Full list of lithium stocks and lithium mining stocks

Here’s an exhaustive list of lithium mining stocks and lithium-related companies as well as their current market caps.

Lithium stocks are frequently compared to oil stocks. While oil powered the vehicles of the past, lithium-ion batteries will likely be integral to almost all forms of transportation in the future (see my post How to invest in lithium stocks). That means lithium mining companies stand to profit handsomely in the years to come. Here’s a full list of the biggest lithium mining stocks and lithium-related companies as well as their current market caps:

Stock Ticker Market Cap
Global X Lithium ETF NYSE:LIT $99 million
Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF NYSE:REMX $250 million
Sociedad Quimica y Minera NYSE:SQM $6.7 billion
FMC Corporation NYSE:FMC $4.9 billion
Rockwood Holdings, Inc. NYSE:ROC $3.02 billion
GS Yuasa Corporation TYO:6674 $149 billion
Saft Groupe SA EPA:SAFT $498 million
Galaxy Resources Limited ASX:GXY $198 million
A123 Systems, Inc. NASDAQ:AONE $511 million
Canada Lithium Corp. TSE:CLQ $133 million
Valence Technology, Inc. NASDAQ:VLNC $177 million
Exide Technologies NASDAQ:XIDE $310 million
Advanced Battery Technologies, Inc. NASDAQ:ABAT $87 million
TALISON LITHIUM LTD. TSE:TLH $320 million
Orocobre Limited ASX:ORE $119 million
Avalon Rare Metals AMEX:AVL $257 million
Reed Resources Ltd. ASX:RDR $85 million
Ultralife Corp. NASDAQ:ULBI $85 million
Lithium One Inc. CVE:LI $51 million
Lithium Americas Corp. TSE:LAC $94 million
China BAK Battery Inc. NASDAQ:CBAK $58 million
Electrovaya Inc. TSE:EFL $87 million
Coslight Technology International Group HKG:1043 $733 million
Ener1, Inc. NASDAQ:HEV $33 million
Western Lithium USA Corporation TSE:WLC $44 million
TNR Gold Corp. CVE:TNR $8 million
Latin American Minerals Inc. CVE:LAT $16 million
RODINIA LITHIUM INC. PINK:RDNAF n/a
Greenlight Resources Inc. PINK:PRZCF n/a
FIRST LITHIUM RES INC. PINK:FLNTF n/a
Polypore International, Inc. NYSE:PPO $2.73 billion
Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. NASDAQ:ALTI $71 million
Lithium Technology Corporation PINK:LTHU $40 million
CANASIA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION CVE:CAJ $5 million
Channel Resources Ltd. CVE:CHU $29 million

In the face of a global economic slowdown, it’s been a rough year for lithium stocks. Of the lithium stocks listed above, only two have posted net gains on the year: Polypore International, Inc. (+44 percent) and Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (+0.064 percent). Here are the top five lithium stocks losers year-to-date:

Company YTD Performance
Ener1, Inc. -94%
Canada Lithium Corp. -73%
RODINIA LITHIUM INC. -71%
Advanced Battery Technologies, Inc.

-70%
TNR Gold Corp. -70%

If I’ve overlooked any lithium stocks, lithium mining stocks, or lithium-related stocks, please note them in the comments section, and I’ll add them to this post.

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How to invest in lithium stocks

As with any emerging industry, investing in lithium stocks requires a lot of homework. Here are three ways to bet on the industry including several lithium stock picks.

Looking at investing from a macroeconomic view, it’s difficult to find arguments against the future of lithium. In the words of Forbes, “The gas engine made petroleum the world’s biggest commodity. The electric car could do the same for (lithium).”

When Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) unveiled the company’s luxury electric car, the Roadster, it took the rest of the car industry by surprise. Chevy and Nissan had banked on enormous lithium batteries in their respective electric cars (the Volt and the Leaf), while the Roadster linked together thousands of small lithium-ion batteries (not unlike what you’ll find in your laptop). The net effect was lower costs and higher performance.

No matter what the end battery looks like though, most of the world’s top electric vehicles rely on lithium battery technology to store and deliver energy. And the demand for lithium carbonate and lithium metal should climb rapidly alongside demand for electric cars and mobile gadgets with long battery lives.

As with any emerging industry, investing in lithium stocks requires a lot of homework. Here are three ways to bet on the industry:

1) Invest in a lithium ETF. There are currently two lithium-related ETFs that trade on the New York Stock Exchange (see my post ETFs explained in pictures for information on ETFs). The first, Global X Lithium ETF (NYSE:LIT) is a pure-play on lithium stocks. It seeks to replicate the yield of the Solactive Global Lithium Index – an index composed of “companies active in exploration and/or mining of Lithium or the production of Lithium batteries.” Buying shares in LIT is like investing in each of the 20+ companies that comprise the Solactive Global Lithium Index.

The second lithium ETF on the NYSE is the Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (NYSE:REMX). REMX invests in companies engaged in the mining of lithium, but also 48 other rare earth and strategic metals companies. That makes REMX far less of a pure play on lithium, but it does distribute risk across several other elements that are increasingly used in high-tech products including wind turbines and hybrid vehicles.

2) Invest directly in lithium stocks. There are a number of companies that are engaged in the mining and production of lithium. The biggest beyond a doubt, though, is Sociedad Quimica y Minera (NYSE:SQM). Based in Chile, SQM produces nearly 30 percent of the world’s lithium carbonate. The company holds rights to huge swaths of the Salar de Atacama – a Chilean lake bed that’s purported to hold 27 percent of the world’s lithium. Here’s a list of the world’s top five biggest lithium stocks (including SQM) and their stock performance year-to-date:

Stock YTD Gain
Sociedad Quimica y Minera (NYSE:SQM) -19.25%
FMC Corporation (NYSE:FMC) -13.8%
Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ROC) +.64%
GS Yuasa Corporation (TYO:6674) -34.7%
Saft Groupe SA (EPA:SAFT) -28%
Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY) -56.9%

As you can see, it hasn’t exactly been a banner year for lithium stocks, but that could change quickly if and when the global economic gloom starts to lift (or if we suffer through higher crude oil prices). If that happens, you can expect penny lithium stocks to outperform their larger rivals (see my post Top five penny lithium stocks).

3) Invest in car companies that harness lithium technology. The most promising area in lithium technology is the electric vehicle industry. Several companies in the space stand out including:

  • Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA): Manufacturer of the all-electric Tesla Roadster
  • General Motors Company (NYSE:GM): Manufacturer of the hybrid Chevy Volt
  • Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (PINK:NSANY): Manufacturer of the all-electric Nissan Leaf
  • BYD Company Limited (HKG:1211): Manufacturer of the all-electric E6 (see my post BYD Auto IPO: Is the battered Chinese battery and car maker stock a buy?)

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Top 3 most popular rare earths stock symbols and investments

If you’re considering investing in the rare earths stocks, here are three options that trade on U.S.-based exchanges.

For the first time in China’s history, the country appears poised to become a net importer of rare earths. Expect prices to surge in the U.S and Japan in coming years if suppliers in other countries can’t keep up with demand.

“(There are) early signals that China is moving from sell-side to buy-side. China becomes a new market opportunity for producers outside China,” Chinese Society of Rare Earths director Chen Zhanheng said at a recent presentation in Canada.

China is the world’s biggest producer of rare earths with exports peaking at 60,000 tons and tapering off to 39,000 tons in 2009. That’s a huge drop-off considering that China currently supplies 97 percent or more of the world’s rare earths metal supply.

Chairman Nick Curtis, who heads up Australia’s Lynas Corporation, Ltd. (PINK:LYSCY), told The Australian he believes China will become a net importer of rare earths within five years. That’s good news for Lynas, which mines Mount Weld in Western Australia – the richest known deposit of rare earths in the world (Although we’d be remiss if we didn’t point at that Curtis recently sold 7 million shares worth $13.5 million in his company citing “personal balance sheet management” needs.)

Still, it’s clear that China’s throttling the market for rare earths thanks to a combination of export quotes and rising domestic demand within the country. Rare earths are increasingly used in high-tech goodies including iPhones, Blackberries, electric vehicles and wind turbines. That new demand for rare earths has pushed shares in miners up rapidly. Lynas, for instance, has risen more than 235 percent in the past year.

If you’re considering investing in the rare earths stocks, here are three options – all of which trade on U.S.-based exchanges:

1) Thompson Creek Metals Company, Inc. (NYSE:TC). With interests in nine mines or projects in the U.S. and Canada, Thompson Creek is a molybdenum miner that’s also begun diversifying into copper and gold with its Mt. Milligan mine in British Columbia (which should drive up profits starting in 2013). Shares in Thompson Creek are up 21 percent over the past year, and the company’s still trading at a P/E of 11.

2) Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE:MCP). Molycorp, Inc. has been on an absolute tear since its IPO last July. Shares have scorched up more than 400 percent in just over six months. That makes me extremely nervous to buy in here (as I imagine it should any investor). Molycorp began mining Neodymium and Praseodymium in 2007 and is scheduled to start extracting Bastnasite ore from its Mountain Pass., Calif., mine this year.

3) General Moly, Inc. (AMEX:GMO). Molybdenum-miner General Moly currently holds 80 percent interest in the Mt. Hope project in Nevada. The other 20 percent interest is in the hands of Korea-based steel producer POSCO (NYSE:PKX). General Moly also owns 100 percent of the Nevada-based Liberty project, which (based on a pre-feasibility study) should produce 503 million pounds of molybdenum over a 33-year mine life. The Mt. Hope project could be in production as early as 2013.

Don’t want to pick an individual company? The Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (Public, NYSE:REMX) currently holds positions in more than 20 companies including rare earths and strategic metals producers. Shares in REMX are up 28 percent over the past year.

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How to invest in rare earths stocks

China currently produces 99 percent of the world’s rare earths supply. It seems Beijing has realized it can exploit that control, too, by cracking down on illegal rare earths mining within the country and limiting exports abroad. On Tuesday, China’s commerce ministry…

China’s growing stranglehold on the production of commodities and metals like coal, iron ore, tungsten, antimony and tin give the Chinese government more control over foreign businesses than we might like to admit. And yet, it’s China’s control over heavy rare earth materials that really makes me nervous.

Consider this: China currently produces 99 percent of the world’s rare earths supply. It seems Beijing has realized it can exploit that control, too, by cracking down on illegal rare earths mining within the country and limiting exports abroad. On Tuesday, China’s commerce ministry announced its export quotas for rare earth metals will drop by 35 percent during the first six months of 2011.

Why does that matter? Because heavy rare earths are vital in the production or operation of high-tech goodies like iPhones, Blackberries, wind turbines and nuclear power plants.

Shares in rare earth stocks rocketed up on the news. Want to get in on the action? Here’s a short list of rare earths stocks:

  • Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE:MCP); +394 percent YTD
  • Rare Element Resources Ltd. (CVE:RES); +263 percent YTD
  • Neo Material Technologies Inc. (TSE:NEM); +68 percent YTD
  • Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX:LYC); +255 percent YTD
  • Medallion Resources Ltd. (CVE:MDL); +157 percent YTD
  • Ultra Uranium Corp. (CVE:ULU); +54 percent YTD
  • Fieldex Exploration Inc. (CVE:FLX); -15 percent YTD

Not interested in picking individual rare earths stocks? There’s at least one rare earths ETF that will help you diversify in the sector: the Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (NYSE:REMX). The relatively new ETF launched in October and has risen 22 percent since then with a big chunk of the gains coming on Tuesday’s export news out of China. The ETF was up 7 percent yesterday.

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