High Voltage: VW doesn’t want to buy Tesla (yet)
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Each week our High Voltage column wraps all the news driving ASX battery metals stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium.
VW – which has a very ambitious EV production timeline — has denied plans to buy Tesla.
Reuters’ columnist Liam Proud said the idea had logic, but it would only happen if Tesla’s finances weakened.
“It’s easy to see why (VW) would be interested,” Proud said.
“Electric batteries will be the most expensive part of future cars, and UBS analysts reckon Panasonic battery cells produced in Tesla’s gigafactory are 20 per cent cheaper than the next-cheapest option.
“Meanwhile (CEO Elon) Musk’s company makes its own computer chips and can tweak features like a car’s suspension remotely through software updates. (VW boss Herbert) Diess could leapfrog his rivals with technology like that.”
BYD and CATL announce big H1 profits
Reading the headlines you might assume that the EV space is crammed full of loss-making companies right now. So its nice to see the Warren Buffet-backed Chinese carmaker BYD post a 204 percent rise in first-half profit to $US205.29m ($303.4m).
BYD sold 145,653 full electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles between January and June, up 95 percent from a year earlier. It also sold 45 per cent fewer (82,419) internal combustion engine (ICE) models.
Chinese battery giant CATL also announced 130.8 percent profit growth to $US296m in the first half of 2019.
The company says that revenue from its lithium-ion battery business surged 135 percent to 16.9 billion yuan ($3.5 billion).
Another bumpy week for most stocks, but there were some silver linings in the battery metals space.
The nickel price is hot, and so are some of these battery facing exploration plays.
Blackstone Minerals (ASX:BSX) was up 33 per cent after a maiden induced polarisation (IP) survey at the company’s Ta Khoa nickel-cobalt sulphide project in Vietnam opened up a whole new raft of targets.
The Ta Khoa project includes the Ban Phuc nickel mine, a underground mine which operated from 2013 to 2016 but is currently on care and maintenance.
Blackstone’s plan is to build out the nickel-cobalt resource before restarting production to capitalise on the looming EV-driven nickel boom.
The first three holes drilled by Pioneer Resources (ASX:PIO) at Dome North near Kalgoorlie have all hit mineralised pegmatite down dip from spodumene outcropping, which continued until the hole was terminated.
The Pioneer Dome sits along an increasingly important ‘lithium corridor’ which includes three lithium mines — Mt Marion, Bald Hill, and Ravensthorpe — as well as the emerging Buldania deposit owned by Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR).
Investors liked the news, sending the stock up 27 per cent for the week.
Even cobalt explorers are (finally) having a win after Glencore recently announced a major mine shutdown in the DRC.
NSW-based Cobalt Blue (ASX:COB) was up 16 per cent after expanding its exploration footprint in the Broken Hill district by over 50 per cent.
“The southern Curnamona Province is considered prospective for a number of cobalt bearing mineralisation styles,” chief executive Joe Kaderavek says.
“While Broken Hill has a long-dated history, we believe cobalt exploration across the region is in its infancy and are excited by the potential for resource growth.”
Other notable winners included Indiana Resources (ASX:IDA), Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA), Scandivanadium (ASX:SVD), Dark Horse Resources (ASX:DHR), Jervois Mining (ASX:JRV), Mali Lithium (ASX:MLL), Hawkstone Mining (ASX:HWK), and Infinity Lithium (ASX:INF).
Here’s a table of ASX battery metal stocks with exposure to lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese and vanadium>>>
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop: