINERALS LTD 0.006 -38 9 $2,822,099
IDA INDIANA RESOURCES LTD 0.025 -51 9 $4,220,378
LI3 LITHIUM CONSOLIDATED LTD 0.03 -53 9 $4,217,911
NXE NEW ENERGY MINERALS LTD 0.016 -63 7 $2,293,432
SO4 SALT LAKE POTASH LTD 0.82 74 7 $205,394,704
LPD LEPIDICO LTD 0.016 1 6 $70,458,696
LPI LITHIUM POWER INTERNATIONAL 0.26 0 6 $72,191,320
GBE GLOBE METALS AND MINING LTD 0.018 27 6 $9,318,447
PM1 PURE MINERALS LTD 0.019 27 6 $8,952,961
WKT WALKABOUT RESOURCES LTD 0.29 240 5 $104,985,080
CAZ CAZALY RESOURCES LTD 0.025 145 4 $16,267,324
SUH SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE MINING 0.026 -51 4 $2,393,806
DGR DGR GLOBAL LTD 0.083 -45 4 $50,894,096
AGY ARGOSY MINERALS LTD 0.09 -57 3 $87,505,184
LIT LITHIUM AUSTRALIA NL 0.034 -65 3 $17,630,970
E25 ELEMENT 25 LTD 0.185 0 3 $17,486,132
TON TRITON MINERALS LTD 0.038 -5 3 $34,304,112
NMT NEOMETALS LTD 0.205 -10 3 $108,887,640
PGM PLATINA RESOURCES LTD 0.0215 -62 2 $7,504,349
POS POSEIDON NICKEL LTD 0.05 11 2 $129,492,392
SEI SPECIALITY METALS INTERNATIO 0.053 381 2 $51,101,940
ZNC ZENITH MINERALS LTD 0.055 -24 2 $11,721,308
AJM ALTURA MINING LTD 0.06 -72 2 $142,210,976
PLS PILBARA MINERALS LTD 0.31 -63 2 $655,992,768
OMH OM HOLDINGS LTD 0.505 -63 1 $373,004,800
PLL PIEDMONT LITHIUM LTD 0.105 -19 0 $81,538,032
BAR BARRA RESOURCES LTD 0.021 -37 0 $13,719,862
VMC VENUS METALS CORP LTD 0.19 14 0 $22,059,648
AMD ARROW MINERALS LTD 0.008 -43 0 $6,701,706
SVM SOVEREIGN METALS LTD 0.105 50 0 $35,939,868
BDI BLINA MINERALS NL 0.001 0 0 $5,454,883
BKT BLACK ROCK MINING LTD 0.049 45 0 $29,560,354
TAR TARUGA MINERALS LTD 0.016 -73 0 $2,597,476
SBR SABRE RESOURCES LTD 0.004 -50 0 $1,901,535
LML LINCOLN MINERALS LTD 0.005 -17 0 $2,874,919
TKL TRAKA RESOURCES LTD 0.008 -68 0 $3,203,704
ASN ANSON RESOURCES LTD 0.03 -63 0 $17,998,854
WML WOOMERA MINING LTD 0.02 -75 0 $2,551,548
NZC NZURI COPPER LTD 0.3 18 0 $88,771,648
HNR HANNANS LTD 0.009 -25 0 $17,891,590
KAI KAIROS MINERALS LTD 0.01 -57 0 $9,844,002
ANW AUS TIN MINING LTD 0.002 -90 0 $5,090,104
PUR PURSUIT MINERALS LTD 0.008 -73 0 $2,641,758
PSM PENINSULA MINES LTD 0.002 -60 0 $2,033,744
FEL FE LTD 0.014 0 0 $6,841,823
BSM BASS METALS LTD 0.008 -63 0 $19,669,122
KSN KINGSTON RESOURCES LTD 0.15 -28 0 $22,957,002
PIO PIONEER RESOURCES LTD 0.013 -19 0 $20,368,244
MLS METALS AUSTRALIA LTD 0.0015 -63 0 $4,811,029
CHK COHIBA MINERALS LTD 0.014 180 0 $9,304,599
ARE ARGONAUT RESOURCES NL 0.005 -74 0 $7,771,903
DHR DARK HORSE RESOURCES LTD 0.0035 -42 0 $8,030,555
RIE RIEDEL RESOURCES LTD 0.013 -19 0 $5,434,906
4CE FORCE COMMODITIES LTD 0.016 -27 0 $8,922,476
SI6 SIX SIGMA METALS LTD 0.004 -33 0 $2,580,013
CNJ CONICO LTD 0.008 -63 0 $3,075,186
SRN SUREFIRE RESOURCES NL 0.002 -57 0 $1,884,461
CUL CULLEN RESOURCES LTD 0.013 -43 0 $2,463,043
AVL AUSTRALIAN VANADIUM LTD 0.011 -63 0 $25,528,020
MLM METALLICA MINERALS LTD 0.013 -64 0 $4,212,617
CLA CELSIUS RESOURCES LTD 0.013 -78 0 $9,843,835
MIN MINERAL RESOURCES LTD 14.88 -3 -1 $2,622,266,624
MZN MARINDI METALS LTD 0.064 -72 -2 $5,196,416
JRL JINDALEE RESOURCES LTD 0.29 6 -2 $11,355,805
JMS JUPITER MINES LTD 0.2575 9 -2 $509,337,664
HAV HAVILAH RESOURCES LTD 0.098 -47 -2 $24,462,462
BEM BLACKEARTH MINERALS NL 0.047 -46 -2 $5,569,121
AVZ AVZ MINERALS LTD 0.043 -45 -2 $96,774,232
GPX GRAPHEX MINING LTD 0.175 -29 -3 $17,162,810
TMT TECHNOLOGY METALS AUSTRALIA 0.14 -68 -3 $12,695,354
COB COBALT BLUE HOLDINGS LTD 0.135 -39 -4 $20,236,840
AXE ARCHER MATERIALS LTD 0.135 83 -4 $25,621,932
AML AEON METALS LTD 0.115 -59 -4 $77,518,016
BOA BOADICEA RESOURCES LTD 0.23 31 -4 $12,787,022
BSX BLACKSTONE MINERALS LTD 0.12 -8 -4 $23,007,776
BUX BUXTON RESOURCES LTD 0.068 -53 -4 $9,251,769
EUR EUROPEAN LITHIUM LTD 0.085 -22 -4 $51,503,364
MNS MAGNIS ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES L 0.105 -67 -5 $65,421,728
JRV JERVOIS MINING LTD 0.19 3 -5 $121,910,208
KNL KIBARAN RESOURCES LTD 0.091 -33 -5 $28,872,870
TLG TALGA RESOURCES LTD 0.44 10 -5 $99,851,128
HXG HEXAGON RESOURCES LTD 0.069 -53 -6 $20,133,054
LTR LIONTOWN RESOURCES LTD 0.084 253 -6 $138,537,792
CHN CHALICE GOLD MINES LTD 0.16 42 -6 $43,850,900
ORE OROCOBRE LTD 2.59 -40 -6 $675,129,408
GLN GALAN LITHIUM LTD 0.16 -36 -6 $22,504,226
MLL MALI LITHIUM LTD 0.072 -64 -6 $22,214,368
VRC VOLT RESOURCES LTD 0.013 -35 -7 $17,659,480
MEI METEORIC RESOURCES NL 0.054 225 -7 $51,307,352
RNU RENASCOR RESOURCES LTD 0.013 -28 -7 $15,072,516
KTA KRAKATOA RESOURCES LTD 0.038 58 -7 $6,765,000
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES LTD 0.995 -62 -7 $399,242,368
INF INFINITY LITHIUM CORP LTD 0.066 -31 -7 $12,695,981
PSC PROSPECT RESOURCES LTD 0.12 -50 -8 $28,314,210
CXO CORE LITHIUM LTD 0.037 -41 -8 $28,449,524
CRL COMET RESOURCES LTD 0.023 -26 -8 $6,382,500
BPL BROKEN HILL PROSPECTING LTD 0.022 -44 -8 $3,653,835
BYH BRYAH RESOURCES LTD 0.041 -58 -9 $4,079,201
NWC NEW WORLD COBALT LTD 0.017 -35 -10 $16,590,561
NVA NOVA MINERALS LTD 0.036 71 -10 $34,485,264
GPP GREENPOWER ENERGY LTD 0.012 -74 -10 $2,902,243
GME GME RESOURCES LTD 0.057 -25 -11 $28,855,846
CFE CAPE LAMBERT RESOURCES LTD 0.004 -80 -11 $4,417,896
SVD SCANDIVANADIUM LTD 0.008 -68 -11 $2,814,929
N27 NORTHERN COBALT LTD 0.052 -34 -11 $4,251,032
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS LTD 0.24 -43 -11 $182,882,752
AUZ AUSTRALIAN MINES LTD 0.016 -67 -12 $55,115,880
KOR KORAB RESOURCES LTD 0.015 -38 -12 $4,757,992
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES LTD 0.415 -76 -12 $165,397,232
VR8 VANADIUM RESOURCES LTD 0.035 -68 -13 $13,099,710
ADV ARDIDEN LTD 0.0035 -42 -13 $6,762,081
LKE LAKE RESOURCES NL 0.031 -72 -14 $17,474,558
BAT BATTERY MINERALS LTD 0.006 -78 -14 $7,908,550
INR IONEER LTD 0.1975 -17 -15 $332,583,040
EMH EUROPEAN METALS HLDS LT-CDI 0.36 -3 -16 $51,275,024
THR THOR MINING PLC-CDI 0.005 -83 -17 $4,674,901
DTM DART MINING NL 0.005 -29 -17 $5,351,881
MCT METALICITY LTD 0.004 -81 -20 $2,892,840
PNN PEPINNINI LITHIUM LTD 0.002 -70 -20 $2,514,255
AYR ALLOY RESOURCES LTD 0.002 -50 -20 $3,916,555
AEE AURA ENERGY LTD 0.004 -79 -20 $6,619,703
DEV DEVEX RESOURCES LTD 0.08 60 -23 $15,800,135
HRZ HORIZON MINERALS LTD 0.1 -35 -23 $42,797,520
RLC REEDY LAGOON CORP LTD 0.003 -57 -25 $1,206,815
HWK HAWKSTONE MINING LTD 0.006 -73 -25 $5,707,226
MTB MOUNT BURGESS MINING NL 0.002 -60 -33 $1,596,388
CZN CORAZON MINING LTD 0.002 -71 -33 $4,076,721

At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Australian Vanadium is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.