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CleanTech Index: Even the miners are supporting it now!

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The Australian CleanTech Index outperformed the ASX in September and in the first quarter of the financial year. Over the last three years it has outperformed the ASX200 by 46%.

It is no wonder then that the miners and explorers in Sydney and on the Terrace in Perth are turning their attention to supplying the sector of the future.

After a wave of Lithium companies emerging over the last few years, we are now seeing rebranding and refocus of many companies into Cobalt and Graphite, both of which are key components in various cleantech products.

Industry is moving ahead as well with an uptake in many cleantech solutions been seen as just good business. There is no need to wait for the chaos of Canberra to provide any clear direction as that is just coming from the economics of running a good business.

Outside of the Index we are seeing plenty of activity in oil companies looking for solar and battery projects, gas companies looking at hydrogen options and a Chinese nuclear plant builder wanting to invest in Australian renewables. Whilst still important, the politics is becoming less relevant – and what a relief that will be to everyone in the sector!

Over the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year, the Australian CleanTech Index recorded a gain of 0.83% compared to the ASX200’s loss of 0.56% and the ASX Small Ordinaries’ 0.58% gain. Over the quarter, the Australian CleanTech Index recorded a gain of 1.6%, ahead of the ASX200’s loss of 0.7% but behind the ASX Small Ordinaries’ gain of 3.1%.

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The best and worst performers in terms of share price performance over the month and quarter are shown in the table below.

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The Australian CleanTech Index underwent its quarterly rebalancing at the end of September which took account of recent share issues and other corporate activity. Thirteen companies were added to the Index:

  • Cobalt Blue Holdings Limited (ASX:COB) is a cobalt exploration and development company focused on developing the Thackaringa Cobalt Project in New South Wales.
  • Collaborate Corporation Limited (ASX:CL8) is engaged in the operation of peer-to-peer and online marketplaces.
  • PYROLYX AG (ASX:PLX) – German company that has developed a specialised process that transforms waste tyres into high grade, valuable raw materials, primarily recovered Carbon Black, as well as pyrolysis oil and steel recovered from the Pyrolyx process.
  • Windlab Limited (ASX:WND) is an Australia-based renewable energy development company.

Graphite Explorers and Producers

  • Bass Metals Limited (ASX:BSM)
  • Battery Minerals Limited (ASX:BAT)
  • Black Rock Mining Limited (ASX:BKT)
  • First Graphite Limited (ASX:FGR)
  • Graphex Mining Limited (ASX:GPX)
  • Kibaran Resources Limited (ASX:KNL)
  • Novonix Limited (ASX:NVX)
  • Syrah Resources Limited (ASX:SYR)
  • Volt Resources Limited (ASX:VRC)

One company also changed its names during the period:

  • Fluence Corporation Ltd (ASX:FLC) is the new name for Emefcy Group (Ltd) after it merged with RWL Water LLC.

To provide an analysis of the Australian CleanTech Index, a number of sub-indices have been developed. The performance of each of these sub-indices over the last five financial years and during 1Q of FY18 is shown in the table and charts below.

The best performing sectors for the three months to September 2017 were the Australia Efficiency & Storage Index and the Australian Water Index.

Australian CleanTech Sub-Indices

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With 78 companies now falling under the coverage of the Index and with a combined market capitalisation of over $36.0 billion, the Australian CleanTech Index presents for the only complete picture of the Australian cleantech industry’s growth in a single measure.

The Quarterly Index Performance Report can be downloaded from here.

John O’Brien is managing director of the Australian CleanTech Index  

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