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12 Biggest ASX Battery Metals Stocks in 2023
Lithium, cobalt, graphite and nickel continue to attract global attention. Here's a list of the top battery metals stocks on the ASX by market cap.
Lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel have all caught the eye of investors. Here is a list of the best battery metal stocks on the ASX so far this year by market cap.
As the world shifts gears to electric vehicles (EV), the demand for battery metals is set to rapidly increase. Supply shortages in recent years have led to record high prices for lithium and other key battery metals have also seen similar jumps, most notably nickel. Although prices have cooled in 2023 as economic pressures hamstring demand for electric vehicles, the long-term outlook for battery metals is strong.
EV sales for 2023 are estimated at 13.8 million units, according to forecasts by S&P Global Commodity Insights in mid-2023, and that figure is projected to surge to more than 30 million units by 2030. Sales are bolstered by widespread government incentives and automaker support for green energy initiatives, which require strengthened battery metal supply chains and translate into huge gains for the battery metals industry.
Continue reading to learn more about the biggest ASX-listed battery metal stocks by market cap. All data in this stock list was obtained on November 8, 2023, from TradingView’s stock screener.
1. Mineral Resources
Market cap: AU$11.63 billion; current share price: AU$59.24
Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) is a mining services company with a specific focus on hard-rock lithium and iron ore. The company's portfolio includes two of the largest hard-rock lithium projects, Mount Marion and Wodgina, the latter of which is part of the MARBL joint venture with Albermarle (NYSE:ALB). The projects are both located in Western Australia, specifically in the Goldfields region and the Pilbara region, respectively.
The MARBL joint venture also includes the Kemerton lithium hydroxide plant, which processes spodumene from Albemarle's nearby Greenbushes lithium mine. MARBL was restructured in 2023; while it was previously 40/60, ownership of Wodgina is now 50/50 and Albemarle has full ownership of Kemerton.
Mineral Resources increased its spodumene production at Mount Marion from 450,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to 600,000 tpa in 2023. The company has an eventual goal of 900,000 tpa, a 450 percent increase from its original capacity of 200,000.
Wodgina, which produced its first spodumene concentrate in May 2022, has a production capacity of 750,000 tpa from its three production trains. It is projected to have a 30 year lifespan.
2. Pilbara Minerals
Market cap: AU$11.02 billion; current share price: AU$3.69
Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) is a core lithium miner with headquarters in Perth and the fully owned Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum operations in Western Australia. The Pilgangoora property is made up of two processing plants; the Ngungaju plant, located on the southern side of the Pilgangoora area, produces a spodumene concentrate, while the Pilgan plant, located on the northern side, produces both a spodumene and a tantalite concentrate.
Pilbara is currently working on multiple expansion projects at Pilgangoora. Its P680 expansion includes a primary rejection facility and a crushing and ore-sorting facility; commissioning was completed in October, and full capacity ramp up is targeted to be completed by the end of calendar year 2023. The P1000 expansion is targeting a spodumene production increase at the site to 1 million tonnes per year.
Market cap: AU$5.901 billion; current share price: AU$9.30
Alkem (ASX:AKE) is an international lithium chemicals company with headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Allkem has operational and development projects across the globe, specifically in Australia, Japan and Canada. The company recently reported a 43 percent increase in ore reserves at its Mount Cattlin lithium project, extending the mine life by a projected four to five years.
1. Panoramic Resources
Market cap: AU$98 million; current share price: AU$0.035
Panoramic Resources (ASX:PAN) produces cobalt from its Savannah nickel-copper-cobalt mine in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia, which was brought back into production in 2021. The first shipment of nickel-copper-cobalt concentrate from the mine was made in December of that year.
In its financial Q1 2024 ended September 30, Panoramic reported its highest quarterly production level since production began, with a 76 percent increase in cobalt production quarter-on-quarter to 135 tonnes of the battery metal. Shipments of cobalt were also up 43 percent to 110 tonnes.
2. Jervois Global
Market cap: AU$97.29 million; current share price: AU$0.036
Jervois Global (ASX:JRV) is primarily focused on cobalt, although it maintains significant nickel and copper exposure through its development and refinery asset portfolio. The company holds interests in the construction-stage Idaho Cobalt Operations (ICO), situated in Idaho, US, as well as the development-stage Nico Young deposit in Australia and the São Miguel Paulista refinery in São Paulo, Brazil, which is the largest nickel-cobalt refinery in Latin America. Through a subsidiary, the company also owns a cobalt refinery in Kokkola, Finland.
Jervois has made a few milestone announcements in 2023, including the US Department of Defense granting the company US$15 million in funding for mineral resource drilling at its ICO project and the completion a bankable feasibility study for construction of a cobalt refinery in the country. Jervois commenced work on the study in October.
In addition, in June the Finnish government awarded Jervois a conditional 12 million euro grant to partially fund a potential expansion of the company's cobalt refining capacity in the country.
3. Cobalt Blue Holdings
Market cap: AU$94.43 million; current share price: AU$0.26
Cobalt Blue Holdings (ASX:COB) focuses solely on cobalt and is committed to unlocking the metal’s ethical and environmental potential within the renewable energy market. The company owns the New South Wales-based Broken Hill project, a cobalt asset that it says adheres to Australian labour and sustainability standards. Cobalt Blue is undertaking a definitive feasibility study at Broken Hill slated for completion between the end of 2023 and early 2024.
1. Syrah Resources
Market cap: AU$517.06 million; current share price: AU$0.815
Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) has set its focus on its flagship Balama graphite operation in Mozambique and its Vidalia downstream active anode material facility in Louisiana, US. Balama is the largest integrated natural graphite mine and processing plant globally measured by annual flake concentrate production capacity. The asset has a mine life of over 50 years and is capable of producing 350,000 tpa of graphite concentrate.
In addition, Syrah’s Vidalia downstream processing site in Louisiana is expected to commence production by the end of 2023 with an initial production capacity of 11,250 tpa of anode material. The facility will provide an alternative to the existing Asia supply chain for battery anode supply and serve the growing US and Europe markets.
2. Renascor Resources
Market cap: AU$457.09 million; current share price: AU$0.17
Renascor Resources (ASX:RNU) is focused on the exploration, production and development of several mineral resources, including graphite, copper and uranium, to help power the future through clean energy. Its flagship project, the Siviour graphite project, is located in South Australia.
Renascor plans to produce a high-quality battery anode material from the project, which will include a fully integrated mine, concentration and production facility. The company announced plans in May to accelerate upstream development for the project.
Value engineering and design work is currently underway as Renascor prepares the project for the detailed design, procurement and construction phase. This work follows a completed a definitive feasibility study level assessment that estimates that shows Renascor can deliver purified spherical graphite and graphite concentrate at globally competitive gross operating costs.
3. Talga Group
Market cap: AU$371.58 million; current share price: AU$1.05
Talga Group (ASX:TLG) is a battery anode and graphene additives company headquartered in Perth. The company is building a European source of battery anode and graphene additives, catering to its customers’ innovation needs during the ongoing shift towards a more sustainable world.
Talga Group's wholly owned subsidiaries, Talga Battery Metals and Talga, operate the company’s natural mineral resource assets in Sweden. The company's flagship Vittangi project hosts the Nunasvaara graphite deposit, which has a total resource of 19.5 million tonnes at 24 percent graphite.
Talga marked an important milestone in September 2023 as construction began on its 19,500 tonne per annum graphite anode refinery in Luleå, Sweden. “As we break ground at our Swedish anode refinery, we mark a major milestone in Talga’s journey to build Europe’s first domestic supply of sustainable graphite anode for EV batteries,” Talga Managing Director Mark Thompson stated.
Market cap: AU$230.892 billion; current share price: AU$44.70
Mining giant BHP’s (ASX:BHP) Nickel West is a fully integrated mine-to-market nickel business in Western Australia. In that state, BHP has both high- and low-grade ore sources, with high-grade ore coming from the Cliffs and Leinster underground mines and the Rocky's Reward open-pit mine, and low-grade ore coming from the Mt Keith open-pit mine. All ore is processed at Leinster and is concentrated at a plant at Kambalda for sale to third parties, making BHP a vertically integrated operation wholly within Western Australia.
Market cap: AU$7.261 billion; current share price: AU$9.36
IGO (ASX:IGO) operates three nickel operations in Western Australia: the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt operation, the Forrestania nickel operation and the development-stage Cosmos nickel operation. As for other battery metals, the company also has interests in the Greenbushes lithium operation and the Kwinana lithium hydroxide refinery.
The Cosmos development project is progressing toward first production. The Western Australian government allocated land in the Kwinana-Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area for a proposed integrated battery material facility, "marking an important milestone in IGO’s downstream nickel strategy," the company stated in a press release earlier in 2023.
The company's joint venture with Buxton Resources (ASX:BUX) on the Dogleg nickel-copper-cobalt prospect on the West Kimberley project in Western Australia has shown promise with the November discovery of high-grade nickel suphides.
3. Nickel Industries
Market cap: AU$3.514 billion; current share price: AU$0.815
Nickel Industries (ASX:NIC) is a producer of nickel pig iron, which is a key ingredient in the production of stainless steel. The company holds 80 percent interests in its Hengjaya nickel and Ranger nickel projects, both of which operate two-line rotary kiln electric furnace plants producing nickel pig iron within the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park. In 2022, Nickel Industries entered into the EV battery-grade nickel subsector with the production of nickel in high grade nickel matte.
In October 2023, the company made the decision to take a 55 percent equity stake in the Excelsior Nickel Cobalt high pressure acid leach (HPAL) project in Indonesia. "(The project) will be the first HPAL globally with the capacity to produce the three major class 1 nickel products, all of which are suitable for use in the electric vehicle (EV) battery market," the press release states.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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