Years of sagging lithium prices punished Aussie stocks and sent miners like Alita Resources and Altura Mining to the canvas permanently.

The worst could now be over. Lithium prices are seeing their first sustained rise in three years as automakers and cell manufacturers react to the strong upward trend in EV sales.

The Benchmark Lithium Price Index – while still very low — was up 3.6 per cent in December.

Prices for spodumene (the feedstock Australian miners sell) improved by 2.6 per cent to an average of $US390/t.

This recent stability in lithium prices has already created a better investment environment in the lithium ion battery supply chain, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence says.

“In December … Australian gold and nickel producer, IGO (ASX:IGO) entered into a $1.4bn binding agreement to acquire minority stakes from Tianqi, in the Greenbushes mine and its Kwinana hydroxide facility,” it says.

“Moreover, Chinese chemical processors, Yibin Tianyi Lithium, Youngy Lithium, and Ganfeng Lithium invested in future production capacity, and several cell manufacturers including LG Energy Solutions (LGES), CATL, and Tesla, looked to secure future chemical supply via long term agreements and plan further megafactory construction.”

This creates a bit of a feedback loop: more investment = more lithium demand = better pricing = more investment.

Or something like that.

Investor sentiment is higher than it’s been for years and Aussie lithium stocks have been flying. Just check out this sea of green:

CODE NAME 1 WEEK RETURN 1 MONTH RETURN 1 YEAR RETURN SHARE PRICE MARKET CAP ($)
CXO Core Lithium 127% 168% 529% 0.22 239,479,277
LPD Lepidico 95% 131% 17% 0.0185 98,528,966
AGY Argosy Minerals 76% 74% 56% 0.12 127,437,768
SYA Sayona Mining 75% 75% -16% 0.014 42,837,532
VUL Vulcan Energy 39% 75% 2380% 3.72 265,217,467
LTR Liontown Resources 33% 68% 411% 0.445 777,503,669
ADV Ardiden 29% 10% 450% 0.022 46,927,361
ASN Anson Resources 29% 6% 38% 0.036 30,431,787
GXY Galaxy Resources 28% 45% 190% 2.81 1,325,688,015
LPI Lithium Power International 27% -4% -4% 0.26 79,039,934
INF Infinity Lithium 24% 16% 185% 0.18 52,859,618
GLN Galan Lithium 22% 28% 226% 0.44 87,320,004
INR Ioneer 19% 9% 70% 0.315 522,628,649
FFX Firefinch 18% 24% 150% 0.195 152,471,914
AML Aeon Metals 17% 8% -23% 0.135 91,471,913
PLS Pilbara Minerals 16% 49% 286% 1.06 2,728,513,635
LKE Lake Resources 14% 0% 132% 0.08 65,998,861
RLC Reedy Lagoon 13% 21% 467% 0.017 7,985,474
ESS Essential Metals 13% -1% -28% 0.086 16,813,109
ORE Orocobre 12% 27% 78% 5.06 1,703,015,602
PLL Piedmont Lithium 11% 13% 248% 0.4 570,188,992
LIT Lithium Australia 10% 23% 21% 0.074 57,835,384
EMH European Metals 9% 57% 276% 1.185 139,644,235
MIN Mineral Resources 8% 15% 140% 39.64 7,261,003,789
PSC Prospect Resources 6% 14% -6% 0.165 54,794,911
JRL Jindalee Resources 6% -5% 150% 0.775 34,645,574
QPM Queensland Pacific 6% -10% 125% 0.036 32,285,665
TKL Traka Resources 5% -4% 217% 0.022 10,635,766
AVZ AVZ Minerals 3% 88% 307% 0.175 501,812,239
TNG TNG Limited 2% 4% 7% 0.093 111,524,884
EUR European Lithium 0% -4% -57% 0.045 32,694,294
MLS Metals Australia 0% 0% 33% 0.002 6,286,355
TON Triton Minerals -2% 4% 37% 0.052 57,857,871