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

 

Prices for lithium carbonate have just reached new highs on the back of limited supply and sustained lithium-ion battery demand in China, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence says.

Benchmark’s EXW China (battery) grade of lithium carbonate rose by 26.5% to RMB 160,000/tonne ($24,800) in the final two weeks of September 2021.

This surpasses the previous high of $24,750/tonne for battery grade lithium carbonate assessed on 30 March 2018 “and marks a new era for the lithium industry”, Benchmark says.

But this parabolic move is just getting started, according to Benchmark boss Simons Moores.

Strap in for 2022 and beyond.

In 2019, Moores said he was asked whether lithium prices in the next price surge would ever reach the highs of 2016.

“My response was this time it would be more aggressive,” he said in this tweet.

“Instead of the late 20s, prices in China would exceed $40,000/t.”

Here are three reasons why.

1.“This time there are more buyers than in 2016,” Moores says. “There are still not enough sellers: miners, refiners. Demand for lithium is outstripping the rate supply is growing by double. The wall of EV demand for lithium continued to build, esp 2026 and beyond.”

2. “Right now, the lithium industry is responding in real time, in many ways, and isn’t addressing a massive demand issue that we face towards the latter end of the decade,” Moores says. “For this massive investment would be needed or DLE [direct lithium extraction] breakthroughs to help close the supply demand gap.”

3. “Lithium carbonate price today in China is $28k tonne high end, mid-point $24k,” Moores says. “This is the top end of what we experienced 4/5 years ago and there’s a long way to go before this price surge runs out of steam … I don’t feel we are even halfway through yet.”
 

Here’s how a basket of ASX battery metals stocks are performing:

>>>lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, rare earths, or vanadium stocks missing from our list? Email [email protected]

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop:

CODE COMPANY 1 WEEK RETURN % 1 MONTH RETURN % 6 MONTH RETURN % 1 YEAR RETURN % PRICE MARKET CAP
MLS Metals Australia 100 0 0 -20 0.002 $ 10,477,114.72
VR8 Vanadium Resources 30 38 38 207 0.083 $ 29,291,087.35
STK Strickland Metals 20 82 260 -12 0.071 $ 74,127,684.27
POS Poseidon Nick 14 -9 75 72 0.105 $ 303,331,993.07
JRV Jervois Global 13 11 23 108 0.56 $ 863,613,761.34
BSX Blackstone 12 6 33 4 0.505 $ 165,497,612.15
GED Golden Deeps 10 -8 -8 -21 0.011 $ 8,922,291.56
GME GME Resources 10 17 14 59 0.068 $ 38,609,399.53
GBR Greatbould Resources 9 9 400 144 0.175 $ 58,943,908.49
MAN Mandrake Res 9 7 -60 5 0.062 $ 28,647,034.20
LTR Liontown Resources 8 44 264 653 1.47 $ 2,723,429,194.35
CLA Celsius Resource 8 -7 -32 -16 0.026 $ 27,227,930.11
BOA Boadicea Resources 8 5 -7 -29 0.195 $ 15,151,479.53
PGM Platina Resources 8 -7 19 45 0.068 $ 28,669,234.57
FFX Firefinch 8 1 176 285 0.635 $ 511,737,358.73
MIN Mineral Resources. 8 -13 9 76 44.88 $ 8,214,984,178.50
LPD Lepidico 7 -6 -2 181 0.0225 $ 135,347,658.56
ATM Aneka Tambang 7 7 7 7 1.07 $ 1,394,904.43
MCR Mincor Resources NL 7 3 38 58 1.355 $ 627,186,409.85
IPT Impact Minerals 7 33 -27 -38 0.016 $ 32,380,718.70
NIC Nickel Mines Limited 6 -3 -30 27 0.965 $ 2,364,127,307.94
HAS Hastings Tech Met 6 21 33 86 0.26 $ 451,998,541.28
CTM Centaurus Metals 6 1 46 71 1.045 $ 340,291,761.48
GLN Galan Lithium 6 0 65 587 1.03 $ 256,612,672.89
FGR First Graphene 6 -3 -14 27 0.19 $ 99,021,777.48
OZL OZ Minerals 5 -2 -6 59 22.95 $ 7,513,909,991.96
PAN Panoramic Resources 5 5 26 105 0.215 $ 410,182,800.80
CXO Core Lithium 6 28 87 798 0.44 $ 634,643,070.48
REE Rarex Limited 5 -2 -11 -40 0.1025 $ 45,159,320.40
HXG Hexagon Energy 4 -4 -30 57 0.077 $ 32,112,995.54
IGO IGO Limited 4 -6 33 103 8.92 $ 6,641,238,720.01
AML Aeon Metals . 4 2 -39 -54 0.057 $ 49,135,028.34
KNI Kunikolimited 3 27 2.1 $ 80,455,804.16
MRC Mineral Commodities 3 -3 -50 -53 0.15 $ 80,248,595.10
ARL Ardea Resources 3 -1 -8 -13 0.455 $ 61,425,227.46
SYR Syrah Resources 3 -18 -1 121 1.07 $ 518,684,111.92
BHP BHP Group Limited 3 -9 -19 4 38.05 $ 111,342,487,609.56
NWC New World Resources 3 -1 -34 86 0.069 $ 106,295,915.13
EMH European Metals Hldg 3 -9 -9 210 1.38 $ 174,323,233.10
SGQ St George Min 3 4 -8 -33 0.07 $ 41,832,556.53
CHN Chalice Mining 3 -16 1 131 6.23 $ 2,212,922,388.60
ORE Orocobre Limited 3 -10 59 201 8.55 $ 5,285,087,107.94
NTU Northern Min 2 5 5 13 0.045 $ 217,877,083.47
AVL Aust Vanadium 2 2 -6 73 0.0225 $ 72,178,160.58
G88 Golden Mile Res 2 -21 -58 -20 0.048 $ 8,037,861.42
VML Vital Metals Limited 2 -9 -24 69 0.059 $ 237,432,535.79
AZS Azure Minerals 2 -16 -24 34 0.315 $ 96,018,073.51
BMM Balkanminingandmin 1 -17 0.7 $ 22,425,000.00
AGY Argosy Minerals 1 10 107 244 0.1925 $ 237,551,623.76
PLS Pilbara Min 1 -10 68 469 1.96 $ 5,768,642,606.60
S2R S2 Resources 1 -22 -42 -67 0.09 $ 32,073,736.95
JRL Jindalee Resources 1 -35 21 273 2.22 $ 121,396,423.50
LYC Lynas Rare Earths 1 -7 1 143 6.555 $ 5,874,699,216.54
PLL Piedmont Lithium Inc 1 -3 -19 21 0.73 $ 429,771,204.50
AQD Ausquest Limited 0 -15 -11 -41 0.017 $ 13,171,037.30
WKT Walkabout Resources 0 -5 11 -2 0.2 $ 85,081,345.40
ARU Arafura Resource 0 39 16 124 0.215 $ 325,488,939.72
RXL Rox Resources 0 -8 -32 -60 0.38 $ 59,890,893.32
NKL Nickelx 0 -23 0.17 $ 9,095,000.00
AUZ Australian Mines 0 -8 10 68 0.023 $ 98,981,859.62
LML Lincoln Minerals 0 0 0 0 0.008 $ 4,599,869.49
AJM Altura Mining 0 0 0 0 0.07 $ 209,037,029.25
VMC Venus Metals Cor 0 12 3 -32 0.19 $ 28,704,949.77
CZN Corazon 0 -8 -31 -15 0.034 $ 8,883,614.85
RFR Rafaella Resources 0 -11 -30 -9 0.08 $ 15,259,393.44
TKL Traka Resources 0 -7 -35 -35 0.013 $ 8,087,402.62
SBR Sabre Resources 0 25 -29 -44 0.005 $ 8,446,568.25
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 0 -8 0 77 0.023 $ 11,880,575.65
INF Infinity Lithium 0 28 -37 30 0.12 $ 46,335,173.94
NMT Neometals -1 6 118 348 0.85 $ 449,668,644.72
GL1 Globallith -1 5 0.39 $ 34,255,719.96
MNS Magnis Energy Tech -2 -11 -2 68 0.32 $ 292,771,881.99
COB Cobalt Blue -2 2 -17 248 0.32 $ 86,564,085.63
SRI Sipa Resources -2 -8 -15 -31 0.055 $ 10,617,222.04
BEM Blackearth Minerals -2 -2 -18 155 0.1275 $ 26,087,432.04
RNU Renascor Res -2 6 16 1059 0.1275 $ 226,382,530.08
GAL Galileo Mining -2 -15 4 -2 0.25 $ 42,025,301.25
LIT Lithium Australia NL -2 -6 2 121 0.1125 $ 114,897,835.61
SRL Sunrise -2 -8 -32 -42 1.6 $ 143,192,027.61
IXR Ionic Rare Earths -3 3 -40 89 0.034 $ 115,341,583.48
AOU Auroch Minerals -3 -6 -33 104 0.165 $ 48,980,345.87
ESS Essential Metals -3 -16 48 48 0.155 $ 38,019,195.84
PRL Province Resources -3 0 -3 1315 0.15 $ 163,800,672.60
MLX Metals X Limited -3 18 54 370 0.3475 $ 313,006,793.12
ASN Anson Resources -3 -15 6 124 0.083 $ 83,479,240.74
QPM Queensland Pacific -4 16 171 650 0.255 $ 338,903,282.75
TLG Talga Group -4 -4 -7 77 1.375 $ 419,973,419.81
TMT Technology Metals -4 -14 -4 30 0.37 $ 69,017,976.27
BUX Buxton Resources -4 -12 -7 -23 0.065 $ 8,843,603.08
AZL Arizona Lithium -5 3 -2 215 0.041 $ 73,953,310.53
SLZ Sultan Resources -5 19 -10 -20 0.185 $ 13,211,533.91
BKT Black Rock Mining -5 -5 38 227 0.18 $ 157,467,972.37
TON Triton Min -6 6 -25 -35 0.033 $ 36,302,978.14
TNG TNG Limited -6 -6 -20 -29 0.08 $ 103,708,254.32
PNN PepinNini Minerals -6 30 26 144 0.39 $ 17,865,901.17
MOH Moho Resources -6 -2 -24 -43 0.06 $ 6,196,524.12
LEG Legend Mining -7 -5 -45 -49 0.071 $ 195,614,636.19
GW1 Greenwing Resources -7 -21 -44 87 0.28 $ 31,239,562.20
EGR Ecograf Limited -7 -29 2 223 0.63 $ 281,208,411.88
PAM Pan Asia Metals -7 -31 163 110 0.42 $ 30,936,630.48
BRB Breaker Res NL -7 6 29 20 0.27 $ 92,864,664.77
ALY Alchemy Resource -7 -13 -19 -28 0.013 $ 8,739,164.89
LKE Lake Resources -7 1 71 693 0.5475 $ 626,420,198.16
CWX Carawine Resources -7 -7 -28 -19 0.19 $ 19,600,182.36
INR Ioneer -8 -10 70 205 0.595 $ 1,123,476,171.59
ADV Ardiden -8 -27 -39 -52 0.011 $ 23,686,688.92
ARR American Rare Earths -9 8 80 11 0.1725 $ 62,065,498.68
VRC Volt Resources -9 -17 81 142 0.029 $ 76,785,537.50
LPI Lithium Pwr Int -9 0 4 49 0.29 $ 97,655,557.44
ESR Estrella Res -9 -18 -40 -58 0.0335 $ 39,509,487.16
DEV Devex Resources -10 -11 12 -5 0.285 $ 86,193,510.76
VUL Vulcan Energy -10 -19 85 836 11.56 $ 1,443,720,170.72
AAJ Aruma Resources -10 -19 16 -24 0.08 $ 10,076,920.24
ARN Aldoro Resources -10 -21 8 375 0.385 $ 34,039,231.77
PUR Pursuit Minerals -12 -21 -56 297 0.037 $ 31,858,473.14
PEK Peak Resources -12 -9 -18 111 0.08 $ 159,029,396.88
CHR Charger Metals -12 -28 0.435 $ 14,093,655.40
SYA Sayona Mining -13 2 292 1647 0.1525 $ 954,541,644.76
EUR European Lithium -13 6 52 86 0.091 $ 99,046,446.78
CNJ Conico -14 -33 19 139 0.043 $ 43,009,239.58
AVZ AVZ Minerals -15 12 57 272 0.29 $ 981,542,667.40
HNR Hannans -15 314 263 383 0.029 $ 68,439,338.57
BAR Barra Resources -15 -12 21 0 0.023 $ 18,987,300.31
ADD Adavale Resource -15 -4 10 77 0.055 $ 16,125,647.16
AXE Archer Materials -16 -14 62 189 1.46 $ 350,503,262.91
PSC Prospect Res -17 0 76 106 0.36 $ 151,491,796.33
QXR Qx Resources Limited -18 -7 -13 -7 0.014 $ 9,662,253.65

 

Small Cap Standouts

VANADIUM RESOURCES (ASX:VR8)

This South Africa based vanadium project developer has scored a $4.6m investment at 10.4c per share – a massive 64% premium to the 30-day average share price (VWAP).

The cash comes from Raubex (JSE:RBX), an international infrastructure development, mining services and materials supply group.

A separate agreement would also see Raubex subsidiary ‘SPH Kundalila’ provide contract mining services to VR8.

With $6.1m in the bank, VR8 is now fully funded through definitive feasibility studies (DFS) and up to Final Investment Decision at the flagship ‘Steelpoortdrift’ vanadium project.

Steelpoortdrift is one of the world’s largest deposits, located within the famous, vanadium-rich Bushveld Complex.

A recent pre-feasibility study indicates the Steelpoortdrift project “is well positioned to become a significant high volume and low-cost producer”.

 

POSEIDON NICKEL (ASX:POS)

POS has several “capital-efficient” options for restarting production next year at its Black Swan nickel project in WA, according to MST Access senior research analyst Michael Bentley.

The most economically attractive option for the company is to refurbish the 1.1-million-tonne-per-annum capacity processing circuit and “fill the mill” to maximise nickel production, Bentley says.

A final investment decision is slated for May 2022, with first concentrate production targeted for December the same year.

“Our valuation remains at A$0.21 and is based on the restart of Black Swan,” Bentley said in a recent research update on Poseidon.

“We are yet to incorporate the full Golden Swan resource, Silver Swan tailings or Silver Swan infill into our valuation as we await the announcement of the Golden Swan resource.

“We see further upside from these additions.”