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

 

There is a lot of chat around lithium prices right now as they continue to soar.

Battery-grade lithium carbonate is up 21% YTD on the Chinese domestic market, trading as high as US$51,800/tonne in some cases amid tightness in the domestic China market which continues to exert influence on seaborne tradeable levels.

high voltage
Battery grade lithium carbonate price. Pic: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

 

Over in Europe, electric vehicle sales exceeded that of diesel cars for the first time ever, where more than a fifth of vehicles sold were electric in comparison to less than 19% being diesel.

And in China, electric cars are on track to reach the 20% nationwide penetration goal this year, well-above the government’s 2025 forecast.

But some market analysts say that while a strong demand for EVs is a great incentive for lithium mining, prices cannot go up forever.

Argus Media says it is likely mine expansion will “progress and help soften the lithium carbonate market in the second half of 2022” but in the long term, the further diversification of supply will be key to overcoming bottlenecks.

 

Lithium deals

Chinese electric carmaker BYD won a government tender in Chile last week for the right to extract 80,000 tonnes of lithium, equivalent to 425,000 tonnes LCE, as part of a move by outgoing President Sebastián Piñera to open up the sector despite mounting political opposition, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence says.

Chile awarded two of five contracts on offer – one to BYD and the other to local firm Servicios y Operaciones Mineras del Norte.

This comes at a time of political turmoil in the country, with outgoing President Sebastian Pinera looking to reverse a decline in the country’s share of the global lithium market.

However, the move has attracted criticism from Chilean opposition groups who claim that while the current administration has the right to award contracts, its decision resembles “those laws that tie you up at the last minute when a government is about to end”.

The car company offered $61 million for the right to explore and produce lithium, according to the country’s Mining and Energy Ministry, while Servicios y Operaciones offered $60 million.

Together, the two contracts represent about 1.8% of Chile’s known lithium reserves.

On January 16, Chile’s mining ministry said it was analysing the decision and for now, has suspended the auction of a lithium extraction contract as requested by the regional governor of the Atacama region.

But with restricted lithium supply in China and ongoing political issues in Chile hampering development of new supply, the need for other countries to increase output is becoming more and more apparent.

Argus Media says while China and Chile accounted for a combined 35% of global lithium production in 2021, Australia maintains its position as the dominant supplier, accounting for 53% of global production in 2021.

 

Battery Metals winners and losers

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

Battery metals stocks missing from our list? Email [email protected]

CODE COMPANY % WEEK CHANGE % MONTH CHANGE % 6 MONTH CHANGE % YEAR CHANGE PRICE MARKET CAP
ESS Essential Metals 78% 200% 304% 304% 0.525 $126,811,574.40
CHR Charger Metals 70% 153% 323% 0% 0.91 $29,148,241.85
ARR American Rare Earths 58% 76% 249% 150% 0.3 $117,109,831.20
CAE Cannindah Resources 54% 71% 400% 1100% 0.3 $157,324,545.30
AVL Aust Vanadium 50% 66% 153% 167% 0.048 $157,507,637.09
SHH Shree Minerals 50% 67% 0% -29% 0.015 $15,948,553.38
AS2 Askarimetalslimited 46% 89% 63% 0% 0.35 $10,745,508.90
LPI Lithium Pwr Int 43% 105% 253% 207% 0.83 $289,478,973.84
PAM Pan Asia Metals 43% 62% 454% 336% 0.72 $53,034,223.68
WCN White Cliff Min 42% 59% 108% -16% 0.027 $16,016,302.77
ARL Ardea Resources 41% 43% 45% 45% 0.685 $95,098,700.02
ESR Estrella Res 39% 39% -32% -58% 0.032 $37,665,399.68
MRC Mineral Commodities 39% 63% 7% -57% 0.16 $85,598,501.44
RNU Renascor Res 38% 135% 270% 1488% 0.27 $510,449,444.73
EVR Ev Resources 37% 55% 257% 204% 0.082 $75,623,193.82
BMM Balkanminingandmin 37% 40% 49% 0% 0.56 $18,340,000.00
AML Aeon Metals . 36% 23% -33% -65% 0.049 $42,424,635.51
HNR Hannans 36% 68% 724% 724% 0.057 $148,557,474.13
CNB Carnaby Resource 35% 289% 407% 373% 1.75 $219,013,614.75
AZL Arizona Lithium 33% 59% 383% 460% 0.14 $276,808,885.78
LSR Lodestar Minerals 33% 26% 20% -25% 0.012 $16,691,248.18
GSM Golden State Mining 33% 33% -33% -35% 0.11 $9,139,678.35
CXO Core Lithium 32% 80% 309% 349% 0.92 $1,540,527,872.56
1MC Morella Corporation 32% 150% -60% -60% 0.025 $128,355,349.65
WR1 Winsome Resources 32% 75% 0% 0% 0.48 $64,540,797.12
LRV Larvottoresources 31% 64% 0% 0% 0.23 $8,079,900.00
GL1 Globallith 31% 142% 469% 0% 1.535 $208,945,081.09
BNR Bulletin Res 31% 60% 89% 42% 0.115 $31,919,121.36
IXR Ionic Rare Earths 31% 52% 94% 129% 0.064 $217,977,568.90
ADV Ardiden 29% 64% 100% -18% 0.018 $39,030,036.41
AOU Auroch Minerals 29% 8% -34% -41% 0.135 $48,741,992.87
LEG Legend Mining 26% 43% -14% -34% 0.083 $228,676,264.84
LPD Lepidico 24% 27% 327% 124% 0.047 $292,421,040.93
CZN Corazon 23% 26% 16% -14% 0.043 $13,128,655.38
AAJ Aruma Resources 23% 40% 61% 20% 0.098 $12,344,227.29
BSX Blackstone 22% 23% 84% 78% 0.71 $319,214,271.15
AR3 Austrare 22% 28% 59% 0% 1.12 $85,894,584.16
AR3 Austrare 22% 28% 59% 0% 1.12 $85,894,584.16
MAN Mandrake Res 20% 36% -50% -30% 0.06 $28,862,284.20
SYA Sayona Mining 20% 20% 95% 181% 0.15 $1,057,785,978.75
QPM Queensland Pacific 20% 27% 40% 338% 0.21 $324,053,757.51
RAG Ragnar Metals 20% 63% -28% -15% 0.049 $18,261,559.56
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 19% 48% 153% 105% 0.043 $23,557,860.89
COB Cobalt Blue 19% 54% 105% 33% 0.585 $176,370,327.32
TMT Technology Metals 19% 27% 23% 15% 0.38 $77,391,328.20
GME GME Resources 19% 23% 37% 2% 0.07 $41,579,353.34
AM7 Arcadia Minerals 18% 51% 69% 0% 0.295 $10,167,890.38
ASN Anson Resources 18% 50% 126% 57% 0.165 $168,530,881.20
TNG TNG Limited 18% 19% 55% -7% 0.093 $129,122,894.65
EFE Eastern Resources 17% 32% 335% 693% 0.074 $70,100,021.07
AXE Archer Materials 17% 10% -5% 138% 1.25 $309,459,008.75
BEM Blackearth Minerals 17% 48% 62% 278% 0.17 $36,999,695.39
INF Infinity Lithium 17% 24% 46% -11% 0.205 $84,888,338.48
A8G Australasian Metals 17% 29% 379% 0% 0.695 $27,918,493.33
GBR Greatbould Resources 17% 35% 88% 239% 0.175 $62,516,266.58
SLZ Sultan Resources 17% 24% 11% 5% 0.21 $14,602,221.69
JRL Jindalee Resources 17% 42% 20% 127% 2.95 $159,606,699.70
ADD Adavale Resource 16% 49% -23% -11% 0.064 $22,536,435.39
EMS Eastern Metals 16% 37% 0% 0% 0.26 $9,256,000.00
GW1 Greenwing Resources 15% 36% 80% 80% 0.495 $58,605,720.53
NMT Neometals 15% 61% 203% 405% 1.655 $907,562,935.38
NMT Neometals 15% 61% 203% 405% 1.655 $907,562,935.38
BUX Buxton Resources 14% 1% -30% 16% 0.081 $11,020,489.99
WKT Walkabout Resources 14% 50% 19% 128% 0.285 $124,459,952.30
LTR Liontown Resources 14% 14% 146% 374% 1.765 $3,855,475,981.08
MRR Minrex Resources 14% 78% 267% 164% 0.066 $45,672,053.26
VML Vital Metals Limited 14% 18% 14% 32% 0.058 $241,598,018.87
TMB Tambourahmetals 14% 26% 0% 0% 0.29 $11,945,853.42
AX8 Accelerate Resources 14% 14% 20% -30% 0.042 $10,645,273.76
JRV Jervois Global 13% 31% 39% 68% 0.72 $1,093,180,220.64
NWC New World Resources 13% 15% 5% 42% 0.085 $135,545,489.87
TKL Traka Resources 13% 31% 21% -32% 0.017 $10,575,834.20
PNN PepinNini Minerals 13% 46% 73% 104% 0.57 $34,809,554.58
FGR First Graphene 13% 5% -8% -20% 0.22 $121,070,616.92
SRI Sipa Resources 13% 26% -20% -13% 0.053 $10,866,314.56
LIT Lithium Australia NL 13% 29% 17% 0% 0.135 $138,857,423.31
VMC Venus Metals Cor 13% 9% -3% -12% 0.18 $27,194,162.94
FG1 Flynngold 13% 6% 9% 0% 0.18 $11,418,489.00
BYH Bryah Resources 11% 18% -3% -12% 0.059 $13,346,223.33
NKL Nickelx 11% 30% -19% 0% 0.15 $8,302,500.00
TEM Tempest Minerals 11% 36% 53% 0% 0.03 $11,937,026.94
WML Woomera Mining 11% 18% -8% -16% 0.02 $12,376,681.88
NIC Nickel Mines Limited 11% 18% 45% 31% 1.61 $4,049,196,772.11
POS Poseidon Nick 11% 15% 6% 40% 0.105 $321,715,750.23
AUZ Australian Mines 11% 5% -9% -37% 0.21 $90,375,116.37
MNS Magnis Energy Tech 10% 36% 107% 247% 0.59 $565,548,273.05
IGO IGO Limited 10% 18% 51% 81% 12.89 $9,761,182,109.57
IGO IGO Limited 10% 18% 51% 81% 12.89 $9,761,182,109.57
RMX Red Mount Min 10% 22% 16% -21% 0.011 $16,109,041.32
S2R S2 Resources 10% 25% 55% 10% 0.225 $80,184,342.38
PLS Pilbara Min 10% 40% 144% 227% 3.86 $11,490,434,555.62
AZS Azure Minerals 10% 19% 48% -18% 0.4 $124,294,288.40
GAL Galileo Mining 10% 10% -23% -18% 0.23 $38,734,117.15
ALY Alchemy Resource 9% 9% -18% -32% 0.012 $11,428,138.68
EUR European Lithium 8% 27% 155% 100% 0.14 $154,950,017.18
IPT Impact Minerals 8% 0% -7% -22% 0.014 $28,333,128.87
REE Rarex Limited 7% 7% 30% -30% 0.105 $47,417,286.42
HYM Hyperion Metals 7% 12% 4% 146% 0.985 $137,396,163.64
VR8 Vanadium Resources 7% 18% 34% 117% 0.078 $36,902,765.17
SRL Sunrise 7% 24% 17% -28% 2.22 $199,928,491.38
AKE Allkem Limited 7% 28% 59% 126% 11.61 $7,401,672,053.46
MOH Moho Resources 7% 3% -10% -28% 0.064 $8,049,625.73
GLN Galan Lithium 7% 1% 88% 292% 1.88 $558,095,576.12
TLG Talga Group 6% 12% 26% -3% 1.735 $528,662,340.47
MIN Mineral Resources. 6% 30% 7% 67% 64.35 $12,152,511,077.85
RXL Rox Resources 6% 4% -8% -38% 0.36 $56,738,741.04
LEL Lithenergy 6% 63% 208% 0% 1.215 $54,675,000.00
RBX Resource B 6% 0% 6% 459% 0.19 $7,590,041.15
IMI Infinitymining 5% 0% 0% 0% 0.2 $11,500,000.00
PEK Peak Rare Earths 5% 3% -10% 10% 0.87 $173,010,403.71
BHP BHP Group Limited 5% 13% -10% 3% 46.7 $137,776,740,099.80
DTM Dart Mining NL 4% 13% -28% -48% 0.093 $11,577,656.49
G88 Golden Mile Res 4% -6% -20% -4% 0.048 $8,304,879.74
ARN Aldoro Resources 4% 1% -4% 88% 0.385 $34,433,856.77
ARN Aldoro Resources 4% 1% -4% 88% 0.385 $34,433,856.77
CLA Celsius Resource 4% 50% -18% -44% 0.027 $28,457,408.19
MQR Marquee Resource 4% 13% 160% 69% 0.135 $28,367,226.27
PLL Piedmont Lithium Inc 4% -3% -20% 38% 0.73 $402,915,178.00
DEV Devex Resources 3% -8% 77% 115% 0.495 $155,521,064.66
CWX Carawine Resources 3% -3% -17% -26% 0.175 $23,858,510.73
CNJ Conico 3% 3% 9% 31% 0.038 $38,008,165.21
MMC Mitremining 3% 8% 0% 0% 0.2 $5,417,020.00
SYR Syrah Resources 2% 61% 76% 91% 2.08 $1,037,368,223.84
QEM QEM Limited 2% 17% 24% 159% 0.21 $23,818,899.93
EMH European Metals Hldg 2% 2% -8% 3% 1.39 $180,827,831.35
CHN Chalice Mining 2% 0% 19% 103% 8.46 $3,003,075,590.04
ILU Iluka Resources 2% 10% 24% 66% 11 $4,655,225,762.00
FRS Forrestaniaresources 1% 38% 0% 0% 0.4 $11,220,000.00
LYC Lynas Rare Earths 1% 23% 80% 161% 11.09 $10,007,744,133.86
CTM Centaurus Metals 1% 12% 55% 50% 1.285 $441,691,831.82
INR Ioneer 1% -1% 95% 187% 0.79 $1,619,933,235.21
VIA Viagold Rare Earth 0% 0% 2339% 5614% 2 $166,624,808.00
PVW PVW Res 0% 38% 253% 253% 0.53 $36,714,093.75
AGY Argosy Minerals 0% 40% 233% 248% 0.4 $510,000,984.00
GED Golden Deeps 0% -8% -15% -15% 0.011 $8,534,365.84
HAS Hastings Tech Met 0% 17% 59% 29% 0.27 $469,387,444.05
PAN Panoramic Resources 0% 6% 69% 64% 0.27 $553,746,781.08
PRL Province Resources 0% 4% 0% 625% 0.145 $163,800,672.60
BRB Breaker Res NL 0% -14% 50% 28% 0.255 $83,089,436.90
AQD Ausquest Limited 0% 0% -14% -18% 0.018 $14,834,686.01
LML Lincoln Minerals 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.008 $4,599,869.49
ARU Arafura Resource 0% 25% 88% 5% 0.225 $348,843,899.70
RFR Rafaella Resources 0% 12% -22% 0% 0.076 $14,496,423.77
MLS Metals Australia 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.002 $10,477,114.72
TSC Twenty Seven Co. 0% 0% -20% -43% 0.004 $10,643,255.62
OZL OZ Minerals 0% 4% 32% 42% 28.39 $9,472,464,683.47
PSC Prospect Res -1% 24% 192% 330% 0.86 $368,530,240.10
HXG Hexagon Energy -1% 3% -9% -35% 0.071 $31,666,981.72
NVA Nova Minerals -1% -1% -16% -40% 1.055 $190,113,410.68
PGM Platina Resources -2% 17% -31% 27% 0.061 $26,497,322.86
NTU Northern Min -2% 4% 37% 24% 0.052 $252,538,847.55
MCR Mincor Resources NL -2% 26% 46% 54% 1.75 $847,607,880.00
BOA Boadicea Resources -2% 21% 12% 17% 0.235 $18,259,475.33
VUL Vulcan Energy -2% -20% 5% 9% 9.8 $1,289,754,460.40
TON Triton Min -3% 17% -3% -31% 0.035 $43,496,626.36
GSR Greenstone Resources -3% 8% 33% 12% 0.028 $22,598,203.29
LKE Lake Resources -4% 2% 147% 513% 0.95 $1,160,956,640.90
VRC Volt Resources -4% 8% -23% 93% 0.027 $72,259,483.19
MLX Metals X Limited -4% 12% 116% 293% 0.53 $480,851,015.51
PUR Pursuit Minerals -4% -7% -58% -35% 0.026 $24,584,279.04
SGQ St George Min -4% 17% 0% -36% 0.074 $43,600,129.34
STK Strickland Metals -4% 0% 41% 96% 0.069 $88,304,325.48
ATM Aneka Tambang -4% 0% 10% 10% 1.1 $1,434,013.90
LOT Lotus Resources -5% 0% 76% 100% 0.29 $283,018,979.93
MRD Mount Ridley Mines -6% -6% 88% 88% 0.0075 $42,802,094.29
EGR Ecograf Limited -6% 2% -10% 165% 0.65 $292,716,748.35
QXR Qx Resources Limited -7% 110% 200% 133% 0.042 $28,491,217.48
BKT Black Rock Mining -8% 17% 71% 109% 0.24 $208,474,934.40
AVZ AVZ Minerals -9% 11% 310% 321% 0.8 $2,761,650,464.00
FFX Firefinch -9% 3% 69% 277% 0.735 $865,930,107.00
SBR Sabre Resources -11% -20% 0% -60% 0.004 $6,911,254.60

 

Weekly small cap standouts

 

ESSENTIAL METALS (ASX:ESS) 

ESS is the biggest winner, for the second week in a row.

New lithium targets at the Pioneer Dome Project in WA’s Eastern Goldfields will be tested by air core drilling across unexplained anomalism generated from the August 2021 program at Dome North.

This includes testing a 250m wide zone of lithium anomalism in lower saprolite between the Davy and Cade deposits, as well as testing anomalism along strike to the northeast of the Heller deposit.

As work is being done to advance the Dome North resource, exploration is underway across its entire 450km project tenure.

Diamond drilling has commenced at the project, designed to test near-surface mineralisation at both Cade and Davy ahead of bulk samples for metallurgical test work.

Managing director Tim Spencer says: “The more we learn about Dome North, the more excited we are about its future.”

 

ASKARI METALS (ASX:AS2)

Askari expanded its lithium portfolio through the lodgement of exploration licence applications covering ground in the Pilbara region of Western Australia – highly prospective for lithium-tin-tantalum mineralisation.

Its new ‘Yarrie Lithium Project’ is within a 70km radius of world-class lithium and tantalum producers such as Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) Pilgangoora project and Mineral Resources’ (ASX:MRL) Wodgina project.

Executive director Gino D’Anna said the lithium market continues to gain strong investor and end-user support as customers turn to the next class of lithium producers to secure future supply.

“We are seeing offtake deals complete on projects much earlier in the development cycle than we have seen historically,” he said.

“This is indicative of a market that recognises the need to come down the exploration curve and invest in earlier stage projects while experts expect prices to rise even further in the first quarter of 2022.

“We are confident that we have a high chance of exploration success and look forward to getting on the ground.”

Work will kick off with a data review ahead of rock and chip sampling, designed to target the lithium hotspots.

 

ARDIDEN (ASX:ADV) 

ADV’s joint venture Seymour Lithium Project with Green Technology Metals (ASX:GT1) hit a thick 40m intersection at 1.54% lithium earlier this week, sending its share price flying.

This was only the first hole of the phase-1 diamond drilling program being carried out at the North Aubry deposit.

The 11-hole for 3,500m program – expected to be completed in March – is seeking to expand the current mineral resource estimate of 4.8 Mt at 1.25% lithium.

 

ARDEA (ASX:ARL) 

ARL confirmed a massive nickel-copper-PGE sulphide discovery at 2.72m with 5.42% nickel and 0.85% copper from 391.04m at its Emu Lake core hole within the Kalpini Project, northeast of Kalgoorlie.

Managing director Andrew Penkethman said the company now has three adjoining drill holes with nickel sulphide mineralisation on the same contact, means that a discovery has been made.

“Importantly, the interpreted 3D geometry of the AELD0003 discovery suggests the mineralisation is open in all directions for further drill exploration,” he said.

“With Ardea holding 20km of fertile komatiite strike at Emu Lake, there is significant scope to extend this nickel sulphide discovery and make additional discoveries.”