The S&P/ASX 200 Materials Index (ASX: XMJ) has climbed 0.25% year to date, but three ASX mining shares are surging higher.
Let's take a look at which three ASX companies — all involved in developing minerals used in the manufacture of electric vehicles — are having a good year.
Arafura Resources Limited (ARU)
Arafura Resources shares have soared 67% year to date. The company is developing rare earths at the Nolans project in the Northern Territory. One major piece of news that drove the ASX mining share higher in March was a $30 million grant from the Federal Government. The grant will help fund a $90.8 million separation plant at the Nolans project.
Commenting on the news, managing director Gavin Lockyer said:
This grant is an exciting milestone for Arafura, recognising the strategic significance of the Nolans Project and its place in the future of critical minerals processing in Australia.
The company is hoping to supply about 5% of the world's NeodymiumPraseodymium (NdPr) demand from the Nolans project. Rare earths are a crucial component in the manufacture of electric vehicles (EV).
Green Technology Metals Ltd (GT1)
The Green Technology Metals share price has rocketed 58% year to date. The company is working on lithium projects at Root Lake, Seymour Lake, and Wisa Lake.
Drilling results in early April may have also helped the company's share price. Drilling at the Seymour lithium project in Ontario, Canada intercepted thick, high-grade lithium oxide.
Group 6 Metals Ltd (G6M)
The Group 6 Metals share price has surged 83% year to date. The company is redeveloping the Dolphin tungsten mine in Tasmania to explore tungsten. This is another rare metal that can be used in lithium-ion batteries.
This ASX mining share has recently received attention from the United States. Chairman Johann Jacobs has been in conversations with the US embassy lately about the mine. China has a global dominance in the tungsten market, but Group 6 provides a potentially new supply chain.
Commenting on the meetings with the US embassy, Jacobs said:
At this stage, they don't have any financial interest, but they certainly are very keen to see us progress and develop the mine because it's another supply chain… from a friendly nation.
In February, Group 6 reiterated its commitment to developing the Dolphin mine, describing it as the "highest-grade tungsten deposit of significant size in the Western World".