Yesterday, Aussie hard rock lithium miner Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) went to an all-time high off the back of its second Battery Material Exchange auction.

The miner sold an 8,000t SC5.5 spodumene cargo for an extraordinary $US2,240/t.

That essentially doubles the $US1,250/tonne received via the inaugural auction held late July.

It also sits well up on average recorded prices across the industry this month of between $US650-900/tonne (FOB Australia).

The first Pilbara lithium auction set the market alight because it gave punters a rare look inside the traditionally opaque lithium market.

It also suggested that lithium shortages, which were supposed to start kicking in around 2023-2024, are happening right now.

There was a rush to the doors for lithium stock exposure in August. How did lithium stocks respond this time?

The reaction was more subdued, but still overwhelmingly positive.

27 of the 41 stocks – or 65% — on our list finished in the green. Eight made gains of 10% or more.

Just five stocks lost ground, all by 5% or less.

CODE COMPANY 1 DAY RETURN % 1 WEEK RETURN % 1 MONTH RETURN % 6 MONTH RETURN % 1 YEAR RETURN % LAST SP MARKET CAP
ESS Essential Metals 24 33 18 126 174 0.26 $ 49,900,194.54
PSC Prospect Res 21 28 24 171 207 0.46 $ 145,738,943.30
INF Infinity Lithium 16 20 15 -32 24 0.115 $ 39,888,541.04
EUR European Lithium 14 10 27 40 107 0.095 $ 86,829,255.13
BMM Balkanminingandmin 14 -8 21 0.835 $ 23,887,500.00
SYA Sayona Mining 13 13 21 481 1902 0.175 $ 949,101,458.48
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 13 -4 23 13 108 0.027 $ 12,960,627.98
LPD Lepidico 12 12 38 32 287 0.029 $ 159,954,552.19
QPM Queensland Pacific 9 9 20 161 1261 0.245 $ 305,012,954.48
PLS Pilbara Min 8 14 5 136 673 2.45 $ 6,634,094,415.82
LEL Lithenergy 8 2 -14 0.61 $ 25,425,000.00
AML Aeon Metals . 8 0 -5 -43 -61 0.057 $ 41,124,387.26
LTR Liontown Resources 7 42 66 230 832 1.585 $ 2,816,591,692.75
ADV Ardiden 7 -12 7 -21 -35 0.015 $ 30,090,959.02
GLN Galan Lithium 6 9 -5 137 721 1.15 $ 292,947,032.16
GL1 Globallith 6 9 6 0.425 $ 35,590,358.40
NMT Neometals 6 4 3 119 381 0.865 $ 446,926,762.74
AVZ AVZ Minerals 6 6 10 46 329 0.27 $ 820,634,033.40
TNG TNG Limited 5 5 2 -11 10 0.088 $ 104,957,751.36
EMH European Metals Hldg 5 8 -20 -1 298 1.67 $ 207,496,684.18
LIT Lithium Australia NL 4 4 -14 4 140 0.125 $ 118,124,730.84
AGY Argosy Minerals 3 -3 10 62 262 0.17 $ 206,294,831.16
INR Ioneer 3 14 49 76 640 0.74 $ 1,371,021,768.72
ORE Orocobre Limited 2 1 3 105 268 9.78 $ 6,089,283,050.64
FFX Firefinch 2 6 19 202 312 0.68 $ 609,211,939.04
CXO Core Lithium 2 26 26 107 1038 0.455 $ 688,819,917.96
PLL Piedmont Lithium Inc 2 -3 -11 -17 694 0.77 $ 435,539,945.50
VUL Vulcan Energy 0 12 10 170 1591 15.9 $ 1,729,782,687.60
JRL Jindalee Resources 0 -8 -15 116 687 3.29 $ 175,699,048.14
ASN Anson Resources 0 7 -4 34 479 0.11 $ 98,852,340.62
IGO IGO Limited 0 1 -1 53 114 9.79 $ 7,413,651,889.27
LPI Lithium Pwr Int 0 0 -5 11 94 0.3 $ 104,630,954.40
AJM Altura Mining 0 0 0 0 0 0.07 $ 209,037,029.25
TKL Traka Resources 0 -7 0 -22 -26 0.014 $ 8,709,510.52
MLS Metals Australia 0 0 0 -33 -33 0.002 $ 8,454,376.09
MIN Mineral Resources. 0 1 -15 31 92 52.42 $ 9,910,859,073.28
CHR Charger Metals -2 -7 -15 0.585 $ 19,058,465.83
LKE Lake Resources -3 -6 -19 44 1132 0.505 $ 576,811,820.00
AAJ Aruma Resources -3 -7 1 52 -35 0.088 $ 11,462,496.77
PAM Pan Asia Metals -5 -30 157 239 0.475 $ 34,329,322.00
ARN Aldoro Resources -5 -11 -28 126 319 0.44 $ 40,879,818.89

 

Lithium Top 5

ESSENTIAL METALS (ASX:ESS) +24%

Market Cap: $60 million

Cash in Bank: $5.65m (at June 30) plus $5m placement (at August 4)

ESS is all cashed up to advance the ‘Pioneer Dome’ lithium project, 150km south of Kalgoorlie in WA, over the coming financial year.

Feasibility studies will kick off once resources – currently 11.2Mt @ 1.21% lithium (Li2O) – “are of sufficient size”, the company says.

A ~6,000m drilling campaign wrapped up late August, with assays pending.

 

PROSPECT RESOURCES (ASX:PSC) +21%

Market Cap: $174 million

Cash in Bank: $7.9 million (at June 30)

PSC’s flagship project is the advanced 72.7 million tonne hard rock ‘Arcadia’ asset, located on the outskirts of Harare in Zimbabwe.

The near-term developer is on the lookout for a partner to develop and fund the project after “multiple enquiries” from “a range of international parties”.

The project’s DFS was updated in 2019, outlining a low-cost, +15-year project with a pre-tax internal rate of return of 71% and payback within 18 months of first production.

Prospect is currently optimising a definitive feasibility study looking into two options.

The first is a two-stage development with a total run rate of 2.4 million tonnes per annum which will have lower initial capital intensity.

The second is a single stage development that provides greater efficiencies and economic returns at a higher upfront cost.

The studies will be completed in the September and December quarters, respectively.

 

INFINITY LITHIUM (ASX:INF) +16%

Market Cap: $44.5 million

Cash in Bank: $19 million (at June 30)

INF’s chances of developing its 75% owned San José lithium project in Spain are looking a little grim after the local government rejected an appeal against the recent denial of the project’s all important Investigation Permit Valdeflórez (PIV) research permit.

The company “strongly disputes” the validity of the decision and is advancing permitting with the view to lodging mining and environmental applications in 2022.

San José, the second largest JORC hard rock lithium deposit in the EU, was expected to produce 15,000 tonnes per annum lithium hydroxide over 30 years.

 

EUROPEAN LITHIUM (ASX:EUR) +14%

Market Cap: $99 million

Cash in Bank: $5.4 million (at June 30) plus $6.5 million placement (at August 10)

EUR wants production at the flagship ‘Wolfsberg’ lithium project in Austria to kick in 2023.

In August, it completed its major Phase 2 drilling program at Wolfsberg, where it is has set a target of upgrading its resource to 11 million tonnes at a grade of 1% lithium oxide.

A DFS for the project is expected to be completed in April of next year.

 

BALKAN MINING AND MINERALS (ASX:BMM) +14%

Market Cap: $27 million

Cash in Bank: $6.5 million

BMM, recently spun out of Jadar Resources (ASX:JDR), is about to drill the ‘Rekovac’ lithium project in the little-known jurisdiction of Serbia.

The project “has similar geological settings” to Rio Tinto’s world-class Jadar discovery, the company says.

The stock is currently selling for ~ 70.5c – a 320% gain on its IPO price of 20c per share.