Top 3 Copper Stocks on the TSX (Updated October 2022)

Copper Investing
copper metal in various shapes
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What are the best copper stocks on the TSX so far this year? These three companies have seen the biggest gains year-to-date.

Click here to read the latest best TSX copper stocks article.

After seeing success earlier this year — including a leap to an all-time high of US$10,910 per metric ton (MT) — copper has faltered in the third quarter, although it remains above its year-to-date low.

Tailwinds are largely coming out of China, where strict COVID-19 lockdowns have curtailed infrastructural copper demand. In the short term, some market watchers believe prices will fall further, but long-term factors, including copper's role in the green revolution, look positive. As of October 25, copper was priced at US$7,534 per MT.

“The bottom line is that if we want to have an energy transition, we need copper — it is vital for us,” ERG Senior Market Analyst Piotr Ortonowski told the audience at the Fastmarkets copper conference in Barcelona. “And judging from the level of physical inventories today, supply is already falling short of demand.”

The list below shows the top-performing TSX-listed copper stocks by share price performance so far this year. It was generated on October 21, 2022, using TradingView’s stock screener, and only TSX copper companies with market capitalizations greater than C$50 million at that time are included. Read on to learn more about what's moving their share prices.

1. Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ)

Year-to-date gain: 86.89 percent; market capitalization: C$8.05 billion; current share price: C$38.93

Turquoise Hill Resources operates the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia, which it claims has the potential to run 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 major global miner Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,NYSE:RIO,LSE:RIO), which is the operator of Oyu Tolgoi. The Oyu Tolgoi mine has been in production since 2013.

The company performed well 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 drove Turquoise Hill's share price up nearly C$9 the day of the announcement. Turquoise Hill created a special committee to review the proposal in April, and after it found that the offer “did not reflect the full and fair value of the company,” Rio Tinto raised the offer to C$43 per share.

On September 5, Turquoise Hill signed a definitive agreement with Rio Tinto at that price point, and the next step is a shareholder vote. This news resulted in the company’s share price hitting a four year high of C$41.99 on September 8.

However, International Shareholder Services has recommended that shareholders reject the takeover offer, as the firm believes C$43 per share still does not reflect the company’s value; this echoes the concerns of some majority shareholders. Turquoise Hill has responded, requesting that shareholders vote in favor of the transaction. The results of the vote are still undetermined.

With regards to progress at Oyu Tolgoi, on August 22, Turquoise Hill provided an update, including the latest news on updating the project’s integrated mine plan. The mine plan will include “minor refinements” at the Hugo North underground and the Oyut open-pit mines. The mine plan should be available in Q4 of this year. In Q3 alone, the mine produced 36,000 MT of copper.

2. Filo Mining (TSX:FIL)

Year-to-date gain: 26.17 percent; market capitalization: C$1.88 billion; current share price: C$16.15

Filo Mining is focused on advancing its Filo del Sol copper-gold-silver project in Chile along the Chile-Argentina border.

Filo’s share price began to see significant growth in mid-March after it closed a C$100 million strategic investment from BHP Western Mining Resources, which is a subsidiary of BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BHP). The company’s share price rose to reach a peak of C$24.44 on April 18 before falling through mid-May to C$16.62. However, the day after that low, Filo's share price rocketed back up on positive drill results that extended the Breccia 41 zone at Filo del Sol.

Further positive exploration news continued to drive the company's share price, culminating in a year-to-date high of C$26.58 on June 2. On June 3, Filo shared that it has been included in the S&P/TSX Composite Index (INDEXTSI:OSPTX). The company released its Q2 results in August, discussing the progress made at Filo del Sol over the quarter, including very high-grade drill results and the discovery of a copper-gold porphyry center, dubbed the Bonita zone, at the project.

“Exploration results from Filo del Sol continue to stand out on a global scale and showcase the project as one of the most significant copper-gold-silver discoveries of its generation,” President and CEO Jamie Beck said in a release.

In September, Filo Mining appointed Ian Gibbs as chief financial officer and Arndt Brettschneider as vice president of operations and projects, as well as Ron Hochstein to its board of directors. Its most recent exploration results from ongoing exploration at Filo del Sol’s Aurora zone saw highlights including 1.54 percent copper, 12.08 grams per MT (g/t) gold and 20.5 g/t silver over 4 meters.

While the company’s share price has fallen from its highs seen in June, it is still up year-to-date.

3. Polymet Mining (TSX:POM)

Year-to-date gain: 15.17 percent; market capitalization: C$391.68 million; current share price: C$4.05

PolyMet Mining’s flagship project is its NorthMet copper-nickel project, which is also expected to produce cobalt and precious metals. NorthMet is located in Minnesota, US, in the Duluth Complex, and has proven and probable reserves of 290 million MT grading 0.288 percent copper and 0.083 percent nickel. 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 rise. PolyMet fell back down to the C$4 to C$4.50 range in the following weeks, during which time it shared its 2021 financial results and a Q1 business update. Shares did experience another jump, 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. PolyMet’s share price fell through the second quarter.

On July 20, PolyMet announced the significant news that it was creating a 50/50 joint venture with Teck Resources (TSX:TECK.A,TSX:TECK.B,NYSE:TECK) subsidiary Teck American. The companies' respective NorthMet and Mesaba projects will be under a single management team, an entity named NewRange Copper Nickel. According to a press release, the projects “represent two of the largest undeveloped clean energy mineral resources in the U.S.” However, the news did not drive the company’s share price significantly in either direction. Although PolyMet has not released further news this year, it reached a Q3 high of C$4.50 in September.

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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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