• China’s ongoing energy shortage starts to affect domestic battery materials production
  • Tesla ditches nickel, cobalt as prices soar
  • Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) third spodumene auction unofficially scheduled for October 26
  • Weekly small cap standouts include Arizona Lithium (ASX:AZL) and QX Resources (ASX:QXR)

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

 

All eyes on Pilbara Minerals’ lithium auction

Unofficially scheduled for Tuesday October 26 is  Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) third auction on the Battery Material Exchange (BMX) digital platform for 10,000t (SC5.2%) spodumene.

The second auction went off at an incredible $US2,440/t, singlehandedly sparking a historic 86.5% month-on-month increase for average spod pricing industry-wide.

Susan Zou, non-ferrous editor at Fastmarkets, says bids for the upcoming coming auction “will not be as aggressive”.

“While the market consensus is that spodumene tightness will not ease significantly in the short term – despite Pilbara Minerals now producing spodumene from the restarted former Altura lithium project – the bids for the upcoming auction will not be as aggressive as last time because the ascent of lithium prices in China has slowed after the week-long national holiday compared with September, while the shipment time is months away,” Zou said.

 

Tesla ditches nickel, cobalt as prices soar

Tesla posted record revenue and profits in third quarter.

Improved gross margins of 30.5% on its automotive business are an industry benchmark, but Tesla reckons it can do better.

Amid rising material costs, Tesla will switch all its standard range vehicles to lithium iron phosphate based (LFP) batteries.

LFP-based lithium-ion batteries are cheaper and safer than chemistries that use nickel and cobalt, but less energy dense.

The switch comes as lithium-ion battery chemical prices are on the rise.

Argus says its minimum 22% nickel sulphate assessment rose by 31% in the last six months to $US4,450-4,650 per tonne today.

Meanwhile, prices for minimum 20.5% cobalt sulphate have increased by 23% over the same period to $US5.59-5.77/lb.

 

Energy-starved China throttles battery materials production

China’s ongoing energy shortage has begun to affect domestic battery materials production, with several companies forced to scale back anode and cathode production in late Q3, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

China is grappling with a shortage of coal – which fuels most of its electricity supply – due in part to its trade war with Australia.

This has seen metals prices spike as power restrictions on industry are imposed.

“During China’s National Energy Commission meeting in mid-October, Premier Keqiang Li emphasised that extreme electricity cuts need to be corrected to ensure that the northern regions have secure usage of electricity for the winter, signifying that electricity restrictions within China might be relaxed at some stage in Q4,” Benchmark says.

“In the long-term, China seeks to guarantee resource security by addressing the structural issues behind the current electricity supply shortage.

“The government is pushing for an upgrade in coal-powered electricity infrastructure, diversification of energy sources, and mass adoption of energy storage technologies.”

 

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

CODE COMPANY 1 WEEK RETURN % 1 MONTH RETURN % 6 MONTH RETURN % 1 YEAR RETURN % SHARE PRICE [INTRADAY MONDAY] MARKET CAP
AZL Arizona Lithium 94 138 132 692 0.095 $ 137,622,511.52
BUX Buxton Resources 72 72 62 28 0.115 $ 9,387,824.81
TNG TNG Limited 52 60 30 14 0.125 $ 131,197,189.20
QXR Qx Resources Limited 50 125 50 59 0.027 $ 19,990,869.63
LKE Lake Resources 49 43 181 1375 0.87 $ 1,062,055,777.22
PNN PepinNini Minerals 42 24 100 177 0.54 $ 21,431,426.68
INF Infinity Lithium 40 75 11 119 0.21 $ 72,254,428.58
PVW PVW Res 40 115 200 180 0.42 $ 30,479,625.00
AGY Argosy Minerals 33 84 210 448 0.285 $ 312,567,926.00
CAE Cannindah Resources 32 133 302 1014 0.245 $ 121,937,265.54
EUR European Lithium 29 29 90 186 0.12 $ 111,424,488.42
LOT Lotus Resources 28 26 171 301 0.3525 $ 318,108,500.16
PAM Pan Asia Metals 26 22 311 259 0.575 $ 42,722,013.52
BSX Blackstone 24 48 90 78 0.675 $ 218,516,601.60
VUL Vulcan Energy 21 3 96 1107 13.94 $ 1,658,145,468.07
BOA Boadicea Resources 20 17 -23 0 0.21 $ 15,539,979.00
ARR American Rare Earths 20 24 121 75 0.21 $ 67,237,623.57
GLN Galan Lithium 19 29 57 819 1.24 $ 325,297,652.63
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 19 7 35 138 0.031 $ 14,040,680.32
IXR Ionic Rare Earths 16 26 -9 207 0.043 $ 132,303,581.05
AAJ Aruma Resources 16 9 33 -15 0.096 $ 10,706,727.76
NTU Northern Min 15 23 29 47 0.053 $ 242,375,398.30
SRL Sunrise 13 21 -6 -26 2.04 $ 177,414,021.63
MNS Magnis Energy Tech 13 24 10 108 0.385 $ 357,832,300.21
LPI Lithium Pwr Int 13 56 59 121 0.43 $ 153,458,733.12
COB Cobalt Blue 12 36 13 295 0.435 $ 122,383,707.27
LEL Lithenergy 11 23 0.69 $ 30,150,000.00
LIT Lithium Australia NL 10 6 6 160 0.1325 $ 124,888,951.75
ARN Aldoro Resources 10 2 26 344 0.44 $ 37,133,707.38
INR Ioneer 9 11 99 256 0.695 $ 1,313,895,861.69
JRV Jervois Global 8 17 42 112 0.6075 $ 901,491,557.89
AUZ Australian Mines 8 13 18 77 0.026 $ 107,588,977.85
BRB Breaker Res NL 8 25 38 57 0.33 $ 105,898,301.93
NIC Nickel Mines Limited 8 9 -15 9 1.065 $ 2,653,355,648.81
LTR Liontown Resources 8 30 355 595 1.695 $ 3,210,779,681.76
IGO IGO Limited 8 7 41 125 9.78 $ 7,231,907,614.15
CLA Celsius Resource 7 12 -28 -17 0.029 $ 30,369,614.35
TKL Traka Resources 7 15 -12 -35 0.015 $ 9,331,618.41
GME GME Resources 7 7 19 53 0.075 $ 43,955,316.39
ARL Ardea Resources 7 14 0 7 0.525 $ 73,158,136.07
MRD Mount Ridley Mines 7 50 7 150 0.0075 $ 39,246,503.66
JRL Jindalee Resources 7 0 -16 298 2.59 $ 128,226,399.42
TLG Talga Group 7 8 14 61 1.555 $ 460,909,457.12
GL1 Globallith 6 4 0.415 $ 37,369,876.32
RNU Renascor Res 6 -5 47 1225 0.1325 $ 245,247,740.92
ASN Anson Resources 6 0 20 143 0.09 $ 88,448,243.17
QEM QEM Limited 6 24 -23 64 0.18 $ 20,416,199.94
ORE Orocobre Limited 6 3 48 238 9.16 $ 5,833,359,111.90
AOU Auroch Minerals 6 9 -5 19 0.185 $ 53,901,539.10
HAS Hastings Tech Met 6 21 54 119 0.285 $ 469,383,100.56
CXO Core Lithium 6 42 125 1050 0.575 $ 969,599,098.13
GW1 Greenwing Resources 5 -3 -16 97 0.295 $ 32,355,260.85
ADD Adavale Resource 5 -9 7 88 0.06 $ 19,231,521.12
SYA Sayona Mining 5 -12 288 1576 0.1625 $ 1,098,609,343.52
DEV Devex Resources 5 6 14 32 0.33 $ 98,506,869.44
LEG Legend Mining 4 12 -39 -44 0.073 $ 206,635,179.08
G88 Golden Mile Res 4 6 -46 -21 0.05 $ 8,892,953.06
BEM Blackearth Minerals 4 -11 -11 136 0.125 $ 26,087,432.04
ILU Iluka Resources 3 4 30 84 9.59 $ 3,990,798,085.06
ESR Estrella Res 3 -8 -29 -75 0.036 $ 41,833,574.64
ATM Aneka Tambang 3 10 10 10 1.1 $ 1,434,013.90
CTM Centaurus Metals 3 13 59 76 1.11 $ 384,976,538.24
LYC Lynas Rare Earths 3 3 34 145 7.13 $ 6,172,495,029.36
VML Vital Metals Limited 3 -1 -1 105 0.0595 $ 245,763,501.96
REE Rarex Limited 3 5 -2 -24 0.1025 $ 44,256,133.99
HXG Hexagon Energy 2 21 -25 69 0.086 $ 37,465,161.47
PAN Panoramic Resources 2 12 52 114 0.235 $ 481,964,790.94
LPD Lepidico 2 6 20 231 0.0265 $ 159,956,743.67
AML Aeon Metals . 2 0 -35 -55 0.056 $ 47,410,992.26
RFR Rafaella Resources 1 -12 -28 -37 0.079 $ 14,877,908.60
S2R S2 Resources 1 2 -43 -67 0.089 $ 31,717,362.10
OZL OZ Minerals 1 13 4 58 25.29 $ 8,324,691,576.35
CHN Chalice Mining 1 -2 4 135 6.9 $ 2,424,685,296.60
PLS Pilbara Min 0 -3 87 454 2.09 $ 6,205,808,124.56
MLS Metals Australia 0 0 -33 0 0.002 $ 10,477,114.72
SLZ Sultan Resources 0 6 -5 -33 0.18 $ 12,516,190.02
TON Triton Min 0 -3 -26 -36 0.032 $ 36,302,978.14
WKT Walkabout Resources 0 0 -43 11 0.195 $ 82,954,311.77
MRC Mineral Commodities 0 3 -36 -55 0.15 $ 77,573,641.93
AJM Altura Mining 0 0 0 0 0.07 $ 238,056,602.28
LML Lincoln Minerals 0 0 0 0 0.008 $ 4,599,869.49
AQD Ausquest Limited 0 -6 -15 -39 0.017 $ 13,994,227.13
MMC Mitremining 0 0.225 $ 5,958,722.00
ALY Alchemy Resource 0 -5 -17 -42 0.013 $ 10,923,956.10
TMT Technology Metals 0 -8 6 9 0.37 $ 71,816,002.34
SYR Syrah Resources 0 -3 1 135 1.115 $ 558,582,889.76
CWX Carawine Resources 0 5 -22 -41 0.2 $ 23,411,328.93
VRC Volt Resources 0 0 55 182 0.031 $ 84,728,868.96
BKT Black Rock Mining 0 17 50 289 0.21 $ 183,003,319.24
FGR First Graphene 0 17 -25 31 0.21 $ 121,026,616.92
HNR Hannans 0 19 391 391 0.034 $ 77,879,247.34
NWC New World Resources 0 11 -21 61 0.079 $ 126,920,495.68
AZS Azure Minerals 0 4 13 -14 0.36 $ 113,053,538.17
VIA Viagold Rare Earth 0 852 2339 10426 2 $ 166,624,808.00
MIN Mineral Resources. 0 -7 -4 72 43.21 $ 7,436,921,309.18
STK Strickland Metals -1 81 335 -22 0.087 $ 96,212,112.39
PEK Peak Resources -1 -6 -12 129 0.08 $ 155,053,661.96
VR8 Vanadium Resources -1 22 55 204 0.079 $ 37,013,989.92
EGR Ecograf Limited -2 -12 6 274 0.635 $ 285,707,746.47
PRL Province Resources -2 9 -23 1089 0.1575 $ 175,097,270.71
SRI Sipa Resources -2 -15 -18 -33 0.056 $ 11,229,754.09
MCR Mincor Resources NL -2 7 42 38 1.375 $ 653,823,670.50
POS Poseidon Nick -2 3 68 18 0.1025 $ 321,715,750.23
BHP BHP Group -2 -2 -20 4 37.93 $ 111,076,964,984.10
RBX Resource Base -3 -7 459 459 0.19 $ 7,590,041.15
RXL Rox Resources -3 0 -32 -56 0.38 $ 60,678,931.39
PGM Platina Resources -3 13 31 42 0.071 $ 32,144,293.31
PUR Pursuit Minerals -3 -29 -55 150 0.035 $ 31,858,473.14
PSC Prospect Res -3 6 178 271 0.445 $ 168,750,355.40
ARU Arafura Resource -3 45 21 107 0.2175 $ 333,238,676.38
HYM Hyperion Metals -3 -14 3 205 0.99 $ 139,112,491.00
GED Golden Deeps -4 14 -4 -22 0.0125 $ 9,310,217.28
GAL Galileo Mining -4 -11 -14 4 0.24 $ 42,025,301.25
AVL Aust Vanadium -4 9 4 100 0.024 $ 78,739,811.54
SGQ St George Min -4 3 -21 -47 0.071 $ 42,421,747.46
BMM Balkanminingandmin -4 -4 0.68 $ 23,075,000.00
FFX Firefinch -4 -6 78 199 0.5975 $ 601,926,599.30
MOH Moho Resources -5 -3 -25 -50 0.058 $ 6,506,350.33
PLL Piedmont Lithium -5 17 -4 104 0.805 $ 438,791,187.00
AXE Archer Materials -6 -28 76 199 1.51 $ 368,447,115.96
ESS Essential Metals -6 -8 106 110 0.1975 $ 43,959,695.19
FRS Forrestania Resources -6 0.38 $ 10,378,500.00
IPT Impact Minerals -7 -18 -22 -36 0.014 $ 30,356,923.79
NKL Nickelx -7 -37 0.135 $ 7,490,000.00
NMT Neometals -7 0 84 373 0.875 $ 474,345,582.54
EMH European Metals Hldg -7 -8 -4 198 1.34 $ 171,721,393.80
MLX Metals X -8 8 69 354 0.3725 $ 335,688,444.79
VMC Venus Metals -8 6 -9 -36 0.17 $ 25,683,376.11
ADV Ardiden -8 -15 -31 -73 0.011 $ 23,686,688.92
NVA Nova Minerals -9 7 3 -18 0.155 $ 277,455,821.34
CHR Charger Metals -9 -25 0.41 $ 13,132,724.35
SBR Sabre Resources -9 0 -17 -44 0.005 $ 8,446,568.25
CNJ Conico -10 -34 31 90 0.038 $ 38,008,165.21
QPM Queensland Pacific -10 -2 147 503 0.235 $ 325,347,151.44
CZN Corazon -10 0 0 -54 0.037 $ 10,152,702.68
MAN Mandrake Resources -10 14 -61 7 0.064 $ 31,511,737.62
RMX Red Mountain Mining -10 -10 -18 -40 0.009 $ 13,180,124.72
GBR Great Boulder Resources -10 20 400 144 0.18 $ 69,660,982.76
A8G Australasian Gold -10 66 0.58 $ 27,027,640.86
BAR Barra Resources -11 0 32 -26 0.025 $ 20,569,575.34
AVZ AVZ Minerals -11 16 73 268 0.32 $ 1,045,906,121.00
AR3 Australian Rare Earths -13 -19 0.8 $ 36,274,494.87

 

Weekly Small Cap Standouts

ARIZONA LITHIUM (ASX:AZL)

The recently rebranded lithium play is now up 94% over the past five days on no news.

AZL recently completed the spin-out of its gold and copper assets to Diablo Resources (ASX:DBO) to focus on its ‘Big Sandy’ lithium project in the US.

In response to a recent price query from the ASX, AZL also noted that lithium carbonate prices in China are trading at record highs in October.

The $163m market cap stock has gained an impressive ~850% year-to-date.

 

QX RESOURCES (ASX:QXR)

Gold focused QX has officially acquired a lithium project in the Pilbara, the hard rock capital of the world.

The explorer exercised an option to buy the ‘Turner River’ lithium project early, in advance of the due diligence period lapsing.

This reflects QXR’s confidence in the project’s prospectivity, QXR says.

It will also acquire the adjoining tenements for an extra $6000, which brings the total tenement position at Turner River from 45sqkm to 84sqkm.

“Following the recent site visit and after further reviews of the project’s geology and the surrounding prospects, we have taken the decision to not only exercise the Turner River option early but to expand our tenement holdings in the area by applying for some adjoining ground which looks equally as prospective,” QXR chairman Maurice Feilich says.

That recent site visit identified contained “numerous pegmatite dykes”. Encouraging start.

“Further site visits are planned, and we look forward to keeping shareholders updated on progress here and with respect to the ongoing work in Queensland,” Feilich says.