• Controversial US start-up Nikola has begun production of an electric truck called the ‘Tre’
  • NYSE-listed Livent the latest global lithium producer to announce big production expansions
  • LME nickel short squeeze disaster forcing market participants elsewhere: Benchmark

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

 

A Nikola electric truck goes into production, finally 

Controversial US start-up Nikola (AKA the poor man’s Tesla) has begun production of an electric truck called the Tre, which will have a battery 15 times bigger than that in a standard Tesla Model 3.

It is one of many larger commercial trucks coming into production in the near term, which – with their larger batteries — will demand far higher volumes of raw battery materials.

The Phase 1 Arizona manufacturing facility provides Nikola with a production capacity of 2,500 trucks. Construction of the Phase 2 expansion is expected to be completed in 2023 with a production capacity of up to 20,000-trucks per year.

A hydrogen powered version of the Tre is also in the works, Nikola says.

Nikola, which went public in June 2020 by merging with a SPAC, is no stranger to controversy.

In January 2018, Nikola posted a video to YouTube which showed the Nikola One truck moving rapidly along a desert highway.

It turns out Nikola had just towed the truck to the top of a hill and let in roll down, tilting the camera so it looked like the vehicle was moving under its own power.

Dodgy shenanigans like this culminated in $125 million of fines from the Securities and Exchange Commission in December last year for misleading investors. Founder Trevor Milton is also in some strife.

Shares soared to nearly $US100 in 2020 despite Nikola never producing a single vehicle for sale. It is currently worth just under $US7 per share, which seems a bit closer to fair value.

 

More lithium is coming, producers say

$5bn capped Livent (NYSE:LTHM) is the latest global lithium producer to announce big production expansion projects across its operations following a strong quarter.

Its adjusted earnings before tax was $53.3 million; 94% higher than the previous quarter.

LTHM now wants to boost total lithium hydroxide capacity to 55,000 tonnes per year (tpa) (currently 25,000tpa) by the end of 2025 and its lithium carbonate capacity to 100,000tpa (currently 20,000tpa) by the end of 2030.

“Strong lithium demand growth has continued in 2022,” CEO Paul Graves says.

“Published lithium prices in all forms have increased rapidly amid very tight market conditions and Livent continues to achieve higher realised prices across its entire product portfolio.”

 

LME short squeeze disaster forcing market participants elsewhere: Benchmark

The LME nickel short squeeze saw prices briefly surpass an insane $US100,000/t before the LME cancelled all trades on the 8 March and backdated prices to $US48,000/tonne.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence says a reported $US3.9bn of trades were cancelled by the exchange and, as a result, market participants have raised questions over the reliability of the LME as a pricing mechanism.

“This sparked claims that the LME acted intentionally to protect large industry players who were affected by the rally, with some suggesting this was at the behest of the exchange’s owners, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX),” it says.

“Regardless of whether these accusations can be verified, these claims have done significant damage to the trust market participants have previously placed in the LME, by suggesting the exchange is not an independent and impartial entity.”

Liquidity on the LME has since dropped significantly, with average daily transaction levels in April down by 49% from February volumes, Benchmark says.

“If the LME is unable to restore market confidence in the exchange, it runs the risk of becoming redundant to the battery supply chain, particularly in China, the global hub for battery nickel, as more market participants opt to use alternative pricing methods,” it says.

 

Battery Metals Winners and Losers

Here’s how a basket of ASX stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, rare earths, magnesium, manganese, and vanadium is performing>>>

Battery metals stocks missing from our list? Shoot a mail to [email protected]. Be nice, he’s fragile.

CODE COMPANY 1 WEEK RETURN % 1 MONTH RETURN % 6 MONTH RETURN % 1 YEAR RETURN % PRICE MARKET CAP
LEL Lithenergy 56% 50% 91% 0% 1.545 $74,025,000.00
AZI Altamin Limited 16% 9% 25% 4% 0.1 $28,203,606.14
NIC Nickel Mines Limited 12% 0% 24% 15% 1.285 $3,488,791,194.42
SYR Syrah Resources 12% 7% 44% 65% 1.84 $1,248,303,288.53
NKL Nickelxltd 11% -9% 15% 0% 0.15 $10,557,000.00
AOA Ausmon Resorces 11% 11% 67% 67% 0.01 $8,572,893.43
TKL Traka Resources 10% -8% -15% -35% 0.011 $7,576,520.17
SCN Scorpion Minerals 8% 19% 16% 56% 0.081 $28,205,651.32
CML Chase Mining Limited 7% 25% 0% -32% 0.015 $7,021,991.42
LPM Lithium Plus 7% 0% 0% 0% 0.75 $35,917,651.00
KAI Kairos Minerals Ltd 7% -3% 7% 3% 0.031 $60,824,898.22
ILU Iluka Resources 7% -4% 24% 44% 11.11 $4,692,055,103.82
CHN Chalice Mining Ltd 5% -3% 10% 5% 6.84 $2,570,369,951.76
ATM Aneka Tambang 5% 10% 14% 25% 1.25 $1,629,561.25
WIN Widgienickellimited 4% -15% 111% 0% 0.465 $112,500,000.00
JMS Jupiter Mines. 4% -8% 12% -29% 0.24 $470,157,847.92
BUX Buxton Resources Ltd 4% -5% 12% 37% 0.1 $15,312,054.87
S32 South32 Limited 4% -13% 31% 63% 4.64 $22,153,279,928.22
BHP BHP Group Limited 4% -10% 32% 1% 47.365 $241,270,323,235.40
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 3% -16% -24% 52% 0.032 $15,902,359.67
JRV Jervois Global Ltd 3% 5% 57% 102% 0.865 $1,352,578,355.29
QPM Queensland Pacific 3% -8% -19% 35% 0.175 $285,475,929.24
WKT Walkabout Resources 2% 0% 26% -26% 0.24 $104,023,275.76
HAS Hastings Tech Met 2% -8% 4% 50% 0.27 $547,815,219.93
PSC Prospect Res Ltd 2% 5% 92% 540% 0.96 $414,041,929.92
IXR Ionic Rare Earths 1% -23% 79% 143% 0.068 $290,197,869.00
FFX Firefinch Ltd 1% -11% 71% 186% 1.045 $1,287,555,110.89
STK Strickland Metals 1% 30% -20% 233% 0.07 $89,658,765.00
OZL OZ Minerals 1% -11% -1% -1% 23.87 $8,187,863,653.94
AKE Allkem Limited 1% -4% 23% 79% 11.9 $7,626,390,708.56
VIA Viagold Rare Earth 0% 0% 0% 2339% 2 $166,624,808.00
GSR Greenstone Resources 0% -16% 23% 52% 0.032 $28,868,291.20
QEM QEM Limited 0% -12% 24% 2% 0.23 $28,355,833.25
GED Golden Deeps 0% 31% 42% 55% 0.017 $19,637,708.88
CWX Carawine Resources 0% 0% 5% -24% 0.21 $28,945,212.87
RXL Rox Resources 0% -4% 4% -29% 0.385 $64,197,559.86
BRB Breaker Res NL 0% 2% -27% 28% 0.255 $81,460,232.25
AQD Ausquest Limited 0% -5% 31% 11% 0.021 $17,328,133.68
LML Lincoln Minerals 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.008 $4,599,869.49
ARU Arafura Resource Ltd 0% -10% 67% 106% 0.36 $565,902,326.18
S2R S2 Resources 0% -9% -16% -6% 0.16 $51,674,353.98
CNJ Conico Ltd 0% -13% -67% -58% 0.012 $13,802,965.26
OMH OM Holdings Limited 0% -3% -17% -6% 0.87 $642,602,303.19
KOB Kobaresourceslimited 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.23 $13,000,000.00
LYC Lynas Rare Earths 0% -19% 22% 61% 8.935 $8,121,703,986.00
SRL Sunrise -1% 38% 77% 50% 3.3 $298,992,158.28
MIN Mineral Resources. -1% 0% 39% 14% 54.32 $10,610,407,053.36
MLX Metals X Limited -1% -1% 81% 185% 0.67 $626,013,586.23
EFE Eastern Resources -1% -11% -18% 365% 0.0465 $45,744,085.03
LMG Latrobe Magnesium -1% -12% 22% 311% 0.078 $125,087,940.98
ARR American Rare Earths -1% -24% 114% 333% 0.385 $155,809,699.72
TNG TNG Limited -1% -17% -38% -23% 0.075 $111,073,457.76
PLL Piedmont Lithium Inc -2% -8% 9% -3% 0.925 $498,554,406.00
FRB Firebird Metals -2% -6% -29% -39% 0.305 $15,746,342.40
CAE Cannindah Resources -2% -14% -25% 328% 0.295 $160,122,622.20
BKT Black Rock Mining -2% 8% 22% 96% 0.275 $239,911,103.85
ARN Aldoro Resources -2% -10% -47% -21% 0.275 $29,268,008.76
PLS Pilbara Min Ltd -2% -24% 12% 132% 2.61 $7,888,610,611.45
NTU Northern Min Ltd -2% -9% -6% 20% 0.049 $247,839,411.25
LIT Lithium Australia -2% -11% -25% -22% 0.098 $101,445,211.95
AAJ Aruma Resources Ltd -2% -30% 9% 40% 0.094 $15,225,265.79
SGQ St George Min Ltd -2% -12% -32% -53% 0.044 $31,327,724.43
RAS Ragusa Minerals Ltd -2% -8% -16% 6% 0.084 $10,680,915.55
MCR Mincor Resources NL -3% -2% 74% 129% 2.27 $1,133,372,822.40
DTM Dart Mining NL -3% 4% -30% -49% 0.074 $9,087,837.89
CAI Calidus Resources -3% -5% 59% 145% 0.93 $376,147,702.48
WR1 Winsome Resources -3% -6% 0% 0% 0.46 $66,666,597.03
FGR First Graphene Ltd -3% -12% -29% -40% 0.15 $86,786,635.28
SLZ Sultan Resources Ltd -3% -6% -17% -38% 0.15 $12,492,658.35
FG1 Flynngold -3% -3% 0% 0% 0.15 $9,609,157.50
GME GME Resources Ltd -4% 38% 108% 146% 0.135 $83,158,706.68
IGO IGO Limited -4% -15% 36% 67% 12.305 $9,511,283,731.28
TLG Talga Group Ltd -4% -14% -15% -7% 1.435 $454,412,033.31
EMN Euromanganese -4% -7% -30% -33% 0.38 $102,851,094.80
MRC Mineral Commodities -4% 0% -11% -44% 0.125 $66,873,829.25
SRI Sipa Resources Ltd -4% -6% -16% -32% 0.047 $10,046,215.35
CMX Chemxmaterials -4% 7% 0% 0% 0.235 $11,585,187.75
TMT Technology Metals -4% -21% 26% 26% 0.46 $97,591,374.34
PNT Panthermetalsltd -4% -8% 0% 0% 0.23 $6,720,000.00
BSX Blackstone Ltd -4% -15% -42% -7% 0.34 $159,884,172.10
KGD Kula Gold Limited -4% -6% -8% 5% 0.045 $9,898,079.07
CLA Celsius Resource Ltd -5% -22% -19% -53% 0.021 $26,872,246.90
HNR Hannans Ltd -5% -20% -40% 341% 0.0305 $80,794,415.76
PRL Province Resources -5% -9% -41% -55% 0.0915 $107,708,862.42
CTM Centaurus Metals Ltd -5% -11% 33% 97% 1.32 $576,593,468.55
BOA Boadicea Resources -5% -15% 5% -21% 0.195 $15,151,479.53
ZNC Zenith Minerals Ltd -5% -1% 64% 38% 0.385 $134,122,620.45
PGD Peregrine Gold -5% -4% 30% 60% 0.48 $18,186,167.78
ADD Adavale Resource Ltd -5% -3% -28% -53% 0.038 $13,478,244.59
AR3 Austrare -5% -12% -17% 0% 0.665 $52,174,591.88
ENV Enova Mining Limited -5% -5% -10% -32% 0.019 $6,434,518.04
VMC Venus Metals Cor Ltd -5% -3% 3% -3% 0.185 $27,949,556.36
RAG Ragnar Metals Ltd -5% 27% 6% -23% 0.0445 $16,025,450.23
LTR Liontown Resources -6% -30% -30% 305% 1.365 $3,091,037,529.18
MRD Mount Ridley Mines -6% -6% 21% 21% 0.0085 $49,184,726.64
MMC Mitremining -6% -6% -19% 0% 0.17 $4,604,467.00
RMX Red Mount Min Ltd -6% -11% -15% -15% 0.0085 $14,781,274.72
KOR Korab Resources -6% -15% -23% 209% 0.034 $13,213,800.00
TMB Tambourahmetals -6% -4% 25% 0% 0.25 $10,504,112.49
PEK Peak Rare Earths Ltd -6% -17% -2% -24% 0.665 $138,923,519.79
INF Infinity Lithium -6% -9% -18% -16% 0.16 $68,446,857.77
GL1 Globallith -6% -17% 177% 0% 1.9 $310,104,877.04
INR Ioneer Ltd -6% -15% -23% 58% 0.61 $1,317,045,491.37
RFR Rafaella Resources -6% -4% -44% -59% 0.045 $10,109,658.69
GLN Galan Lithium Ltd -6% -22% 1% 109% 1.63 $502,239,147.30
GAL Galileo Mining Ltd -6% 0% -12% -15% 0.22 $39,576,163.18
GSM Golden State Mining -6% -14% -30% -46% 0.073 $7,993,728.20
PAM Pan Asia Metals -6% -9% -5% 264% 0.51 $37,565,908.44
ASO Aston Minerals Ltd -7% -15% 22% -10% 0.14 $158,711,985.61
IPX Iperionx Limited -7% -19% 9% -12% 1.05 $150,108,685.37
LSR Lodestar Minerals -7% -7% 63% 18% 0.013 $22,599,685.52
WCN White Cliff Min Ltd -7% -13% 100% 37% 0.026 $16,993,687.41
NWM Norwest Minerals -7% -20% -32% -27% 0.052 $9,572,191.51
CHR Charger Metals -7% -22% 43% 0% 0.645 $21,829,293.45
ASN Anson Resources Ltd -7% -24% 14% 71% 0.125 $138,768,165.23
NVA Nova Minerals Ltd -7% -20% -53% -53% 0.685 $131,547,668.05
LOT Lotus Resources Ltd -7% -16% 5% 121% 0.31 $318,123,166.08
AZS Azure Minerals -7% -11% -24% -11% 0.31 $102,542,787.93
AXE Archer Materials -7% -16% -50% -5% 0.805 $200,772,437.67
JRL Jindalee Resources -8% 18% 53% 29% 4.05 $238,122,708.90
MNS Magnis Energy Tech -8% -20% -20% 14% 0.42 $420,116,618.12
GW1 Greenwing Resources -8% -6% 2% 20% 0.42 $57,310,017.29
SHH Shree Minerals Ltd -8% -25% 20% -25% 0.012 $14,666,842.70
RGL Riversgold -8% -30% 188% 3% 0.06 $34,749,275.42
MNS Magnis Energy Tech -8% -20% -20% 14% 0.42 $420,116,618.12
LEG Legend Mining -8% 6% 24% -39% 0.082 $225,921,129.12
EUR European Lithium Ltd -8% -41% -32% 53% 0.092 $132,759,709.06
LPI Lithium Pwr Int Ltd -8% -20% 33% 159% 0.725 $265,350,084.48
SBR Sabre Resources -8% -8% 10% -8% 0.0055 $16,734,989.12
1MC Morella Corporation -8% -6% -48% -48% 0.033 $170,815,061.54
AM7 Arcadia Minerals -8% 13% 8% 0% 0.27 $9,447,975.00
CMO Cosmometalslimited -9% -9% 0% 0% 0.16 $4,081,600.00
IPT Impact Minerals -9% -1% -15% -30% 0.0115 $27,380,769.83
FRS Forrestaniaresources -9% -6% -38% 0% 0.31 $9,413,099.34
TON Triton Min Ltd -9% 7% -16% -35% 0.031 $37,283,525.31
STM Sunstone Metals Ltd -9% -23% -14% 313% 0.062 $164,971,848.73
CNB Carnaby Resource Ltd -9% -9% 280% 245% 1.12 $172,242,303.60
ESR Estrella Res Ltd -9% -26% -41% -61% 0.02 $24,013,630.80
ODE Odessa Minerals Ltd -9% 33% 300% 300% 0.02 $11,280,173.27
A8G Australasian Metals -9% -7% -34% 0% 0.44 $18,526,722.30
PAN Panoramic Resources -9% -3% 32% 81% 0.29 $635,783,341.24
EGR Ecograf Limited -9% -17% -21% -11% 0.48 $211,656,725.73
GBR Greatbould Resources -10% -27% -39% 107% 0.095 $40,499,728.61
MQR Marquee Resource Ltd -10% 2% 49% 87% 0.1175 $34,117,593.25
COB Cobalt Blue Ltd -10% -21% 83% 103% 0.75 $252,630,758.40
MTM Mtmongerresources -10% 9% 16% 0% 0.185 $6,412,106.11
EVR Ev Resources Ltd -10% -16% 27% 55% 0.0495 $50,003,139.83
CXO Core Lithium -10% -21% 110% 340% 1.21 $2,171,729,137.66
REE Rarex Limited -10% -3% -3% -8% 0.092 $52,894,205.70
EMH European Metals Hldg -10% -19% -15% -11% 1.13 $161,189,624.93
RBX Resource B -10% 10% 8% 532% 0.215 $9,156,959.78
ESS Essential Metals Ltd -10% -4% 158% 472% 0.555 $149,817,689.09
VUL Vulcan Energy -11% -28% -33% -2% 7.67 $1,071,591,032.60
KZR Kalamazoo Resources -11% 4% 6% -16% 0.37 $53,721,918.38
CRR Critical Resources -11% -3% 117% 493% 0.089 $141,199,074.18
AZL Arizona Lithium Ltd -11% -11% 19% 321% 0.16 $389,255,446.83
VML Vital Metals Limited -11% -7% 2% -5% 0.056 $241,888,018.87
AZL Arizona Lithium Ltd -11% -11% 19% 321% 0.16 $389,255,446.83
AGY Argosy Minerals Ltd -11% -18% 29% 353% 0.4075 $575,669,253.25
POS Poseidon Nick Ltd -12% -19% -18% 19% 0.076 $248,180,721.61
EMS Eastern Metals -12% -3% -17% 0% 0.19 $6,764,000.00
MAN Mandrake Res Ltd -12% -13% -10% -71% 0.052 $28,122,169.97
IG6 Internationalgraphit -12% 0% 0% 0% 0.37 $29,335,718.88
PNN PepinNini Minerals -12% 31% 30% 192% 0.7 $54,012,769.36
TEM Tempest Minerals -12% -55% 238% 246% 0.081 $43,370,153.28
SRZ Stellar Resources -12% -6% -20% -2% 0.0255 $21,769,868.28
AS2 Askarimetalslimited -12% 3% 190% 0% 0.58 $24,875,048.72
AUZ Australian Mines Ltd -12% -20% -25% -14% 0.18 $75,312,596.98
IMI Infinitymining -13% 6% 0% 0% 0.175 $11,500,000.00
TSC Twenty Seven Co. Ltd -13% -30% -36% -30% 0.0035 $9,312,848.67
RR1 Reach Resources Ltd -13% -13% -13% 91% 0.007 $13,370,354.47
THR Thor Mining PLC -13% -18% -13% -10% 0.014 $14,194,478.63
MRR Minrex Resources Ltd -13% -8% 221% 154% 0.061 $63,549,077.07
KTA Krakatoa Resources -13% 75% 56% 67% 0.1 $36,194,541.29
E25 Element 25 Ltd -13% -19% -48% -62% 0.765 $127,513,158.12
ADV Ardiden Ltd -13% -13% 18% 0% 0.013 $37,356,694.98
CZL Cons Zinc Ltd -13% -32% -35% -43% 0.026 $8,783,945.33
NMT Neometals Ltd -14% -28% 39% 193% 1.405 $797,887,656.18
G88 Golden Mile Res Ltd -14% -7% 12% -27% 0.057 $13,047,619.91
AKN Auking Mining Ltd -14% -34% -56% -68% 0.125 $12,147,700.55
ENT Enterprise Metals -14% 0% 21% -24% 0.018 $10,958,996.54
EMT Emetals Limited -14% -20% -25% -59% 0.012 $11,050,000.00
NWC New World Resources -15% 0% -30% -53% 0.047 $75,054,432.63
AML Aeon Metals Ltd. -15% -35% -8% -37% 0.047 $43,290,444.40
GRE Greentechmetals -15% -11% 0% 0% 0.2 $5,652,874.80
PVW PVW Res Ltd -15% -29% -32% 113% 0.34 $32,344,743.99
CZN Corazon Ltd -15% -18% -16% -16% 0.028 $18,309,916.71
PGM Platina Resources -15% -23% -30% -41% 0.044 $18,678,440.71
BEM Blackearth Minerals -15% -12% -8% -19% 0.11 $29,738,084.42
BMM Balkanminingandmin -15% 3% -48% 0% 0.3 $11,953,750.00
HXG Hexagon Energy -16% -18% -63% -73% 0.037 $16,071,092.39
QXR Qx Resources Limited -16% -19% 115% 241% 0.058 $54,199,188.54
AOU Auroch Minerals Ltd -16% -13% -35% -52% 0.105 $37,936,688.90
GT1 Greentechnology -16% 2% 0% 0% 0.97 $110,240,000.00
LPD Lepidico Ltd -16% -24% -24% 63% 0.031 $209,378,390.10
ARL Ardea Resources Ltd -16% -18% 189% 215% 1.4 $246,968,458.26
AVW Avira Resources Ltd -17% -17% -17% -29% 0.005 $10,593,950.00
PUR Pursuit Minerals -17% -14% -33% -61% 0.024 $21,747,631.46
LKE Lake Resources -17% -28% 65% 439% 1.67 $2,261,736,442.82
KFM Kingfisher Mining -18% -4% 15% 0% 0.23 $7,876,350.23
BNR Bulletin Res Ltd -18% -33% 154% 156% 0.18 $55,116,336.96
AVL Aust Vanadium Ltd -19% -34% 157% 157% 0.059 $225,221,281.55
AX8 Accelerate Resources -20% -43% -18% -9% 0.04 $11,855,650.46
SYA Sayona Mining Ltd -20% 10% 72% 625% 0.275 $2,225,795,323.65
ALY Alchemy Resource Ltd -22% 67% 108% 70% 0.025 $23,826,851.43
WML Woomera Mining Ltd -22% 5% 11% -4% 0.021 $15,797,160.52
WC8 Wildcat Resources -23% -21% -38% 15% 0.03 $19,358,181.81
BYH Bryah Resources Ltd -24% -4% -11% -36% 0.048 $12,441,394.63
VRC Volt Resources Ltd -24% 0% -30% -21% 0.019 $56,747,047.99
DEV Devex Resources Ltd -24% -14% 25% 68% 0.3875 $130,386,347.14
AVZ AVZ Minerals Ltd -24% -38% 96% 388% 0.805 $3,493,442,450.52
RNU Renascor Res Ltd -26% -26% 70% 195% 0.23 $468,062,733.81
LRV Larvottoresources -26% 49% 0% 0% 0.335 $15,040,737.50
WMG Western Mines -28% 0% 26% 0% 0.245 $10,806,587.50
LRS Latin Resources Ltd -29% -17% 179% 100% 0.12 $239,101,766.50
MLS Metals Australia -30% -25% 163% 163% 0.105 $49,852,826.66
VR8 Vanadium Resources -31% 14% 58% 145% 0.12 $61,504,608.62
NC1 Nicoresourceslimited -32% 13% 0% 0% 1.14 $120,405,002.76
MOH Moho Resources -35% -26% -33% -47% 0.039 $5,205,147.76