The top lithium stocks by share price performance on US, Canadian and Australian exchanges have already made year-to-date moves.
Editor's note — This article was originally focused on the top Canadian lithium stocks, but has been expanded to cover the top lithium stocks globally. Click here to read about the top Canadian lithium stocks.
You can also click here to read the latest top lithium stocks article.
Lithium prices hit an all-time high in 2021, and have hit new heights only a couple months into 2022.
Analysts expect this positive trend to continue as the electric vehicle transition gains traction around the world, and some lithium companies' share prices are rising significantly in tandem.
Here the Investing News Network takes a look at the top lithium stocks with year-to-date gains. The list below was generated using TradingView’s
stock screener on March 16, 2022, for Canadian and US companies, and on March 17, 2022, for Australian companies. It includes companies listed on the NYSE, NASDAQ, TSX, TSXV and ASX; all top lithium stocks had market caps above $10 million when data was gathered.
1. SQM (NYSE:SQM)
Year-to-date gain: 43.96 percent; current share price: US$73.03
SQM is one of the world’s largest lithium companies. It produces lithium out of Chile’s Salar de Atacama and brings it to the market in the form of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide.
SQM is developing the hard-rock Mount Holland lithium project in Australia through a joint venture with Wesfarmers (ASX:WES,OTC Pink:WFAFF). The company places a heavy emphasis on the sustainability of its operations, including a production process that involves 97.4 percent solar energy.
On March 2, the company released its 2021 earnings report, including net income of US$585.5 million compared to US$164.5 million for 2020.
Year-to-date gain: 33.82 percent; current share price: US$70.20
Based in the US state of North Carolina, Piedmont Lithium is focused on producing lithium hydroxide from spodumene ore. Its goal is to provide companies with a lithium hydroxide source outside of China, and it hopes to aid in the creation of an American battery supply chain. In addition to its fully integrated Carolina lithium project, the company also has properties in Quebec and Ghana.
In early February, Piedmont released its 2022 development plans, including the advancement of its Carolina project towards contemplated production of 30,000 tonnes per year of lithium hydroxide and 242,000 tonnes per year of spodumene concentrate. On March 9, the company announced the completion of a preliminary economic assessment for its second lithium hydroxide plant in the US; it will expand Piedmont's planned US lithium hydroxide manufacturing capacity to 60,000 tonnes on an annual basis.
1. Frontier Lithium (TSXV:FL)
Year-to-date gain: 32.51 percent; current share price: C$2.69
Frontier Lithium’s goal is to become a manufacturer of battery-quality lithium salts for the electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery markets. According to the company, its PAK lithium project “contains one of North America’s highest-grade, large-tonnage hard-rock lithium resources in the form of a rare low-iron spodumene.” The project, which is being actively developed by Frontier, is located in Ontario’s Electric Avenue.
Frontier’s news in 2022 has focused on exploration at PAK’s Spark deposit, where on March 1 it announced an updated indicated resource of 14 million tonnes averaging 1.4 percent lithium oxide and an inferred resource of 18 million tonnes averaging 1.37 percent lithium oxide.
2. Ultra Lithium (TSXV:ULT)
Year-to-date gain: 19.05 percent; current share price: C$0.25
Ultra Lithium (formerly Ultra Resources) is a lithium and gold company with projects and properties in Argentina, Canada and the US. The company is currently primarily focused on its projects that are in Argentina and Ontario, Canada. Its two lithium properties in Argentina, Laguna Verde I and II, are lithium brines, while its Ontario lithium projects, Georgia Lake and Forgan Lake, are pegmatite deposits.
On February 9, the company announced the commencement of exploration drilling at its 100 percent owned Laguna Verde project — scheduled to be completed in Q2 — and the signing of an exclusive strategic cooperation agreement with Zangge Mining. The partner company will aid in the exploration and development of the property with the goal of bringing it to production rapidly.
3. Lithium Energi Exploration (TSXV:LEXI)
Year-to-date gain: 18.18 percent; current share price: C$0.195
Lithium Energi Exploration is an acquisition, exploration and development company working in South America’s Lithium Triangle, with over 72,000 hectares of lithium brine concessions in Argentina’s section of the triangle.
In January, the company announced that exploration and development with its joint venture partner Global Oil Management Group was accelerating. The name of the new joint venture is Triangle Lithium Argentina.
1. Global Lithium (ASX:GL1)
Year-to-date gain: 90.53 percent; current share price: AU$1.81
Exploration company Global Lithium is focused on its 100 percent owned Marble Bar lithium project, which is located in Western Australia’s North Pilbara Craton. The project’s Archer deposit has been the primary exploration target; the company is planning a 60,000 meter reverse-circulation drilling program for Q1 of this year. Global Lithium acquired an 80 percent interest in the Manna lithium project from Breaker Resources (ASX:BRB) in December 2021. The two companies plan to work together on exploration at the project in 2022.
On March 3, Global Lithium announced the signing of a 10 year offtake agreement for spodumene concentrate with Suzhou TA&A Ultra Clean Technology (SZSE:300309), which is Global Lithium’s largest shareholder. Suzhou TA&A intends to help with construction funding as well.
2. Metals Australia (ASX:MLS)
Year-to-date gain: 85 percent; current share price: AU$0.074
Metals Australia operates out of Canada and Australia. The majority of its lithium projects — Lac la Motte, Lac la Corne and Lacourciere-Darveau — are in Quebec, as are the company’s graphite and gold projects. Its Manindi lithium project is located in Western Australia, along with the company’s base metals projects.
The company began a reverse-circulation drill program at Manindi in February that is testing pegmatites bearing lithium, cesium and tantalum. The program is expected to be completed within two to three weeks.
3. Core Lithium (ASX:CXO)
Year-to-date gain: 78.81 percent; current share price: AU$1.055
According to Core Lithium, its Finniss lithium project in the Northern Territory is “one of Australia’s most capital-efficient and lowest-cost spodumene lithium projects.” First production is expected in Q4 2022, and the company already has multiple four year offtake agreements in place with Ganfeng Lithium (SZSE:002460) and Yahua.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Lauren Kelly, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Piedmont Lithium is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.
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