Top 5 Junior Copper Stocks on the TSXV (Updated November 2022)

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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 in 2022, but since then the year has been less kind to the metal, partially due to industrial demand slowing with China's COVID-19 lockdowns.

However, fundamentals remain positive for copper, with experts concerned about a potential supply deficit.

“Copper’s critical role in the energy transition is undisputed. It’s the significant pull on the metal’s existing and potential supplies, and the investment required that needs urgent attention,” explained Nick Pickens, Wood Mackenzie's research director of copper markets. “To successfully meet zero-carbon targets, the mining industry needs to deliver new projects at a frequency and consistent level of financing never previously accomplished."

The top junior copper stocks list below was generated on November 1, 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. Barksdale Resources (TSXV:BRO)

Year-to-date gain: 157.58 percent; market capitalization: C$58.6 million; current share price: C$0.85

Barksdale Resources used to be focused on both precious and base metals, but has pivoted to only base metals, 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, the US Forest Service 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 from 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 drilling data and technical information from San Javier to create a resource estimate and NI 43-101 technical report for the project’s Cerro Verde zone. The firm's latest news about the asset was positive results from metallurgical test work on drill cores from San Javier in June.

In late October, Barksdale completed a non-brokered private placement with Teck Resources (TSX:TECK.A,TSX:TECK.B,NYSE:TECK) in which Teck subscribed for 550,000 units or C$264,000. Teck holds about 9.9 percent of Barksdale’s equity.

2. MAX Resource (TSXV:MAX)

Year-to-date gain: 53.06 percent; market capitalization: C$59.9 million; current share price: C$0.375

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 work at the property. Max has continued exploration at the asset into 2022, and is targeting the URU zone; it also has the right to acquire 100 percent of the RT gold project in Peru.

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.”

Shares of Max reached a year-to-date high of C$0.82 in mid-April after a new high-grade discovery at Cesar's URU zone, including assays grading 8.3 percent copper and 146 grams per metric ton (g/t) silver over 16.8 meters. 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.

In August, Max shared the initial results of a high-resolution ground induced polarization (IP) survey at its Cesar project’s URU zone, and its IP results combined with ground magnetometer survey results identified new drill targets. The company has since commenced an eight hole diamond drilling program, which is the first drill program at URU.

3. ATEX Resources (TSXV:ATX)

Year-to-date gain: 31.94 percent; market capitalization: C$52.88 million; current share price: C$0.475

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 performed a Phase 2 drilling program at Valeriano in H1 2022; it 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.

The company has now begun its Phase 3 drill program at Valeriano following the completion of its third option payment for the project. It will consist of an initial 10,000 meters, and another 10,000 may be added afterwards.

4. Los Andes Copper (TSXV:LA)

Year-to-date gain: 29.46 percent; market capitalization: C$394.59 million; current share price: C$14.50

Chile-focused Los Andes Copper describes its Vizcachitas open-pit copper-molybdenum project as “one of the most advanced copper deposits in the Americas.” The project has a measured and indicated resource of 1,284 million metric tons at a copper grade of 0.4 percent, including 13 billion pounds of copper equivalent. A prefeasibility study for the project is in progress and is expected in Q4.

Los Andes’ share price opened 2022 at C$11.60, but by March 11 it had climbed to C$17.49. While it hasn’t reached those heights again, its share price has remained elevated throughout the year; that said, the company did hit a road bump in Q1, when it had its drilling permit suspended during a program on March 18, news that saw shares plummet by C$2.20 overnight. The drilling that had been completed by that point showed the “largest 1% copper intercept” found at the project thus far, and according to the company showed potential for large-scale expansion at the project. In July, the government reinstated Los Andes’ drilling permit.

A late September project update shows that a prefeasibility study is still on track for Q4, and will incorporate 2022’s exploration. On November 2, the company announced the appointment of Interim CEO Santiago Montt following outgoing CEO and President Michael Jones’ resignation.

5. York Harbour Metals (TSXV:YORK)

Year-to-date gain: 14.29 percent; market capitalization: C$39.06 million; current share price: C$0.65

York Harbour Metals, previously Phoenix Gold, is an exploration and development company operating in Newfoundland, Canada. Its focus is on its York Harbour copper-zinc-silver project, and it has an option agreement to acquire 100 percent of the asset. York Harbour is a past-producing mine that was last active in the 1970s. The company's other Newfoundland project is the Gregory River copper-zinc-silver project, which it acquired in July. York Harbour also has gold properties in Nevada.

The company changed its name to reflect its focus on York Harbour earlier this year. In April, the company shared an update on a Phase 3 diamond drilling program, the release of which drove its share price from C$1.05 to C$1.48 in two trading days, a year-to-date high. August brought a proposal from the company to spin out its Nevada projects into Phoenix Gold Resources (Holdings), allowing York Harbour to focus completely on its Newfoundland copper projects.

York Harbour began a Phase 4 diamond drilling program in late September. The program has the goal of testing between previous drill holes to see if volcanogenic massive sulfide lenses are connected. On October 11, preliminary visual results were shared for the drilling. The company's most recent news came near the end of October, when it announced that previous chairman Bruce Durham has been appointed to the positions of CEO and President.

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

Editorial Disclosure: Los Andes Copper is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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