- Prices of lithium carbonate have almost doubled in 2021.
- China is one of the biggest EV markets and has made a huge investment for the development of EVs.
- Despite a substantial investment into the lithium sector, there is a huge gap between demand and supply.
The prices of lithium are currently trading near a three-year high, thanks to the skyrocketing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) coupled with dwindling stocks of silver-white light metal in China, the world's topmost consumer.
The current prices of lithium carbonate are almost double compared to the prices seen at the start of 2021. The burgeoning demand for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), which are used in portable devices, electronic gadgets, and especially in EVs, has in turn, jacked up the demand for lithium.
The global ambition to trim down carbon emissions to attain neutrality in the coming decades is impossible to achieve without the contribution of the critical metal. The demand for EVs is expected to increase significantly in near future
One of the biggest markets for EVs, China has made a huge investment towards the development of EVs.
Despite a substantial investment having been made into the sector for maintaining the market equilibrium of lithium, there is a huge gap between demand and supply. The industry needs more investment into the exploration and production of lithium to meet the surging demand for critical metals.
Related read: Three ASX-listed undervalued lithium stocks
In this backdrop, let's have a look at five small-cap lithium-focused companies listed on the ASX, which racked up over 300% 52-week returns.
AVZ Minerals Limited
Based in Perth, Australia, lithium miner AVZ Minerals Limited (ASX:AVZ) was listed on the ASX in 2007. The company holds and operates the Manono Project, located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The company recently increased its shareholding in the Manono project to 75% and received the DPEM approval from the local government.
Core Lithium Limited
Core Lithium Limited (ASX:CXO) has its headquarters in Adelaide, Australia. CXO holds operations in the highly prospective regions of South Australia and the Northern Territory. CXO is currently engaged in the development of the Finniss Lithium Project, located in Australia.
Recent studies conducted on the project have shown that the site could support the production of an average 173,000tpa of lithium concentrate.
Related Article: 5 Hot Lithium (Li) stocks on ASX
Ioneer Limited (ASX:INR) was listed on the ASX in December 2007. INR operates the Nevada-based Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project. The miner aims to become one of the leading suppliers of boric acid and lithium carbonate in Asia and the US.
3D Lithium Element | Source: © 3dalia | Megapixl.com
The company recently granted an engineering and supply contract to DuPont Clean Technologies for proprietary equipment to a planned sulphuric acid plant at the project location.
Piedmont Lithium Limited
Incorporated in 1983, Piedmont Lithium Limited (ASX:PLL) is engaged in the development of the North Carolina lithium project. The lithium-focused miner is involved in producing low-cost lithium hydroxide.
PLL recently submitted an application for a state mining permit and also submitted a draft loan application to the US Department of Energy Loan, seeking funding for its North Carolina Project.
Related Article: What's the latest with these three ASX lithium penny stocks?
Sayona Mining Limited
Sayona Mining Limited (ASX:SYA) was incorporated in 2000 and has its headquarters in Queensland, Australia. SYA is an emerging lithium producer with operations in Western Australia and Canada.
The company recently announced that the project review of the newly acquired Canada's North American Lithium (NAL) mine shows potential to significantly increase lithium resources.