What are the best copper stocks on the TSX so far this year? These five companies have seen the biggest gains year-to-date.
Click here to read the previous best TSX copper stocks article.
The electric vehicle story and Russia's invasion of Ukraine have both driven copper prices higher, alongside other base and battery metals. Despite the recent fall in prices, many copper companies have benefited from the rally.
The list below shows the top-performing TSX-listed copper stocks by share price performance so far this year. It was generated on April 26, 2022, using TradingView’s stock screener, and only TSX copper companies with market capitalizations greater than C$50 million at that time were included.
1. Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ)
Year-to-date gain: 73.37 percent; current share price: C$36.06
Copper-mining company Turquoise Hill Resources is focused on its Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia, which the company claims has the potential to operate for 100 years from five deposits. Oyu Tolgoi is jointly owned by Turquoise Hill (66 percent) and Mongolian government-owned entity Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi (34 percent). Turquoise Hill itself is 50.8 percent owned by diversified miner Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,NYSE:RIO,LSE:RIO), which is the operator of Oyu Tolgoi. The mine has been in production since 2013.
The company’s share price performed positively through mid-March, when Rio Tinto proposed a plan to buy the remaining 49.2 percent of Turquoise Hill that it does not already own for C$34 per share. The news pushed the company's share price up from C$25.68 on the previous trading day to C$34.02 the day of the announcement. Turquoise Hill has only experienced further gains from there, hitting a year-to-date high of C$38.58 on April 13. On April 7, Turquoise Hill shared that it had created a special committee to review the proposal, but expressed that it should not be considered a guarantee that the deal will be completed.
Most recently, Turquoise Hill released its Q1 operating results for Oyu Tolgoi. Copper and gold production was lower year-on-year, but that was expected and numbers are still in line with previous guidance.
2. Filo Mining (TSX:FIL)
Year-to-date gain: 57.64 percent; current share price: C$20.13
Filo Mining is focused on advancing its Filo del Sol copper-gold-silver project in Chile along the Chile-Argentina border. It is currently performing drill programs at the asset. According to the company, “(Filo del Sol’s) complex geological history has created a heterogeneous orebody which is characterized by zones of very high-grade copper +/- gold +/- silver mineralization within a large envelope of more homogeneous, lower-grade mineralization.”
Filo’s share price began to see significant growth following its mid-March announcement of the closing of a C$100 million strategic investment from BHP Western Mining Resources, which is a subsidiary of BHP Group (NYSE:BHP,ASX:BHP,LSE:BHP). It continued to grow through the release of its Q4 2021 results, which came alongside the announcement that it would be expanding 2022 drilling at Filo del Sol to include seven diamond drill rigs. The company’s share price has dropped slightly since its year-to-date high of C$24.44 on April 18. Its most recent news came the day following its high, when it shared an exploration update.
3. PolyMet Mining (TSX:POM)
Year-to-date gain: 30.28 percent; current share price: C$4.13
PolyMet Mining’s flagship project is its NorthMet copper-nickel project, which is also expected to produce cobalt and precious metals. NorthMet has proven and probable reserves of 290 million metric tons grading 0.288 percent copper and 0.083 percent nickel. The future mine is located in Minnesota, US, in the Duluth Complex. The company is working to secure permits that will allow it to begin mining.
Although PolyMet’s share price performed relatively flatly for the early part of the year, it saw a spike from C$3.74 on March 7 to C$5.06 the following day; the company released no news to accompany this spike. PolyMet fell back down to the C$4 to C$4.50 range in the following weeks, during which time the company shared its 2021 financial results and a Q1 2022 business update. Its share price later experienced another spike, hitting a year-to-date high of C$5.17, this time following the March 29 news that Senior Vice President Richard Lock was moving on. Since then, PolyMet has tapered off, but is still up since the start of the year.
4. Entrée Resources (TSX:ETG)
Year-to-date gain: 25.93 percent; current share price: C$1.02
Entrée Resources is another company that has its hands in the Oyu Tolgoi pot. The company has a 20 to 30 percent interest in mineralization extracted at the Entrée/Oyu Tolgoi joint venture property, with the amount determined by the depth of mineralization. In addition to its interest in the Oyu Tolgoi project, Entrée has a 56.53 percent interest in the Blue Rose joint venture with Giralia Resources, and a 0.5 percent net smelter return royalty with Candente Copper (TSX:DNT) on the Cañariaco project.
Entrée’s share price saw a steep spike in late January when it shared news that multiple outstanding issues between the Mongolian government and the companies involved in Oyu Tolgoi — Turquoise Hill in particular — had been resolved. Its share price saw another large jump in March, and it remained elevated through mid-April, during which time Entrée shared its 2021 results and corporate highlights, as well as the appointment of a new member to its board of directors.
5. Altius Minerals (TSX:ALS)
Year-to-date gain: 19.76 percent; current share price: C$20.58
Altius Minerals is a royalty and project-generating company that is focused on the Americas and Europe. The company has 12 producing royalties, including the Chapada copper mine and the 777 zinc-copper-gold-silver mine. It also has royalties on six projects that are in development, including two copper, as well as many more at varying stages of exploration. On the project-generation side, the company explains that it purchases properties during bear markets, and sells them to junior exploration companies in exchange for interests or royalties.
Altius’ share price began its climb in early February, although the company did not release any news at that time; on February 24, it shared an update with shareholders on its Chapada copper stream agreement. On March 9, the company released its 2021 attributable revenue from royalties, which reached C$83.9 million. In April, the company went on to provide a project-generation update and its expected attributable royalty revenue for the same period. Its share price hit its year-to-date high of C$25.59 on April 18, but has since fallen.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Lauren Kelly, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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