For their ninth consecutive trading session, Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd (ASX: VUL) shares are pushing higher. Upon opening this morning, the Vulcan share price raced to an all-time high of $14.20, up 57%. Vulcan is now catching its breath, with the company’s share price retreating to $10.36 at the time of writing, up 14.6% for the day.
The lithium focused mineral exploration company must have set a new year’s resolution – in true #newyearnewme fashion. It appears Vulcan is adhering to a strict, greens-only diet, with not a single red day of trading so far this year. Although, the abundance of green in 2021 is not exclusive to Vulcan.
Lithium glow up
It seems lithium is having its time in the sun. Continued demand for its use in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, a new Biden presidency, and government environmental mandates have all contributed to the lift in lithium prices of late.
China carbonate prices are at 14-month highs, as reported in Friday’s Fastmarkets Metal Bulletin global lithium wrap. Additionally, battery-grade lithium hydroxide gained 10.3% week over week as a result of the low availability of cheap materials.
Lithium miners regaining lustre
We have all seen the rapid growth in many EV shares abroad in the last six months. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares are up 655%, Nio Inc (NYSE: NIO) is up 339%, and Xpeng Inc (NYSE: XPEV) is up 125%. However, until recently many lithium mining shares lagged their offtake partners.
The weighing lithium price suppressed many lithium mining companies from achieving similar returns during this boom in recognition of the vehicle electrification trend.
However, now with the supportive commodity price, the market has rallied behind such companies. Other than the rise in the Vulcan Energy share price, there are also other examples of surging valuations among ASX lithium producers.
Vulcan share price, in good company
Although no other lithium miner/explorer/producer registers on quite the same level as the Vulcan share price performance, there are a few honourable mentions.
The Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) share price, for instance, has appreciated 136% in the last 12 months. Its $1.41 billion market capitalisation makes Galaxy one of the biggest lithium producers on the ASX. Reportedly, the miner is now even examining the potential to ramp up its Mt Cattlin lithium mine to full capacity to capture the value in the higher commodity prices.
Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) has returned a sturdy 220% in the last year. The Australian lithium producer has taken advantage of its recent strength by seeking to acquire Altura Mining Limited (ASX: AJM). The company is eying off capturing the continued lithium demand by broadening its explorations through the acquisition.
Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX: PLL) has notched up an impressive one-year return of 317%. Prior to late September last year, the Piedmont share price was trading at around 10 cents, then it all changed with one announcement. The United States-based lithium miner obtained a supply agreement with Tesla for its spodumene concentrate. Since then, the company has gone on to pen a deal with the Canadian miner Sayona Mining Ltd (ASX: SYA) to acquire the greater of 50% or 60,000 tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate from Sayona.
Falcon 9 or Starship for this Vulcan share price rocket?
As we all know, when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, often they get broken after the first month. The question is, when will the green streak break for the Vulcan share price?
More pressing, when it does, will it make a gracious reverse onto a stable platform – primed for its next launch? Or will it starship – dropping out of the air to crash in fiery flames?
Only time will tell, as shareholders await the company’s definitive feasibility study, following the recent release of its positive Pre Feasibility Study.