Last week, ASX lithium stocks went gangbusters.

The groundwork was laid by a perfect storm of increasingly aggressive EV targets, rising raw material prices, and the growing sense there isn’t enough supply to go around.

Lithium shortages were supposed to start kicking in around 2023-2024, but you would swear the deficit is happening right now.

Lithium price trends over the past 3 years. Source: Benchmark.

Two things happened last week to kick this investor FOMO up a gear.

One, miner Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) set the lithium sector alight with its announcement that the first auction of spodumene — a lithium precursor — had gone off at an amazing $US1,250t.

That’s well above prevailing market price, and streets ahead of the ~$US380/t spod producers were accepting last year.

US President Biden then outlined an ambitious target for half of all new vehicles sold in the US in 2030 to be zero-emissions vehicles – including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles.

By setting clear targets for EV sales, the world’s #1 economy is hoping to become a magnet for private investment into its manufacturing sector – and get back in the lead on clean cars and trucks.

Biden is backed by  automakers Ford, GM, Stellantis and BMW. Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and Volvo have all released targets of 40-50% EV sales share by 2030.

There was a rush to the doors for lithium stock exposure. Well over 90% of the stocks on our list finished in the green.

Standout winners included:

Charger Metals (ASX:CHR) +87%

Lake Resources (ASX: LKE) +56%

Lepidico (ASX:LPD) +53%

Balkan Mining and Minerals (ASX:BMM) +41%

Lithium Energy (ASX:LEL) +39%

Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) +38%

Jindalee Resources (ASX:JRL) +29%

Galan Lithium (ASX:GLN) +28%

… the list goes on.

Winners & Losers

Here’s how ASX-listed lithium stocks are performing:

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

Any  stocks missing? Let us know at [email protected]

CODE COMPANY 1 WEEK RETURN 1 MONTH RETURN 6 MONTH RETURN 1 YEAR RETURN PRICE MARKET CAP
AAJ Aruma Resources 7 -9 -37 -34 0.059 $ 6,300,000.00
RLC Reedy Lagoon 6 0 -6 113 0.017 $ 7,520,418.66
PAM Pan Asia Metals 13 36 -3 -15 0.17 $ 9,100,000.00
CHR Charger Metals 87 87 0.43 $ 13,800,000.00
ADV Ardiden 6 12 -60 -37 0.0095 $ 17,194,833.73
BMM Balkan Mining and Minerals 41 0.62 $ 18,525,000.00
GL1 Global Lithium 9 13 0.3 $ 23,578,612.44
LEL Lithium Energy 39 77 0.645 $ 27,000,000.00
ESS Essential Metals 19 45 10 62 0.16 $ 29,118,508.50
ARN Aldoro Resources 1 16 70 280 0.475 $ 38,500,000.00
INF Infinity Lithium 3 -17 -55 21 0.1 $ 40,291,455.60
EUR European Lithium 21 23 3 53 0.069 $ 58,837,943.05
ASN Anson Resources 25 35 -2 345 0.089 $ 74,223,384.29
LPI Lithium Power International 21 54 9 58 0.315 $ 90,323,261.70
TNG TNG Limited 3 13 -28 3 0.072 $ 92,462,780.96
LIT Lithium Australia 13 18 -13 117 0.13 $ 113,989,594.63
LPD Lepidico 53 92 -18 229 0.023 $ 123,041,648.92
PSC Prospect Resources 25 47 108 188 0.375 $ 139,986,090.28
JRL Jindalee Resources 29 26 61 825 3.14 $ 171,960,770.52
AGY Argosy Minerals 16 26 -9 184 0.145 $ 175,038,038.56
AJM Altura Mining 0 0 0 1 0.07 $ 209,037,029.25
EMH European Metals -5 -2 35 447 1.615 $ 213,350,822.60
GLN Galan Lithium 28 34 155 767 1.3 $ 294,363,189.60
CXO Core Lithium 24 45 8 623 0.34 $ 369,846,935.01
FFX Firefinch 7 12 123 190 0.435 $ 391,416,472.38
NMT Neometals 9 37 121 300 0.72 $ 394,800,000.00
PLL Piedmont Lithium 7 -23 20 714 0.79 $ 431,137,950.00
SYA Sayona Mining 27 11 151 1044 0.1 $ 530,062,925.02
LKE Lake Resources 56 84 123 1761 0.67 $ 617,709,463.03
AVZ AVZ Minerals 12 40 18 282 0.2175 $ 659,383,732.67
INR Ioneer 13 23 17 313 0.475 $ 828,325,651.94
VUL Vulcan Energy 38 63 49 2500 13.52 $ 1,248,554,617.24
LTR Liontown Resources 12 13 137 690 0.9475 $ 1,826,798,630.40
GXY Galaxy Resources 8 26 82 321 4.84 $ 2,406,987,429.28
ORE Orocobre 6 23 75 170 8.44 $ 2,861,596,049.82
PLS Pilbara Minerals 18 44 112 497 2.085 $ 5,860,993,963.20
IGO IGO 5 19 54 102 9.76 $ 7,400,000,000.00
MIN Mineral Resources -8 3 67 113 58.28 $ 11,227,903,569.18

 

Who has room to run?

Here is a selection of the cheapest lithium-facing stocks on the ASX.

 

ARUMA RESOURCES (ASX:AAJ)

Aruma’s main game is gold, but it also has the early stage ‘Mt Deans’ lithium project near Norseman in WA.

The geology is similar to the nearby Mt Marion (Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN)), Bald Hill (US company Austroid) and Buldania (Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR))  deposits, the company says.

While explorers love to make these sorts of comparisons, Aruma is going to test the theory with a 40-hole drilling program in the New Year.

 

REEDY LAGOON (ASX:RLC)

The gold-iron ore focused explorer has two Nevada lithium brine projects in its back pocket: Alkali Lake North and Clayton Valley.

These projects are ~25km from the Silver Peak lithium brine operation owned by major miner Albemarle, and 360km by road from the Tesla Gigafactory in Reno.

Reedy says these lithium brine projects are on hold “until technology enables production without evaporation”.

Which there is – it’s called Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE), and all the cool kids are doing it.

 

PAN ASIA METALS (ASX:PAM)

In mid-July, the recently listed tungsten-lithium explorer kicked off 24-hour-a-day drilling at its ‘Reung Kiet’ project in Thailand.

“Compelling” lithium drilling results at Reung Kiet supported a move to double shift drilling, the company says.

“This will allow PAM to accelerate the additional infill and extensional drilling required in order to support the objective of estimating a Mineral Resource in accordance with the JORC Code 2012 – which is anticipated later this year.”

 

CHARGER METALS (ASX:CHR)

One of the ASX’s newest lithium and base metals plays made news when New York-based fund manager Lind Partners took a substantial 7.34% stake.

In late July, Charger uncovered a new lithium target at the Lake Johnston Project in WA. The company plans to fast track targeting work “to allow drilling to be undertaken at the earliest possible time”.

It also has a lithium-gold project called ‘Bynoe’ in the Northern Territory, surrounded by tenements owned by advanced project developer Core Lithium (ASX:CXO).

 

ARDIDEN (ASX:ADV)

Canadian gold explorer Ardiden — which spiked back when gold was cool but has since settled back to minnow status — recently reminded punters about its “strategically located high grade lithium assets”.

The explorer has inked a JV with “highly experienced lithium development team” Green Technology Metals (GTM) to explore and potentially develop its non-core lithium assets in Ontario.

GTM would progressively acquire up to 80% ownership of the lithium tenements for $9.2 million, subject to shareholder approval.

“Retaining a minimum 20% interest enables Ardiden to retain upside exposure to the battery metals market without having to deploy capital towards lithium exploration, while simultaneously providing capital for the gold exploration program at the Pickle Lake gold project,” Ardiden says.

 

BALKAN MINING AND MINERALS (ASX:BMM)

Balkan, recently spun out of Jadar Resources (ASX:JDR), is focused on 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 ~ 61c – a 204% gain on its IPO price of 20c per share – making it one of July’s best performing listings.

 

GLOBAL LITHIUM (ASX:GL1)

GL1’s main game is the ~240sqkm Marble Bar lithium project (MBLP) in WA’s Pilbara, a region which also hosts Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) Pilgangoora operation and the Albemarle and Mineral Resources’ (ASX:MIN) Wodgina joint venture.

The company is drilling to find the edges of the 10.5 million tonne ‘Archer’ deposit, a swarm of spodumene-bearing pegmatites over a 3km by 1km zone which remains ‘open’ in all directions.

It is well funded, with $8.6m in the bank on June 30.

 

LITHIUM ENERGY (ASX:LEL)

Lithium Energy almost has the approvals required to hit the ground at its ‘Solaroz’ lithium brines project in Argentina.

Upon approvals being received, the newly listed Strike Resources (ASX:SRK) spinout plans to undertake an extensive work program of geophysical surveys and drilling.

Solaroz is next door to some big players, including the current production assets of Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and the advanced lithium brine development project held by Lithium Americas Corporation (NYSE:LAC).

In June, Lithium Energy established a conceptual (theoretical, not real yet) exploration target of 1.5 to 8.7 million tonnes of contained Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) based on a range of lithium concentrations of between circa 500 mg/L Lithium (Li) and 700 mg/L Li.