Lithium

lithium ion batteries in front of larger one
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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 continued that trend into 2022. Although prices have cooled slightly from their peak in March, they're still sitting near historic levels.

With lithium being a hot topic this year, there is much to be learned about where it could go moving forward. The Fastmarkets Lithium Supply and Raw Materials conference took place at the end of June, with panels on topics like geopolitics and global demand. Additionally, the Investing News Network spoke with experts in the space to find out what five things investors can expect from the sector through 2025.

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 August 24, 2022, for Canadian and US companies, and August 25, 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. Sigma Lithium (NASDAQ:SGML)

Year-to-date gain: 135.63 percent; market capitalization: US$2.52 billion; current share price: US$25

In Minas Gerais, Brazil, Sigma Lithium has its Grota do Cirilo hard-rock lithium project, at which it is currently constructing its Phase 1 operations with expected commissioning by year-end 2022. Sigma anticipates Phase I production of 270,000 metric tons (MT) annually. Additionally, Sigma is constructing its greentech dense media separation production plant, which will make its operations vertically integrated. The company has been recognized by the Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) as part of its “Top 50 Stocks for 10 Scarcity Themes.”

On May 26, Sigma filed a consolidated technical report that looks at two initial production phases for Grota do Cirilo. The integrated operation would source feedstock spodumene ore from the company's Phase 1 and Phase 2 lithium deposits to produce battery-grade, high-purity lithium concentrate. The company pegs the after-tax net production revenue at US$5.1 billion and the after-tax internal rate of return at 589 percent, and states that this expansion scenario "will potentially position (it) as the world’s fourth largest lithium producer." Sigma's share price spiked to its highest point for the first half of the year on May 27, reaching a level of US$18.30.

Most recently, Sigma shared an update on its “transformative” Q2, mentioning the previously announced news that it has increased the resource at Grota do Cirilo by 50 percent; a Phase 3 technical report has now been filed. Additionally, as of the announcement, total construction progress at the project stood at 32 percent. Sigma’s share price climbed through July and August, and after a small drop reached a year-to-date high of US$25 on August 24.

2. SQM (NYSE:SQM)

Year-to-date gain: 99.22 percent; market capitalization: US$26.07 billion; current share price: US$101.94

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, SQM released its 2021 earnings report, including net income of US$585.5 million compared to US$164.5 million for 2020. SQM's share price spiked in May to hit US$90.21 on May 18, the same day the company announced both its Q1 earnings report and the approval of an interim dividend payment for investors. Its share price continued to spike through late May, reaching a year-to-date high of US$113.33. On August 17, SQM announced another interim dividend and shared its Q2 and H1 earnings for this year. In H1, the company saw US$1.655 billion in net income, which was an increase of 940 percent over its US$157.8 million net income in H1 2021.

3. Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

Year-to-date gain: 21.61 percent; market capitalization: US$33.72 billion; current share price: US$287.88

Albemarle is a lithium giant that produces lithium, bromine and catalyst solutions with operations around the world. It has a 49 percent interest in the company whose subsidiary, Talison Lithium, owns and runs the Greenbushes mine, as well as a 60 percent interest in Mineral Resources' (ASX:MIN,OTC Pink:MALRF) Wodgina mine. Both of these are hard-rock lithium mines in Western Australia. The company runs the Silver Peak lithium mine in Nevada, which it calls the only producing lithium mine in North America. The company also creates high-quality lithium products.

Albemarle's share price has spent most of the year down from its US$236.67 start, including a low of US$172.09 in March. However, mid-May saw the company finally make a prolonged break above that level, hitting a year-to-date high of US$270.92 on May 27. The company started the month with the May 4 announcement of its Q1 results, with highlights including a 36 percent year-on-year increase in net sales to US$1.13 billion and increased 2022 guidance. By May 23, the company had announced further increases to its guidance for this year, stating that it expects its adjusted EBITDA to be up more than 160 percent versus the full 2021 year.

On June 13, Albemarle announced the inauguration of its third chemical conversion plant, which it states should double its lithium production, as well as lower water consumption by 30 percent per MT. That started a consistent trend of upward momentum for the company’s share price, which continued through its decision to introduce a dividend, as well as its Q2 results. Highlights include a net sales increase of 91 percent over Q2 2021 and plans to build “integrated lithium operations” in the US. Additionally, its Kemerton I lithium conversion plant saw first production in July. The company’s share price hit a year-to-date high of US$295.68 on August 25.

1. Nevada Sunrise Gold (TSXV:NEV)

Year-to-date gain: 242.86 percent; market capitalization: C$17.06 million; current share price: C$0.24

Nevada Sunrise Gold may have gold in its name, but 2022 has been all about lithium. The explorer wholly owns two lithium projects, the Gemini and Jackson Wash assets, which are located in the Lida Valley basin in Nevada.

According to Nevada Sunrise, the Lida Valley basin shares similar geography to the nearby Clayton Valley basin, where Albemarle’s Silver Peak lithium mine is located. In addition to its lithium properties, the company owns 100 percent of the Coronado VMS project, 20 percent of the Kinsley Mountain gold project and 15 percent of both the Treasure Box copper project and the Lovelock Mine cobalt project.

In the first quarter, Nevada Sunrise Gold’s share price saw little movement, even as it commenced exploration at Gemini. It wasn’t until the company shared its first drill results on April 18 that its share price broke above C$0.10, jumping from C$0.08 to C$0.14 overnight. Further exploration results at the project, including 1,101 parts per million lithium over 730 feet, continued to drive its share price higher.

After rising through May and early June, the company’s share price hit a year-to-date high of C$0.36 on June 10 off the back of June 6 exploration results showing 327.7 milligrams of lithium per liter of water over 220 feet, as well as private placement news. On July 11, the company shared preliminary results from a May time-domain electromagnetic survey. In late July, Nevada Sunrise received an exploration permit for Gemini that amended the number of boreholes to 12, and in mid-August the company announced that it had engaged the drillers for the exploration program. The Phase 2 drill program will begin in September.

2. Sigma Lithium (TSXV:SGML)

Year-to-date gain: 148.78 percent; market capitalization: C$3.05 billion; current share price: C$32.34

For information about Sigma Lithium and what has driven its share price, see its entry in the top US lithium companies section above.

3. Jourdan Resources (TSXV:JOR)

Year-to-date gain: 80 percent; market capitalization: C$18.42 million; current share price: C$0.09

Jourdan Resources is focused on acquiring, exploring and developing hard-rock spodumene lithium projects in Quebec, Canada. Its current projects are the Vallée lithium, Baillarge lithium-molybdenum and Preissac-La Corne lithium projects. According to the company, it has the largest lithium exploration portfolio in Quebec.

Jourdan Resources’ share price saw a spike to start the year ⁠— hitting a year-to-date high of C$0.095 ⁠— but then fell and performed relatively flatly for much of the first half of the year, staying mostly around C$0.05 to C$0.06. The company’s share price began to rise again in June, during which time it shared exploration results at Vallée, including a highlight of 3.2 meters at 1.56 percent Li2O. Its share price hit C$0.085 in June and again in July.

In July and August, Jourdan has continued to release exploration news at its various projects. On July 7, it shared its latest exploration results at Vallée. Later in the month, the company began a soil sampling program at the Preissac-La Corne and Baillarge projects. In the release, CEO Rene Bharti shared the company’s goals moving forward, saying: “Jourdan is pleased to begin exploration on its other significant properties. The Company is keenly focused on establishing an initial mineral resource estimate at Vallée in the near term and commencing a drill program in the near future at its other two properties, Baillargé and Preissac-La Corne.”

Most recently, Jourdan began drilling at Vallée for its Phase 3 summer drilling program. Just days before that news was released, its share price matched its previous high of C$0.095.

1. Core Lithium (ASX:CXO)

Year-to-date gain: 133.33 percent; market capitalization: AU$2.35 billion; current share price: AU$1.40

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 the fourth quarter of 2022, and the company already has multiple four year offtake agreements in place with Ganfeng Lithium (SZSE:002460) and Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group (SZSE:002497).

On March 1, Core Lithium announced a four year offtake arrangement with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) for up to 110,000 tonnes of lithium oxide spodumene concentrate from Finniss. Shares saw a spike at the beginning of April following the release of an update on exploration at its Finniss project, and Core hit a year-to-date high of AU$1.60 on April 4. A week later, the company announced that it was acquiring the Shoobridge lithium project near Finniss.

After releasing multiple exploration updates at Finniss throughout the year, the company shared in July that the mineral resource estimate for Finniss had increased by 28 percent to 18.9 million MT at 1.32 percent Li2O. Since then, the company has released further drill results for the BP33 drill hole at Finniss. A sample includes 16 meters at 2.27 percent Li2O, which the company said is “world class.”

In August, Core appointed Gareth Manderson, who has 28 years of experience in the mining industry, as CEO. Later that month, on August 15, it released a wide-ranging exploration update for its various projects. The same day, Core's share price climbed to a year-to-date high of AU$1.62.

2. Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA)

Year-to-date gain: 123.08 percent; market capitalization: AU$3.05 billion; current share price: AU$0.29

Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) is a lithium producer working in Canada and Australia. Alongside Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL,NASDAQ:PLL), its strategic partner, the company has acquired North American Lithium, which had a pre-existing lithium mine and concentrator in Quebec, Canada. Sayona has two assets nearby, the Authier and Tansim lithium projects, and it intends to create a Quebec lithium hub to feed the battery supply chain. The company has further lithium projects in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, and it is exploring for gold.

Sayona's share price shot up on April 4 on news that testing of lithium spodumene product from the Authier project shows that it “performs as well as commercially available battery-grade lithium hydroxide.” It continued to climb, reaching a year-to-date high of AU$0.38 on April 19 before beginning to trend back downwards. In late April, the company announced the discovery of a lithium pegmatite zone at the Moblan project.

Sayona has spent the last few months continuing to build up towards the start of production at North American Lithium, including a AU$190 million institutional placement and the building of the team for the project. Sayona and Piedmont approved the restart plan on June 28. As of August 4, 30 percent of plant and equipment upgrades were complete, and first production is anticipated for the first quarter of 2023. The company’s share price has moved back up throughout this news, reaching a Q3 peak of AU$0.30.

3. Xantippe Resources (ASX:XTC)

Year-to-date gain: 80 percent; market capitalization: AU$73.13 million; current share price: AU$0.009

Xantippe Resources is developing its Carachi lithium project in Argentina after pivoting to focus on what it calls the lithium super trend. The company’s goal is to provide high-purity, battery-quality lithium, and it is acquiring multiple tenements in the Lithium Triangle to accomplish that goal. Xantippe’s land package is located near Lake Resources’ (ASX:LAC,OTCQB:LLKKF) Kachi lithium project. In addition, the company has its Southern Cross gold project in Western Australia, which it is investigating for lithium-bearing pegmatites.

In 2022, Xantippe exercised its option to acquire Carolina Lithium, which gave it access to the Carachi Pampa project. Additionally, it has exercised its options to acquire the Rita and Rita 1 tenements, the La Sofia tenement and the Luz Maria tenement, all expanding the company's footprint in the Lithium Triangle.

Xantippe's share price hit a year-to-date high of AU$0.015 in April. On June 14, Xantippe announced that it had increased its footprint of lithium brine tenements in the country from 12,400 to 21,900 hectares after obtaining options for four more land packages. Later in June, the company obtained exploration and prospecting licenses for the Southern Cross project. The company’s most recent news came on August 30, when it announced it would be conducting a vertical electrical sounding (VES) exploration program at Carachi, and is planning to begin exploration drilling once it has the results of the VES program, as well as drilling permits.

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

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

Editorial Disclosure: Nevada Sunrise Gold and Jourdan Resources are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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