Elon Musk and Transformation of battery technology: A Glance at IGO, MIN, AUZ

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The growing popularity of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and the battery technology in automotive space is evident through the soaring price of Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), which has enjoyed an overriding interest in the market with promise for revolutionary battery technology. 

The electric automaker became the most valuable car company a few days back as its shares crossed $1000 mark for the first time. Tesla stock by the end of the trading session on 17 June 2020 traded at USD 991.79, up by 0.98% from its last close.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, seems to stimulate the audience attention with the exciting business portfolio which promises technological revolutions. The millennials interest meanwhile, remained glued to the underlying technology and Tesla’s ‘Battery Day’ which could bring significant developments in potentials of EVs.

Battery Day was initially set to happen earlier has now been pushed to a later date and is divided into two parts- webcast followed by the offline event some months later. The experts are expecting the new battery technology to be revealed by Tesla would not only provide cost-effective battery solutions, but also dodge off other problems that surround the usage of battery-operated vehicles. 

The one-million-mile battery technology signalled by Elon Musk seems to glue focus across the globe. The battery supplier of Tesla, Chinese Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) has indicated Bloomberg that it has successfully built the battery technology that can last more than 1 million miles for 16 years. 

The battery life is one of the critical concerns and hurdles that has impeded the swift adoption of Electric Vehicles. The significant developments concerning battery life are expected to fuel the popularity of electric cars. 

Meanwhile, in a memo to employees, Tesla Chairman also stated that the mass production of its semi-electric truck would commence soon. 

Tesla seems to be making domineering progress and impressive growth in the market popularity on the back of exciting development prospects that surround the technology. 

Transformations Fostering towards EVs

Australia seems to register a paradigm shift as it successively battled two colossal disasters impacting the country’s ability to tread along its growth route.

The climatic disruptions fuelled bushfire, which engulfed millions of hectares and vandalised animal habitats. The onset of COVID-19 further enhanced the difficulties surrounding the health and economy to growth sustainability. The behavioural switch promoted by COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions seems to foster the adoption of radical technologies and innovative trends in society.

At the same time, the heightened tension witnessed between the US and Iran at the start of the year 2020 generated supply concerns for crude oil, which remains as driver of the automotive sector. 

Driven by challenging circumstances, the search for alternative solutions have risen, which ensures not only rapid growth but also encapsulates ecological and cost aspect. At this juncture, the excitement around Tesla’s transformational Battery technology has grown many folds. 

Notably, Battery technology, especially in the automotive space, as emerged as the most appealing substitute which has the potential to replace the ecological disruption caused using fossil fuels. While the lucrativeness of Electric Vehicles has accentuated owing to its sustainable competency, cost concerns yet remain the major obstacle to be crossed. 

A Glimpse at some ASX Battery Commodity Players

IGO Limited (ASX:IGO) reported significant developments concerning operations in Nova, which is the Company’s 100 owned underground nickel, copper and cobalt mine. The production of nickel (8,019t), copper (3,784t) and cobalt (303t) at Nova exceeded pro-rata FY20 production guidance. 

Source: ASX Update

For all metals, Nova metal production increased QoQ, and the Group’s revenue for 3Y20 was AU$188 million. By the end of the trading session on 18 June 2020, IGO was at unchanged at AU$4.98 per share. IGO stock has returned 2.89% in the past one month.

Australian iron and lithium explorer, Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN) holds two flagship projects centred towards lithium exploration. The Company, through its Mt Marion Lithium Project and Wodgina Lithium Project, operates in battery commodity space. Lithium-ion batteries have seen massive adoption across different areas. 

During the March quarter, Mt Marion Lithium Project produced 111k and shipped 99k of spodumene concentrate. The Company’s optimised mine plan for the project includes lower processing throughput which would ensure the achievement of higher yield from the processed ore and it continues to include production of spodumene concentrate of 4%. 

Wodgina Lithium Project which involves an unincorporated ‘MARBL’ joint venture (JV) between Mineral Resource Limited (40%) and Albemarle Corporation (60%) is currently put on care and maintenance. MARBL Joint Venture plans to start the spodumene concentrate production depending upon the market demand.

As on 18 June 2020, MIN stock fell by 1.984% from its prior close to be at AU$19.76.

Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) holds three projects that are directed to Cobalt, Nickel and Scandium exploration endeavours. Sconi Project stationed at Greenvale in Queensland enjoys world-class assets and has proven its forte to produce the same.

According to reports by the CRU International Limited, Sconi Project is forecasted to be one of the world’s most competitive cobalt-producing nickel operations. Over its mine life of over 30 years, it is expected to produce 1.405 million tonnes of nickel sulphate and 0.209 million tonnes of cobalt sulphate. The project has pre-tax Net Present Value (NPV) of AU$1.47 billion.

Meanwhile, AUZ project portfolio also encapsulates NSW-based Flemington Cobalt-Scandium-Nickel and Thackaringa Early-stage pure Cobalt Project. AUZ stock closed flat at AU$0.008 on 18 June 2020. 

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