Many market watchers expect lithium demand to surge in the coming years due to the metal’s use in electric car batteries. With that in mind, it’s worth being aware of which Australian lithium stocks are out there and how they are performing.
It’s interesting times in the lithium space, with many market watchers expecting demand to surge in the coming years due to the metal’s use in electric car batteries.
Most analysts would agree that Australia is on track to lead in lithium production for the next few years. In fact, Australia is the world’s top producer, while Chile and Argentina take second and third place.
With that in mind, it’s worth being aware of which Australian lithium stocks are out there and how they are performing. Read on to learn about the five top Australian lithium stocks by market cap. Data for this article was gathered on TradingView on September 13, 2018.
1. Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN)
Market cap: AU$2.79 billion; current share price: AU$14.90
Perth-based Mineral Resources is a leading mining services provider, with a particular focus on the iron ore and hard-rock lithium sectors in Western Australia. The company’s current lithium projects include Mt Marion and Wodgina lithium.
The Mt Marion lithium project, which is located in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, is jointly owned by Mineral Resources, Neometals (ASX:NMT) and top lithium producer Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium (SHE:002460). The asset is expected to produce 400,000 tonnes per year.
Meanwhile, the company owns 100-percent interest in the Wodgina project, but is set to sell up to a 49-percent stake in the asset later this year. Wodgina, considered the world’s largest hard-rock lithium deposit, has a JORC mineral resource of 233 million tonnes and an inaugural probable hard rock reserve in the Casserite pit of 142.4 million.
2. Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS)
Market cap: AU$1.34 billion; current share price: AU$0.77
Pilbara Minerals owns 100 percent of the world-class Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project, which the company says is one of the biggest new lithium ore (spodumene) deposits in the world, with a globally significant hard-rock spodumene resource.
The current mineral resource estimate for the asset comprises a total of 213 million tonnes grading 1.32 percent lithium oxide (spodumene) and 116 ppm tantalum pentoxide (tantalite) and 0.69 percent iron oxide, containing 2.82 million tonnes of lithium oxide and 54.6 million pounds of tantalum pentoxide.
3. Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY)
Market cap: AU$1.027 billion; current share price: AU$2.52
Galaxy Resources owns lithium production facilities, hard rock mines and brine assets in Australia, Canada and Argentina. The company wholly owns the Mt Cattlin mine in Ravensthorpe, Western Australia, which is currently producing spodumene and tantalum concentrate, and the James Bay lithium pegmatite project in Quebec, Canada.
Galaxy is also advancing plans to develop the Sal de Vida lithium and potash brine project in Argentina, which the company says has excellent potential as a low-cost brine-based lithium carbonate production facility.
The asset has a maiden JORC-compliant reserve estimate of 1.1 million tonnes of retrievable lithium carbonate equivalent and 4.2 million tonnes of potassium chloride (potash or KCI) equivalent which supports total annual production over a 40 year period.
4. Orocobre (ASX:ORE)
Market cap: AU$969.84 million; current share price: AU$3.72
Orocobre is building a substantial Argentinian-based industrial chemicals and minerals company through the construction and operation of its portfolio of lithium, potash and boron projects and facilities.
Orocobre, in partnership with Toyota Tsusho (TYO:8015) has built the Olaroz lithium-producing facility in northern Argentina, which is the world’s first commercial, brine-based lithium operation built in approximately 20 years. The company’s recently announced Stage 2 Olaroz expansion will add 25,000 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate production capacity to reach 42,500 tonnes per year (at full production and capacity).
Additionally, Orocobre and Toyota Tsusho are finalizing plans to jointly develop a 10,000 tonne per year lithium hydroxide plant in Fukushima, Japan with expected operating costs of US$1,500/tonne.
5. Altura Mining (ASX:AJM)
Market cap: AU$427.66 million; current share price: AU$0.23
Altura owns and operates the world-class Altura Lithium project at Pilgangoora in WA’s Pilbara. The Pilgangoora deposit will be extracted by open pit methods enhanced by the shallow and thick mineralization, allowing spodumene ore to be extracted from the commencement of mining.
Concentrate will be exported by ship from Port Hedland to Altura’s lithium aliance partners in China, for further processing into a wide range of lithium chemicals, including lithium carbonate (standard and battery grade), lithium hydroxide, lithium metal, and lithium chloride.
The project has a production capacity of 220,000 tonnes per year of quality spodumene concentrate. Additionally, the company has completed a definitive feasibility study on a potential Stage 2 expansion to 440,000 tonnes per year, with a final investment decision due in 2018.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Advantage Lithium is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.