ASX Cobalt Stocks: 5 Biggest Companies in 2023
Investors are keen to learn more about cobalt as demand from the electric vehicle sector picks up. Here's an overview of the five largest cobalt stocks on the ASX by market cap.
Strong electric vehicle (EV) sales have been driving up demand for key battery raw materials in recent years. EVs require lithium-ion batteries to run, and each battery could contain up to 15 kilograms of the battery metal cobalt.
This means that as demand for EVs increases, so will demand for cobalt — and, as one of the top three cobalt-producing countries in the world, Australia finds itself in a position to capitalise on this demand.
About 70 percent of cobalt output globally comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, Australia is proving to be a solid global contender; though it is only responsible for 5 percent of the world’s cobalt output, it holds about 16 percent of its cobalt reserves.
Moreover, while the DRC’s labour and mining practices have been often labeled unethical and unsustainable, Australian miners are focused on developing safer, more environmentally friendly alternatives.
While slumping demand for EVs in China and consumer electronics around the world have pushed cobalt prices down in 2023, there are signs that EV demand is rebounding.
These market dynamics have buoyed investor interest in cobalt, and when it comes to getting exposure to the Australian market, large players may be a good place to start. Read on for a look at the five biggest ASX-listed cobalt stocks by market cap. All market cap and share price information was obtained on August 15, 2023, using TradingView's stock screener.
1. Jervois Global
Market cap: AU$154.04 million; current share price: AU$0.057
Jervois Global (ASX:JRV) is focused on producing battery minerals, with a specific emphasis on cobalt. It expects that mass EV adoption over the next few decades will transform the cobalt industry into a robust, thriving market.
Jervois boasts operations worldwide and hopes to become the only cobalt miner in the US at its Idaho Cobalt Operation (ICO). However, the company suspended the final construction stage at ICO in March "due to continuing low cobalt prices and United States inflationary impacts on construction costs, to prudently preserve the value of ICO's core body." It plans to resume construction once prices recover.
2. Cobalt Blue Holdings
Market cap: AU$136.92 million; current share price: AU$0.355
Cobalt Blue Holdings (ASX:COB) focuses solely on cobalt and is enthusiastic about 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.
The government of New South Wales recently announced its Critical Minerals and High-tech Metals Strategy, which will promote exploration and development of “critical minerals,” including cobalt. According to the strategy, global demand for cobalt is set to see a 300 percent boost by 2035, making it a covetable resource.
3. Ardea Resources
Market cap: AU$119.46 million; current share price: AU$0.70
Western Australia-based Ardea Resources' (ASX:ARL) primary focus is developing its wholly owned Kalgoorlie nickel project (KNP), which the company says “hosts the largest nickel-cobalt resource in the developed world.” The project includes the Goongarrie Hub deposit.
A recently completed prefeasibility study shows that Goongarrie Hub has an ore reserve of 194.1 million tonnes at 0.05 percent cobalt and 0.7 percent nickel, resulting in 99,000 tonnes of contained cobalt and 1.36 million tonnes of contained nickel. The study indicates that this resource would support an open-pit mining operation with a 40 year mine life and annual output of 2,000 tonnes of cobalt and 30,000 tonnes of nickel.
4. Kuniko Metals
Market cap: AU$26.98 million; current share price: AU$0.39
Norway-focused Kuniko Metals (ASX:KNI) is targeting three metals key for the EV industry: cobalt, nickel and copper. The majority of its assets are in Norway, including its Skuterud cobalt project, Undal-Nyberget copper project and Ringerike battery metals project. The company has also expanded to Quebec, Canada, where it has multiple lithium prospects.
Kuniko recently received the final assays for a 2023 drill campaign at Skuterud and its Middagshvile cobalt prospect. According to the release, "The high-grade cobalt intersections, coupled with the extended mineralised horizon, affirm the substantial potential of the Middagshvile cobalt prospect and the broader Skuterud license area."
5. Aeon Metals
Market cap: AU$18.88 million; current share price: AU$0.016
Aeon Metals’ (ASX:AML) flagship asset is the 100 percent owned Walford Creek project in Queensland, Australia, which the company describes as an "advanced world-class copper-cobalt project and one of the highest grade significant cobalt deposits in Australia." An updated mineral resource estimate released in March increased its resource by 65 percent. The company also has interests in various exploration permits in Northwest and Southeast Queensland.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.