Top 4 ASX Lithium Stocks of 2024

In contrast to the volatility of 2023, Q1 2024 saw a more stable lithium market. Prices for lithium carbonate started the period at US$13,377.44 per tonne and finished at US$14,874.31, marking an 11 percent increase.

Strong electric vehicle sales in January helped support prices for the important battery metal, which continued to rise through February and March, reaching a quarterly high of US$16,109. This rally was fueled by reports from China indicating a sustained growth trend in lithium demand for batteries and energy storage technology.

Here the Investing News Network looks at the top four ASX-listed lithium companies by year-to-date gains. The list below was generated using TradingView’s stock screener on April 10, 2024, and includes companies that had market caps above AU$10 million at that time. Read on to learn more about their activities over the past year.

1. Prospect Resources (ASX:PSC)

Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 46.07 percent; market cap: AU$40.31 million; current share price: AU$0.13

Africa-focused exploration company Prospect Resources holds a diversified portfolio of assets located in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia. Its lithium properties — Omarur and Step Aside — are in Namibia and Zimbabwe, respectively.

Shares of Prospect were locked below AU$0.08 from January to mid-March, before rising to a Q1 high of AU$0.09 on March 25. The move occurred shortly after Prospect acquired a 60 percent residual interest in the Omarur property from Osino Resources (TSXV:OSI,OTCQX:OSIF) for US$75,000, taking Prospect’s stake to 100 percent.

Earlier in the quarter, Prospect announced the start of Phase 2 drilling at Omarur. The company said the program will consist of 70 rotary air blast and reverse-circulation drill holes across 4,250 metres.

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2. Ioneer (ASX:INR)

Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 33.33 percent; market cap: AU$432.96 million; current share price: AU$0.20

Emerging producer Ioneer owns the Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada, US. According to the company, the project is considered the “sole lithium-boron deposit in North America.”

As part of the permitting process for Rhoylite Ridge, Ioneer completed and submitted an administrative draft environmental impact statement to the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in mid-January.

After slipping to a first quarter low of AU$0.10 on January 25, shares of Ioneer spent February and March slowly climbing, reaching a quarterly high of AU$0.17 on March 25. News that the BLM has reached a final decision continued to add tailwinds at the beginning of the second quarter; the results of the review are expected in mid-April.

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3. Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM)

Press Releases Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 28 percent; market cap: AU$26.85 million; current share price: AU$0.16

ASX-listed Pan Asia Metals is a mineral exploration company with a diverse portfolio of projects in Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand. Specialising in critical metals such as lithium, tantalum and rare earth elements, the company is also actively engaged in exploration activities in South America.

Shares of Pan Asia Metals rose to a Q1 high of AU$0.21 during the first week of January. The spike came when the company entered into three binding option agreements to secure ownership of the Dolores North, Dolores South, Pozon and Pink project areas, which together comprise the Tama Atacama lithium brine project in Chile; it also agreed to acquire the Ramatidas project area. In total, these assets span about 120,000 hectares.

“The Tama Atacama lithium project has the potential to be one of the largest lithium brine projects in the global peer group. Surface assays for lithium are extremely high and the project has enviable strategic positioning, with all infrastructure requirements satisfied,” said Pan Asia Metals Managing Director Paul Lock.

Shares subsequently shed some of the positivity, spending the rest of the quarter rangebound below AU$0.17.

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4. Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN)

Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 2.45 percent; market cap: AU$13.81 billion; current share price: AU$71.61

Diversified miner Mineral Resources holds a portfolio of assets in Australia, including lithium and iron ore projects.

Following a share price slump early in the year's first quarter, the company began to rebound in mid-January. On February 21, shares rose to AU$67.69 following the release of Mineral Resources' latest financial results.

The half-year reporting period, which ended on December 31, 2023, saw the company's lithium operations perform well, benefiting from higher lithium prices and increased production volumes.

Shares marked a Q1 high of AU$70.98 at the end of March, when Mineral Resources announced plans to develop a lithium-processing hub in Western Australia's Goldfields region. It aims to capitalise on lithium-ion battery demand.

Plans for the hub include the construction of a lithium hydroxide and carbonate plant, as well as associated infrastructure to support the production of battery-grade lithium chemicals.

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FAQs for investing in lithium

What is lithium?

Lithium is the lightest metal on the periodic table, and it is used in a wide variety of applications, including lithium-ion batteries, pharmaceuticals and industrial applications like glass and steel.

How do lithium-ion batteries work?

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries work by using the flow of lithium ions in the battery's cell to power a device.

A lithium-ion battery has one or more cells, depending on the amount of energy storage it is capable of, and each cell has a positive electrode and negative electrode with an electrolyte separating them. When the battery is in use, lithium ions flow from the negative electrode to the positive electrode, running out of power once all have transferred. When the battery is charging, ions flow the opposite way.

Where is lithium mined?

Lithium is mined from two types of deposits, hard rock and evaporated brines. Most of the world's lithium production comes out of Australia, which hosts the Greenbushes hard-rock lithium mine. The next-largest producing country is Chile, which like Argentina and Bolivia is located in South America's Lithium Triangle. Lithium in this famed area comes from evaporated brines, including the Salar de Atacama. Lithium can also be found in sedimentary deposits, but currently none are producing.

Where is lithium found in Australia?

Australia is the world’s top producer of lithium, and the country’s lithium mines are all located in Western Australia except for one, which is Core Lithium’s (ASX:CXO,OTC Pink:CXOXF) Finniss mine in the Northern Territory. Western Australia accounts for around half of global lithium production, and the state is looking to become a hub for critical elements.

Who owns lithium mines in Australia?

Several companies own lithium mines in Australia, including some of the biggest ASX lithium stocks. In addition to the entities discussed above, others include: Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS,OTC Pink:PILBF) with its Pilgangoora operations; Arcadium Lithium with the Mount Cattlin mine; Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium (HKEX:0358), which owns the Mount Marion mine alongside Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN,OTC Pink:MALRF); and Tianqi Lithium (SZSE:002466), which is a partial owner of Greenbushes via its stake in operator Talison Lithium.

Who is Australia’s largest lithium producer?

Australia’s largest lithium producer is Albemarle, which has interests in both the Greenbushes and Wodgina hard-rock lithium mines. Greenbushes is the world’s largest lithium mine, and Albemarle holds 49 percent ownership of operator Talison Lithium’s parent company. Albermarle also has 60 percent ownership of Mineral Resources’ Wodgina mine, and owns the Kemerton lithium production facility as part of a 60/40 joint venture with Mineral Resources.

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

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

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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