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 COMPANY PRICE 1 MONTH RETURN % 6 MONTH RETURN % 1 YEAR RETURN % MARKET CAP ($)
VUL Vulcan Energy 7.2 78 1130 3170 $827.5M
RLC Reedy Lagoon 0.032 88 256 967 $13.6M
LKE Lake Resources 0.325 317 803 733 $352.7M
CXO Core Lithium 0.27 19 482 664 $275.7M
ADV Ardiden 0.021 0 40 600 $47.1M
PLL Piedmont Lithium 0.375 56 658 513 $1.1B
JRL Jindalee Resources 1.66 114 312 492 $78.0M
EMH European Metals 1.35 4 335 400 $177.0M
LTR Liontown Resources 0.425 -7 240 325 $741.3M
INF Infinity Lithium 0.23 21 149 301 $68.8M
AVZ AVZ Minerals 0.21 5 218 239 $563.5M
FFX Firefinch 0.255 11 55 227 $195.5M
PLS Pilbara Minerals 0.95 -13 152 215 $2.8B
SYA Sayona Mining 0.04 186 300 192 $157.1M
ASN Anson Resources 0.099 183 395 191 $84.9M
TKL Traka Resources 0.019 -17 -32 174 $10.1M
AGY Argosy Minerals 0.18 50 227 147 $193.7M
LIT Lithium Australia 0.15 100 121 142 $137.4M
INR Ioneer 0.425 35 270 136 $741.8M
GXY Galaxy Resources 2.48 -14 99 132 $1.3B
GLN Galan Lithium 0.525 30 239 128 $129.4M
MIN Mineral Resources 37.34 -8 33 122 $6.9B
LPD Lepidico 0.026 44 225 103 $134.9M
ORE Orocobre 5.01 0 57 46 $1.7B
PSC Prospect Resources 0.19 12 31 21 $61.4M
ESS Essential Metals 0.13 41 24 8 $26.1M
LPI Lithium Power International 0.31 15 59 7 $89.9M
EUR European Lithium 0.071 31 45 -13 $68.5M
HWK Hawkstone Mining 0.045 309 181 800 $72M
CXO Core Lithium 0.265 22 511 686 $265.64M