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The best ASX lithium stocks based on year-to-date gains have performed well alongside a strong 2021 for lithium.

Click here to read the previous best ASX lithium stocks article.

Lithium prices jumped in 2021, as the electric vehicle revolution took centre stage around the world.

As a result of surging interest in battery metals, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) saw plenty of lithium companies experience increases in their share prices through the year.

Here the Investing News Network takes a look at the five top ASX-listed lithium companies by year-to-date gains. The list below was generated using TradingView’s stock screener on December 30, 2021, and includes companies that had market caps above AU$10 million at that time.

1. Sayona Mining

Year-to-date gain: 1,389.63 percent; current share price: AU$0.13

Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) is an emerging lithium producer with projects in Western Australia and Canada.

In Quebec, together with strategic partner Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL), Sayona has successfully acquired North American Lithium, gaining access to a lithium mine and concentrator that it plans to integrate with its nearby Authier lithium project, as well as its emerging Tansim lithium project.

Sayona has also announced the acquisition of a 60 percent stake in the Moblan lithium project in Northern Quebec, located in the established lithium-mining jurisdiction of Eeyou‐Istchee James Bay.

In Western Australia's Pilbara region, the company holds a large portfolio that is prospective for gold and lithium.

2. Lake Resources

Year-to-date gain: 1,249.32 percent; current share price: AU$0.98

Lake Resources (ASX:LKE) is using clean direct-extraction technology for the development of sustainable, high-purity lithium from its flagship Kachi project, as well as three other lithium brine projects in Argentina.

Lake’s four projects cover 2,200 square kilometres in a prime location within the Lithium Triangle, where 40 percent of the world’s lithium is produced at the lowest cost.

Lake’s technology partner is California-based Lilac Solutions, whose cost-competitive technology has been backed by the Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Fund and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Engine Fund.

3. Arizona Lithium

Year-to-date gain: 1,011.11 percent; current share price: AU$0.10

Arizona Lithium (ASX:AZL) is focused on the exploration and development of its 100 percent owned flagship Big Sandy lithium project, located in Arizona in the US Battery Corridor.

A 2019 maiden mineral resource estimate shows total indicated and inferred resources stand at a total of 32.5 million tonnes grading 1,850 parts per million (ppm) lithium, or 320,800 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), reported above an 800 ppm lithium cut off. The company also holds interest in the Lordsburg project.

4. Galan Lithium

Year-to-date gain: 414.29 percent; current share price: AU$1.98

Galan Lithium (ASX:GLN) is an Australia-based international mining company that is focused on its lithium brine projects located in the Hombre Muerto Basin in Argentina.

The company’s flagship Hombre Muerto West project hosts some of Argentina’s highest-grade and lowest-impurity levels with an inventory of 2.3 million tonnes of LCE. Galan’s secondary project is Candelas, which has the potential to host a substantial volume of brine, with a 2019 maiden resource estimate of 685,000 tonnes of LCE.

In January 2021, Galan acquired 80 percent of the Greenbushes South lithium project from Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT,OTC Pink:LMMFF).

5. Liontown Resources

Year-to-date gain: 386.76 percent; current share price: AU$1.65

Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR) bills itself as a future Australian lithium producer, with two lithium projects in Western Australia, including its flagship Kathleen Valley project.

An updated prefeasibility study confirms the technical and financial viability of a standalone 2 million tonne per year mining and processing operation at Kathleen Valley, based on an updated ore reserve of 71 million tonnes at 1.4 percent lithium oxide and 130 ppm tantalum pentoxide.

The company is now moving onto a definitive feasibility study focused on spodumene concentrate production.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Lake Resources, Galan Lithium and Piedmont Lithium are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

Lake Resources CEO Stephen Promnitz: Scaling Lithium Supply with $150 Million Series B Funding

Lake Resources Managing Director Stephen Promnitz

Lake Resources (ASX:LKE,OTCQB:LLKKF) Managing Director Stephen Promnitz says Lake Resources has secured robust financing to scale up lithium production in preparation for the electric vehicle revolution.

Lake Resources has recently established a technology and funding partnership with Lilac Solutions, and the latter has announced $150 Million Series B to scale lithium supply for the electric vehicle era.

Lake Resources: Scaling Lithium Supply with $150 Million Series B Funding

"Lilac Solutions are actually going to work with us and progressively earn into our flagship Kachi project, and then provide $50 million towards the development of that project. So come the end of October, we should have somewhere around $70 to $80 million in the bank, plus this $50 million commitment from Lilac going forward. And then if we have some additional $75 million options in June next year. Essentially, we can now see a pathway to the entire project being financed," Promnitz said.

Lake Resources and Lilac Solutions signed a partnership agreement wherein Lilac is able to achieve an equity stake in the Kachi project with project funding obligations while providing its leading technology to advance the project.

"There's a real deal here, and now value opportunity. But on top of that, we've de-risked it from the debt side and from the equity side. This project is going to happen, and not only that, we're going to be scaling it up to 50,000 tonnes per annum soon after we get into production. That will make us one of the top five producers in the lithium space."

Watch the full interview of Lake Resources Managing Director Stephen Promnitz above.

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Ioneer Ltd is pleased to announce that the Company has reached an agreement to establish a joint venture with Sibanye Stillwater Limited to develop the flagship Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project located in Nevada, USA . Under the terms of the agreement, Sibanye-Stillwater will contribute US$490 million for a 50% interest in the Joint Venture, with ioneer to maintain a 50% interest and retain operatorship. ioneer …

Ioneer Ltd (“ioneer” or the “Company”) (ASX: INR) is pleased to announce that the Company has reached an agreement to establish a joint venture (the ” Joint Venture “) with Sibanye Stillwater Limited ( “Sibanye-Stillwater” ) to develop the flagship Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project located in Nevada, USA (the “Project” ). Under the terms of the agreement, Sibanye-Stillwater will contribute US$490 million for a 50% interest in the Joint Venture, with ioneer to maintain a 50% interest and retain operatorship. ioneer has also agreed to provide Sibanye-Stillwater with an option to participate in 50% of the North Basin 1 upon the election of Sibanye-Stillwater to contribute up to an additional US$50 million subject to certain terms and conditions.

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Galaxy Resources Limited advises that the following announcement has been made to the Australian Securities Exchange which appears on the Company’s platform : Merger of Galaxy and Orocobre Implemented The announcement can be viewed at: SOURCE Galaxy Resources Limited View original content

Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) ( Company ) advises that the following announcement has been made to the Australian Securities Exchange which appears on the Company’s platform (ASX):

  • Merger of Galaxy and Orocobre Implemented

The announcement can be viewed at:

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Looking for the best-performing cobalt stocks on the ASX? Here's a look at the three top gainers of 2021.

Cobalt prices have soared this past year, with investors paying more attention to this battery metal.

A large reason for cobalt’s bullish behaviour is that it is used to manufacture lithium-ion batteries, which power electric vehicles (EVs) — as demand for EVs continues to rise, it's likely cobalt demand will remain strong too.

Currently the future of EVs looks bright — the market is growing quickly and is expected to boom over the next decade. In the first half of 2021 alone, EV sales ballooned by 160 percent, and by the end of the year, a total of 15 countries had announced measures to begin transitioning toward an all-electric future.

The three top cobalt-producing countries worldwide are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Russia and Australia — the last of which is investing in ramping up its production of the metal.

With that in mind, which Australian cobalt miners gained the most value in 2021? Read on to learn more about the three best cobalt companies on the ASX by year-to-date share price gains. All information was obtained on December 30, 2021, using TradingView's stock screener.

1. Jervois Global

Year-to-date gain: 63.89 percent; current share price: AU$0.59

Jervois Global (ASX:JRV) is best known for its Finland operations, which produce cobalt for chemical, catalyst, pigment, powder metallurgy and — most significantly — battery applications. The company is currently in the process of launching its new Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO) and is on track to become the first US cobalt miner.

On December 15, Jervois announced an update on ICO, saying first ore is expected in August 2022, with sustainable production expected by December 2022. The estimated capital expenditure required to stay on schedule has risen to US$99.1 million, up from US$92.6 million, with mine engineering 64 percent complete.

2. Cobalt Blue Holdings

Year-to-date gain: 177.78 percent; current share price: AU$0.50

Cobalt Blue Holdings (ASX:COB) is a rare cobalt-only company, and defines itself by its planned ethical and sustainable extraction and production processes. The firm's flagship New South Wales-based Broken Hill project is slated to produce an average of 3,500 to 3,600 tonnes per year of cobalt once in operation.

In December 2021, Cobalt Blue Holdings announced it has executed a memorandum of understanding with the State of Queensland, acting through the Department of Resources, to assess opportunities for the recovery of cobalt (as well as any coexisting base and precious metals) from mine waste.

3. Australian Mines

Year-to-date gain: 31.25 percent; current share price: AU$0.21

Australian Mines (ASX:AUZ) is aiming to supply metals to the growing EV industry, with a focus on ethical and sustainable production. Its flagship Queensland-based Sconi nickel-cobalt project boasts a mine life of over 30 years and will be capable of processing 2 million tonnes of ore annually.

In late October, Australian Mines reported on its quarterly activities, including an agreement for Korea-based LG Energy Solution, a top global producer of EV batteries, to buy 100 percent of the Sconi project’s nickel-cobalt hydroxide output over an initial six year term. The future agreement indicates that LG Energy Solution will buy a projected 7,000 tonnes of cobalt from Australian Mines over the six year period.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Isabel Armiento, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Australia’s tech sector is making headway on an international level. Learn about the Australia tech outlook and what’s next in the country.

Australia’s technology sector is garnering attention with advancements in fintech, cleantech and gaming, among other exciting industries.

The country’s characteristically resilient economy — which had not experienced a recession in nearly 30 years prior to COVID-19 lockdowns — has provided a sturdy backdrop for its growing tech sector. As economies worldwide face uncertainty, Australia’s job market continues to defy global trends.

In fact, as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, Australia’s employment level rose by a record 366,100 jobs in November 2021, surpassing projections of a 205,000 turnaround, as per a Reuters report.

Australia tech outlook: Strong international players

With Australia’s strong economy in mind, companies at an international scale have been securing footholds in the country’s technology market in recent years.

For instance, Japanese tech conglomerate Softbank (OTC Pink:SFTBY,TSE:9984) began investing in Australia in 2016 via the acquisition of AI and robotics firm ST Solutions. ST Solutions' flagship robot, Pepper, can greet customers in 21 languages using emotional response analytics. Pepper is at the forefront of Softbank’s robot initiatives.

Similarly, in April 2019, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) launched its inaugural commercial drone delivery system in North Canberra, Australia. The service — called Wing — delivers food, coffee and retail items by drone to residences. Orders are placed through a mobile app.

More recently, Google announced plans to invest AU$1 billion in Australia over the next five years, including in tech startups and a regional research hub in Sydney. "Australia can help lead the world's next wave of innovation, harnessing technology to improve lives, create jobs, and make progress," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said.

Some of the biggest names in global tech are also taking positions in Aussie-grown tech startups. In May 2020, Chinese gaming and social media firm Tencent Holdings (OTC Pink:TCHEY,HKEX:0700) bought a 5 percent stake in Australian buy now, pay later company Afterpay (ASX:APT,OTC Pink:AFTPF)

As these large tech companies invest in Australia, tech unicorns (startups with valuations of more than a billion dollars) have garnered attention. According to CB Insights, there are currently six Australian unicorn tech companies: Canva, Culture Amp, Judo Capital, Safety Culture, Go1, Pet Circle and Airwallex.

Design startup Canva is estimated to be worth US$40 billion. It has over 60 million monthly active users, and 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies use its services, including Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) and PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL). In May 2019, it acquired both Pexels and Pixabay, broadening its stock photo subscription model service. After securing US$200 million in funding in September 2021, the company has plans to double its workforce.

Australia tech outlook: Top tech trends

As mentioned, Australia’s current tech ecosystem is largely underpinned by the country’s advancements in three core sectors: fintech, cleantech and gaming.

According to Deloitte, the fintech sector in Australia is both maturing and scaling at a steady clip, making it ripe for investment. In its Technology Fast 50 2020 report, the firm highlights Half Dome, My Plan Manager and Autoguru as the top technology companies in Australia. For its part, EY reports that 58 percent of Australians used fintech applications in 2019, with the adoption rate rising 27 percent since 2017.

When it comes to cryptocurrencies, another part of the fintech landscape, Australian exchanges CoinJar and Coinspot allow users to buy and sell digital assets. In August 2019, the Gemini exchange also launched its services in Australia, offering users the ability to exchange bitcoin, bitcoin cash, zcash, litecoin and ether. A December 2021 EY report states that the country is on track to see its crypto market swell to up to 30 times its current size by 2030.

Emerging as a leader in the cleantech sector, Australia is making strides in renewable energy technology, such as wind and solar power, as well as energy storage. In early 2019, Melbourne began using wind to power 100 percent of its municipal infrastructure, such as universities, town halls and street lights.

In Queensland, Genex Power began construction of its 250 megawatt Kidston pumped hydro project in 2021. The company secured a government loan of up to AU$610 million to move the project forward. Meanwhile, as part of a 10 year deal, members of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project will purchase 88 gigawatt hours of wind power annually from Pacific Hydro; the deal has resulted in the creation of nearly 150 new jobs. Fast Company notes that this new business model has spurred renewable energy contracts from several large corporations in Australia.

As Australia makes formative moves in renewable energy, it is also showing explosive growth in the gaming and esports sectors. PwC expects revenue for Australia’s games and esports market hit AU$3.41 billion in 2020.

Australia is home to a number of ASX-listed esports companies, including: Esports Mogul (ASX:ESH), Emerge Gaming (ASX:EM1), iCandy Interactive (ASX:ICI), Kneomedia (ASX:KNM,OTCQB:KNEOF) and SportsHero (ASX:SHO,OTC Pink:NIROF). Further expanding the esports investment opportunities in Australia, the ASX now has an esports-focused exchange-traded fund, the VanEck Vectors Video Gaming and Esports ETF (ASX:ESPO).

As the esports sector continues to expand, it has attracted international partnerships. In 2018, Riot Games, publisher of League of Legends and Valorant, partnered with the Australian Football League and brought an esports event to the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne, a stadium that seats 4,000. In the summer of 2020, Ubisoft Australia extended its partnership with XP Esports Australia for seasons two and three of the XP Women’s League, as well as the new High School League Rainbow Six competition.

In 2022, Australian esports fans can look forward to the country's first DreamHack festival, an international immersive gaming lifestyle experience first launched in 1994. The three day event will take place in Melbourne, and will feature professional tournaments, as well as “the biggest range of e-sports and gaming content ever seen at an Australian festival," reported Esports Grizzly.

Australia tech outlook: What’s ahead

Looking ahead, PwC expects the Australian gaming and esports market to reach AU$4.9 billion by 2025. The forecasted growth is attributed to app-based games and in-app purchases in a market saturated with smartphone ownership and improved monetisation strategies for increased revenue from mobile games.

Deloitte has made several predictions for the future of tech in Australia. The major sectors the firm sees leading the way forward include on-demand video streaming services, gaming consoles, semiconductor chips, fixed wireless access, private 5G and wearable medical devices.

For its part, the Tech Council of Australia states that the number of workers in the country’s technology field will increase by 286,000 between 2021 and 2025 to reach over 1 million employed in the industry.

It's clear that the capital markets recognised this growing demand early on. In mid-2019, ABC News reported that the ASX was aiming to become an epicentre for tech listings, and over the past few years it has focused on recruiting more late-stage tech companies to access greater pools of capital.

Underscoring this growth are key economic factors. Australia’s economy is recovering from COVID-19 lockdowns. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “as the recovery continues, labour market conditions will improve and spare capacity will be absorbed.” The OECD is calling for real gross domestic product to grow by 3.8 percent in 2021, 4.1 percent in 2022 and 3 percent in 2023.

What’s more, the wave of initial public offerings (IPOs) that swept Australia’s tech industry in late 2020 continued throughout 2021, with newly listed companies such as Airtasker (ASX:ART) and PEXA (ASX:PXA) amassing initial valuations of AU$255 million and AU$3 billion, respectively. Tech listings are expected to underpin IPOs on the ASX in 2022, and are anticipated to include buy now, pay later business Beforepay, marketplace technology firm Marketplacer and healthcare technology business Careteq.

This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2019.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.