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Which junior copper stocks have gained the most on the TSXV so far this year? Here are the five top performers by share price.

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

Copper passed its all-time price high earlier this year, but Q2 and Q3 have been less kind to the metal, partially due to industrial demand slowing with China's COVID-19 lockdowns.

However, fundamentals remain positive for copper. The Investing News Network spoke with Byron King of the Lifetime Income Report at the Rule Symposium, and the expert shared his outlook for the metal.

"If you follow the fundamentals of copper you know that if you forecast it out … there's not enough copper," he said, explaining that many large mines are declining and there aren't enough new assets in the pipeline.

The top junior copper stocks list below was generated on August 8, 2022, using TradingView’s stock screener, and it shows the TSXV-listed copper companies with the biggest share price gains year-to-date. Only companies with market capitalizations greater than C$10 million at the time data was gathered are included.

Read on to find what has been driving these companies' share prices so far this year.

1. Vulcan Minerals (TSXV:VUL)

Year-to-date gain: 77.42 percent; market capitalization: C$62.58 million; current share price: C$0.55

Vulcan Minerals has projects covering a wide variety of minerals, but its core project is the Springdale copper-gold project in Newfoundland, Canada. It includes the Colchester, Pine Pond and Little Bay Mine projects, all within the Springdale peninsula. The company also has the Red Cross Lake nickel-copper-cobalt project in Newfoundland.

Unlike its contemporaries on this list, many of which spiked significantly in April, Vulcan spent much of the first two quarters of the year down year-to-date. However, the company’s share price has risen heavily in June and Q3.

The explorer and project generator started June with “impressive” copper assays from the Colchester project at Springdale, with one highlight showing 14 meters at 2.31 percent copper. Later that month, it entered an agreement to divest its Gander East property to Rocky Island, a subsidiary of Sassy Resources; Vulcan will retain a 1 percent net smelter return royalty and receive C$250,000 and 3 million shares of Sassy. Most recently, Vulcan listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with the symbol VM3. The company’s share price has continued to climb since numbers for this article were pulled from TradingView on August 8, and it hit a new year-to-date high of C$0.65 on August 17.

2. Barksdale Resources (TSXV:BRO)

Year-to-date gain: 72 percent; market capitalization: C$35.01 million; current share price: C$0.55

Although Barksdale Resources used to be focused on both precious and base metals exploration, the company has pivoted to focus only on base metals projects, in particular the Sunnyside copper-zinc-lead-silver and San Antonio copper projects in Arizona, and the San Javier copper-gold project in Mexico.

Barksdale’s share price has been elevated since early March, when it spiked to a monthly peak of C$0.60 on March 9 before hovering around the C$0.45 mark through mid-May. On April 4, Barksdale shared that the US Forest Service had approved the company’s drill program at San Antonio.

The majority of Barksdale’s exploration work has been focused on San Javier in 2022. In late April, the company released drill results at the project that expanded the footprint of the Cerro Verde copper zone. Barksdale’s share price reached a year-to-date high of C$0.70 on May 27, the day after the company engaged Independent Mining Consultants to review the drilling data and technical information from San Javier and create a resource estimate and NI 43-101 technical report for the project’s Cerro Verde zone. The firm's latest news was positive results from metallurgical test work on drill cores from San Javier in June.

3. MAX Resource (TSXV:MAX)

Year-to-date gain: 65.22 percent; market capitalization: C$58.28 million; current share price: C$0.38

Max Resource is a copper and gold exploration company that describes itself as “one of the true mineral explorers.” Its Cesar copper-silver project in Colombia is part of the Andean belt, and the company made three high-grade discoveries as part of its 2020/2021 exploration at the property. Max will continue exploration at the asset into 2022; it also has the right to acquire 100 percent of the RT gold project in Peru.

Max gained momentum in March and April after seeing slow gains earlier in the year. In March, the company announced that its cooperation and financing agreement with Endeavour Silver (TSX:EDR,NYSE:EXK) for the Cesar project had been finalized. Endeavour will assist Max in “significantly expanding its landholdings.” The company’s share price saw its biggest gains in the weeks following March 28, when it closed a C$7.7 million private placement.

Shares of Max reached a new height of C$0.82 after a new high-grade discovery at Cesar's URU zone, including assays grading 8.3 percent copper and 146 grams per metric ton silver over 16.8 meters. The company went on to close further private placements in May and June, resulting in C$17.7 million. In June, the company announced a new high-grade copper discovery on trend of the URU zone and was awarded 11 mining concession contracts at Uru. Most recently, Max shared the initial results of its high-resolution ground induced polarization survey at its Cesar project. While the company’s share price has fallen since its April peak, it is still up significantly year to date.

4. ATEX Resources (TSXV:ATX)

Year-to-date gain: 60.53 percent; market capitalization: C$67.91; current share price: C$0.61

ATEX Resources is focused on projects in Latin America. The company’s flagship asset is its Valeriano project — located in the Atacama region of Chile — which hosts a copper-gold porphyry deposit, as well as a near-surface oxidized epithermal gold deposit. ATEX is performing further exploration in Chile as well. According to the company, it is using “techniques developed by ATEX’s management team which have proven successful, resulting in a number of significant precious metal deposits discoveries.”

ATEX has focused on a Phase 2 drilling program at Valeriano in 2022, which commenced in late January and concluded on May 11. The company’s share price reached its year-to-date high of C$0.89 on April 6, less than a week before ATEX shared an exploration update on drilling at Valeriano, saying it had been successful so far in expanding the footprint of the porphyry system. Following the conclusion of the drill program, ATEX released highlights, including 1,160 meters grading 0.78 percent copper equivalent. Its most recent news was the upsizing of its current C$9 million private placement financing, which will now be C$10.8 million.

5. Bell Copper (TSXV:BCU)

Year-to-date gain: 58.82 percent; market capitalization: C$29.16 million; current share price: C$0.27

Bell Copper is a copper explorer working out of Arizona, US. The US is the fifth largest copper-producing country in the world, and Arizona is responsible for 71 percent of its output. The company is currently focused on exploring two copper prospects in the state — Big Sandy and Perseverance — which are within 30 kilometers of each other.

At the beginning of February, Bell Copper's share price shot up 100 percent to C$0.39 when it announced the discovery of copper sulfide in quartz porphyry at Big Sandy. The company later jumped again, this time to C$0.66, in early March after a further update on drilling, although it fell back within a week. March saw another update on Big Sandy: the commencement of metallurgical testing on the drill samples.

Additionally, Cordoba Minerals (TSXV:CDB,OTCQB:CDBMF), which has a joint venture earn-in agreement for Perseverance, announced it has spent enough on exploration to earn a 51 percent stake in the project. Bell Copper’s share price remained elevated around the C$0.50 mark through mid-April before beginning a slow descent. However, it is still up significantly since the beginning of the year. After releasing exploration updates from Big Sandy in June, Bell reported preliminary metallurgical testing results from its most copper-rich drill interval at the project.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Lauren Kelly, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


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