Technical and battery grade lithium carbonate prices increased by over 20% in the first two weeks of September in the Chinese domestic market.

And they’re now up 188.9% and 215% respectively this year.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s lithium price assessment said this is due to surging demand and raw material supply concerns which have combined to push Chinese domestic prices up to their highest levels since mid-2018.

“Throughout August and early September, the price rally for lithium chemicals and feedstock has been re-ignited on incredibly strong downstream demand, especially within the Chinese domestic market, which acts as a bellwether for the rest of the world’s lithium market,” Benchmark analyst George Miller said.

Carbonate price increases are outpacing lithium hydroxide – and could soon race ahead.

And China EXW lithium hydroxide prices rose 14.2% in the first half of September, up 162.7% year-to-date.

Li2CO3 prices
Lithium carbonate prices could soon outpace lithium hydroxide.

But not everything is rosy in lithium land

On September 11 protestors demanded a halt to the development of Rio Tinto’s (ASX:RIO) proposed $2.4 billion Jadar lithium project in Serbia.

It’s the latest in a wave of community protests against battery metal projects in Western jurisdictions.

It’s a bit of a pickle because Europe is poised to become the second-largest consumer of lithium chemicals worldwide within the next decade – and the goal is supply chain accountability and security.

Not to mention Serbia is seeking to join the EU and environmental regulatory improvement has been cited as one key area where the country needs to improve.

Roskill’s Dominic Wells said countries like Serbia need to decide what mineral policy direction best suits their needs.

“They can maintain their reliance on overseas imports and have little direct control regarding the environmental cost of production, though will be insulated from the environmental impacts,” he said.

“Alternatively, they can develop domestic sources of these chemicals, set their own standards of production but bear the environmental cost and attempt to lessen it where possible.
 

Community conflicts inevitable

“Given the growing number of European mining projects looking to capitalise on domestic demand for lithium chemicals, further conflict between communities, miners, and the governments is inevitable,” Wells said.

“Regulation such as the European Union’s proposed Battery Passport scheme and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism touch on the issue, attempting to improve the environmental cost of non-EU producers.

“However, they have little to no impact on the conditions of domestic production. Should battery metal projects be developed, policymakers in lithium producing countries will need to self-regulate the conditions of production to appease both local groups and the producers themselves.”

 

Pangang moves into vanadium redox batteries

In other battery metals news, Chinese producer Pangang Group Vanadum and Titanium Resources signed an agreement with Dalian Bolong New Materials (BNM) to develop and promote vanadium redox battery (VRB) technology in China.

Roskill analyst Jack Anderson said the companies will also promote the potential of VRB use within the steel industry to reduce carbon consumption, new energy power generation and peak shaving services.

“Over the past couple of years an increasing number of primary and secondary vanadium producers have incorporated VRBs as an end-use application into their own business models,” he said.

“This represents a new precedent in vanadium market dynamics and has been reinforced by vanadium producers planning to vertically integrate mining and recycling operations downstream to VRBs.”

It’s part of China’s aim to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2060 as part of the Paris Agreement.

“In order to achieve this, and in line with the country’s 14th five-year plan, China intends to massively expand its renewables energy capacity, which will require large scale energy storage,” Anderson said.

“Despite the large potential for Li-ion battery energy storage in China, the country’s significant vanadium production boosts VRB’s domestic potential.”

 

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

Code Company Price %Mth %SixMth %Wk %Yr MktCap
HNR Hannans Ltd 0.037 429 363 270 429 $ 51,919,498.22
LTR Liontown Resources 1.545 66 243 37 713 $ 2,950,260,451.05
ADD Adavale Resource Ltd 0.073 30 43 35 103 $ 22,748,680.82
ESS Essential Metals Ltd 0.22 22 91 26 134 $ 58,216,893.63
INF Infinity Lithium 0.12 22 -35 25 33 $ 46,335,173.94
CXO Core Lithium 0.425 29 93 25 963 $ 704,299,017.24
EUR European Lithium Ltd 0.099 43 41 24 111 $ 109,844,238.42
SYA Sayona Mining Ltd 0.1825 40 487 18 1987 $ 1,163,414,691.04
PSC Prospect Res Ltd 0.405 27 125 17 161 $ 172,585,590.75
ARR American Rare Earths 0.17 17 79 13 400 $ 67,237,623.57
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 0.026 30 4 13 100 $ 13,500,654.15
SBR Sabre Resources 0.005 25 25 11 -55 $ 8,415,318.25
STK Strickland Metals 0.045 22 119 10 -14 $ 51,870,384.19
MLX Metals X Limited 0.34 26 51 10 336 $ 326,615,784.12
QPM Queensland Pacific 0.24 33 155 9 1100 $ 359,237,479.72
MOH Moho Resources 0.065 5 -23 8 -41 $ 6,712,901.13
DEV Devex Resources Ltd 0.335 52 56 8 31 $ 115,437,737.63
TKL Traka Resources 0.014 0 -18 8 -32 $ 8,709,510.52
AML Aeon Metals Ltd. 0.059 5 -40 7 -59 $ 45,779,978.27
GME GME Resources Ltd 0.063 19 -6 7 47 $ 37,421,418.01
VR8 Vanadium Resources 0.065 18 59 7 150 $ 28,872,643.25
IXR Ionic Rare Earths 0.034 0 -32 6 278 $ 125,518,782.02
SGQ St George Min Ltd 0.071 6 -22 6 -35 $ 45,956,893.09
GL1 Globallith 0.41 17 5 $ 38,259,635.28
HAS Hastings Tech Met 0.22 5 10 5 76 $ 425,921,540.17
AVL Aust Vanadium Ltd 0.023 -18 0 5 35 $ 82,020,637.03
RFR Rafaella Resources 0.092 11 -12 5 16 $ 18,120,529.71
PLS Pilbara Min Ltd 2.14 -3 99 4 529 $ 6,722,157,616.03
LPD Lepidico Ltd 0.025 32 0 4 257 $ 172,258,748.51
LIT Lithium Australia NL 0.125 -7 -7 4 140 $ 133,370,889.26
PUR Pursuit Minerals 0.051 -15 -24 4 265 $ 47,787,709.72
NMT Neometals Ltd 0.825 4 106 4 371 $ 493,538,756.40
NMT Neometals Ltd 0.825 4 106 4 371 $ 493,538,756.40
RNU Renascor Res Ltd 0.14 59 0 4 900 $ 300,934,984.32
AXE Archer Materials 1.825 -13 84 4 238 $ 437,196,568.32
TNG TNG Limited 0.085 -3 -19 4 -8 $ 111,205,236.56
MAN Mandrake Res Ltd 0.057 -5 -58 4 -8 $ 28,169,583.63
MRC Mineral Commodities 0.15 0 -61 3 -54 $ 77,428,641.93
ARN Aldoro Resources 0.495 -19 141 3 395 $ 40,000,683.00
ARN Aldoro Resources 0.495 -19 141 3 395 $ 40,000,683.00
AOU Auroch Minerals Ltd 0.19 9 -12 3 164 $ 56,045,797.39
REE Rarex Limited 0.1025 11 -18 3 39 $ 50,064,468.46
HWK Hawkstone Mng Ltd 0.041 8 14 3 193 $ 70,366,704.98
EMH European Metals Hldg 1.55 -12 -14 2 252 $ 208,147,144.00
AVZ AVZ Minerals Ltd 0.265 8 36 2 321 $ 901,088,350.40
TLG Talga Group Ltd 1.42 7 8 1 125 $ 459,393,307.59
BRB Breaker Res NL 0.25 25 22 0 2 $ 89,606,255.48
CZN Corazon Ltd 0.038 -5 -28 0 -5 $ 7,716,057.47
IPT Impact Minerals 0.013 0 -46 0 -48 $ 26,309,333.95
TON Triton Min Ltd 0.031 -9 -38 0 -42 $ 36,302,978.14
ALY Alchemy Resource Ltd 0.014 0 -7 0 -22 $ 10,083,651.80
ESR Estrella Res Ltd 0.042 8 -34 0 200 $ 49,967,880.82
VML Vital Metals Limited 0.062 -3 -23 0 226 $ 279,087,366.63
VMC Venus Metals Cor Ltd 0.175 -3 -10 0 -34 $ 26,438,769.53
TMT Technology Metals 0.4 0 10 0 63 $ 67,580,125.65
QXR Qx Resources Limited 0.012 9 -25 0 -29 $ 7,996,347.85
ATM Aneka Tambang 1 0 0 0 0 $ 1,303,649.00
AJM Altura Mining Ltd 0.07 0 0 0 0 $ 209,037,029.25
LML Lincoln Minerals 0.008 0 0 0 14 $ 4,599,869.49
GBR Greatbould Resources 0.155 99 297 0 231 $ 60,730,087.53
COB Cobalt Blue Ltd 0.325 25 -20 0 246 $ 104,473,896.45
BOA Boadicea Resources 0.185 -20 -19 0 -6 $ 14,762,980.05
LKE Lake Resources 0.515 -16 45 -1 820 $ 571,265,552.50
ARL Ardea Resources Ltd 0.46 -8 -15 -1 -14 $ 66,256,425.12
SRL Sunrise 1.665 -6 -34 -1 -43 $ 154,449,262.49
PGM Platina Resources 0.066 -6 38 -1 3 $ 31,275,528.62
SRI Sipa Resources Ltd 0.062 -2 3 -2 -25 $ 11,130,380.31
FFX Firefinch Ltd 0.605 8 163 -2 290 $ 595,842,336.05
LPI Lithium Pwr Int Ltd 0.28 0 -2 -2 75 $ 106,374,803.64
AUZ Australian Mines Ltd 0.0235 2 26 -2 50 $ 103,285,418.74
NKL Nickelxltd 0.215 -2 -2 $ 12,037,500.00
NTU Northern Min Ltd 0.041 5 5 -2 32 $ 203,351,944.57
HXG Hexagon Energy 0.078 8 -26 -3 34 $ 37,019,147.64
CWX Carawine Resources 0.195 -11 -30 -3 -25 $ 21,505,755.65
BKT Black Rock Mining 0.18 24 33 -3 233 $ 174,400,185.46
AZS Azure Minerals 0.345 53 3 -3 68 $ 111,324,859.56
AGY Argosy Minerals Ltd 0.17 17 72 -3 209 $ 225,048,906.72
JRV Jervois Global Ltd 0.5 9 9 -3 64 $ 840,887,083.41
CHN Chalice Mining Ltd 6.97 9 48 -3 344 $ 2,661,153,877.20
VRC Volt Resources Ltd 0.033 18 74 -3 120 $ 92,672,200.43
ADV Ardiden Ltd 0.0145 32 -24 -3 -48 $ 32,240,313.24
BEM Blackearth Minerals 0.13 18 0 -4 217 $ 33,696,266.39
ORE Orocobre Limited 8.63 -6 75 -4 220 $ 5,955,522,648.90
PAM Pan Asia Metals 0.465 174 244 -4 $ 33,986,028.78
PAM Pan Asia Metals 0.465 174 244 -4 $ 33,986,028.78
BMM Balkanminingandmin 0.765 25 -4 $ 26,000,000.00
NWC New World Resources 0.064 -12 -10 -4 52 $ 107,958,408.64
INR Ioneer Ltd 0.63 37 48 -5 473 $ 1,256,769,954.66
PEK Peak Resources 0.08 -10 -12 -5 176 $ 156,291,618.67
RXL Rox Resources 0.4 1 -28 -5 -57 $ 65,407,159.81
S2R S2 Resources 0.093 -34 -47 -5 -61 $ 35,281,110.65
CHR Charger Metals 0.55 -10 -5 $ 18,257,689.95
FGR First Graphene Ltd 0.175 -20 -33 -5 40 $ 101,698,382.41
LYC Lynas Rare Earths 6.68 -4 6 -6 175 $ 6,804,183,117.16
SLZ Sultan Resources Ltd 0.16 -9 -14 -6 -24 $ 11,125,502.24
PRL Province Resources 0.155 3 29 -6 485 $ 186,393,868.82
GLN Galan Lithium Ltd 0.985 -15 103 -6 579 $ 284,809,614.60
PNN PepinNini Minerals 0.29 -6 -17 -6 133 $ 14,591,200.64
ARU Arafura Resource Ltd 0.14 12 -24 -7 82 $ 240,241,836.46
BSX Blackstone Ltd 0.48 12 7 -7 9 $ 173,280,738.80
WKT Walkabout Resources 0.205 -13 37 -7 -13 $ 87,208,379.04
IGO IGO Limited 8.92 -6 40 -7 96 $ 7,095,599,407.81
IGO IGO Limited 8.92 -6 40 -7 96 $ 7,095,599,407.81
OZL OZ Minerals 21.83 -1 -6 -7 52 $ 7,774,160,870.90
GAL Galileo Mining Ltd 0.265 -22 23 -7 -9 $ 48,749,349.45
MCR Mincor Resources NL 1.26 1 32 -7 42 $ 623,014,720.90
PLL Piedmont Lithium Inc 0.69 -12 -32 -7 431 $ 409,580,611.00
BUX Buxton Resources Ltd 0.07 -30 -3 -8 -42 $ 9,523,880.24
LEG Legend Mining 0.069 -14 -45 -8 -55 $ 192,859,500.47
NIC Nickel Mines Limited 0.985 -4 -31 -9 42 $ 2,741,381,665.59
VUL Vulcan Energy 14.55 9 129 -8 1553 $ 1,650,364,991.88
PAN Panoramic Resources 0.205 21 58 -9 116 $ 451,201,080.88
AAJ Aruma Resources Ltd 0.088 4 60 -9 -35 $ 11,588,458.28
CNJ Conico Ltd 0.058 -16 76 -9 287 $ 58,741,087.04
BHP BHP Group Limited 37.37 -27 -19 -9 0 $ 115,531,844,589.04
MNS Magnis Energy Tech 0.32 -3 0 -10 60 $ 311,360,572.91
BAR Barra Resources 0.026 37 24 -10 24 $ 22,151,850.36
AQD Ausquest Limited 0.017 -15 -15 -11 -47 $ 15,640,606.79
POS Poseidon Nick Ltd 0.105 -9 69 -13 88 $ 337,035,547.86
G88 Golden Mile Res Ltd 0.048 -16 -8 -13 -23 $ 9,234,989.71
GED Golden Deeps 0.01 -9 0 -13 -41 $ 8,534,365.84
SYR Syrah Resources 1.155 -13 -3 -13 148 $ 603,469,014.83
CTM Centaurus Metals Ltd 0.93 2 14 -14 94 $ 350,603,633.04
EGR Ecograf Limited 0.715 -16 3 -14 430 $ 337,375,094.25
GW1 Greenwing Resources 0.31 22 -11 -15 77 $ 35,803,805.05
MIN Mineral Resources. 45.05 -21 17 -15 81 $ 9,113,911,182.86
CLA Celsius Resource Ltd 0.025 -4 -44 -17 -24 $ 29,322,386.27
ASN Anson Resources Ltd 0.091 0 18 -17 379 $ 85,372,475.99
MLS Metals Australia 0.0015 -25 -25 -25 -50 $ 8,454,376.09
JRL Jindalee Resources 2.31 -33 32 -32 413 $ 142,054,549.56

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

 

Only 46 of the 130 ASX battery metals stocks on our list posted gains last week.

Over the past year 55 stocks have posted a gain of 100% or more.

Three of them – Vulcan (ASX:VUL), Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) and Queensland Pacific Metals (ASX:QPM) – have posted a gain of 1000% or higher, and there are several more knocking at the door.

There were several standouts, including Adavale Resources (ASX:ADD) up 35% after completing three drill holes at its Kabanga Jirani Nickel Project in Tanzania.

Infinity Lithium (ASX:INF) was up 25% off the back of news it had delivered the first battery grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate and lithium carbonate produced at bench-scale from its San José project in Spain.

The company has commenced pilot-scale roasting which is scheduled for completion in early October and is a key step in the feasibility study for the project – which is poised to supply lithium to the European battery industry.

And Sayona was up 18% after a project review showed the potential to increase the lithium resource at its newly acquired North American Lithium (NAL) mine in Québec, Canada.

In 2017, NAL had a total foreign mineral resource estimate of 39.3 million tonnes at 1.04% Li2O and a conversion to Australia’s JORC standard is expected by the end of the year.