What are the best copper stocks on the TSX so far this year? These five companies have seen the biggest gains year-to-date.
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Copper has had a bright start in 2021, with prices rallying to a more than 10 year high in the first quarter of the year.
Unlike the first three months of 2020, the trend in copper prices was upward for most of the first quarter of 2021, with the red metal hitting US$9,614.50 per tonne.
Although it hasn’t been able to hold at that level, copper continues to trade around the US$9,000 mark. Many analysts and companies expect copper to boom in the coming years, with electrification and electric vehicles growing in popularity and subsequently increasing the world’s appetite for copper.
Some of the top copper stocks on the TSX so far have seen gains of close to 100 percent year-to-date, as shown on the list below. The list was generated on March 31, 2021, using TradingView’s stock screener, and only companies with market capitalizations greater than C$50 million at that time are included.
1. Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX:NDM)
Current share price: C$0.81, year-to-date gain: 97.56 percent
The company has had plenty of news since the start of 2021. In January, both Northern Dynasty and the state of Alaska decided to appeal the US Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) denial of a key federal permit for the Pebble project.
The USACE accepted the Pebble Partnership’s request for appeal in February, and has appointed a review officer to oversee the administrative appeal process. Federal guidelines suggest the appeal should conclude within 90 days, but the USACE has indicated that the complexity of issues and the volume of material associated with Pebble’s case means the review will likely take additional time.
2. Xanadu Mines (TSX:XAM)
Current share price: C$0.06, year-to-date gain: 85.71 percent
ASX- and TSX-listed Xanadu Mines is a copper and gold exploration company with several advanced exploration projects in Mongolia.
The company kicked off 2021 by restarting a drill program at its Red Mountain joint venture. In March, Xanadu Mines started releasing drill results for the Stockwork Hill deposit on its Kharmagtai porphyry copper and gold project in Mongolia’s South Gobi region.
3. Capstone Mining (TSX:CS)
Current share price: C$4.14, year-to-date gain: 73.95 percent
Capstone Mining is a base metals-focused company with two producing copper mines: Pinto Valley in the US and Cozamin in Mexico. In addition, Capstone has the large-scale 70 percent owned copper-iron Santo Domingo development project in Region III, Chile, in partnership with Korea Resources, as well as a portfolio of exploration properties.
During Q1, the company released its 2020 results. Capstone exceeded both production and cost guidance last year, finishing the year at 156.9 million pounds of copper production, above its guidance range of 140 million to 155 million pounds. It reported consolidated C1 cash costs of US$1.84 per payable pound of copper, below its guidance range of US$1.85 to US$2.
In 2021, Capstone expects to produce between 175 million and 190 million pounds of copper at C1 cash costs of between US$1.75 and US$1.90 per pound of payable copper produced.
4. Copper Mountain Mining (TSX:CMMC)
Current share price: C$3.11, year-to-date gain: 71.82 percent
Copper Mountain Mining’s flagship asset is the Copper Mountain mine, located in British Columbia near the town of Princeton. It produces about 100 million pounds of copper equivalent per year.
Last year, Copper Mountain’s production was 77.6 million pounds of copper, exceeding guidance of 70 to 75 million pounds. Its C1 cash costs were US$1.53 per pound of copper, while its all-in sustaining costs were US$1.69; Copper Mountain’s all-in costs were US$1.90, meeting the mid-point of the company’s improved and revised all-in cost guidance of US$1.80 to US$2.
The company released its 2021 guidance in January, saying production is expected to increase up to a range of 85 million to 95 million pounds of copper. Copper Mountain also said its all-in costs in 2021 are expected to be in the range of US$1.80 to US$2.
5. Marimaca Copper (TSX:MARI)
Current share price: C$4.30, year-to-date gain: 32.31 percent
Marimaca Copper’s company name aligns with its flagship development asset in Chile, the Marimaca project, which is one of the largest copper discoveries in Northern Chile.
In January, the company began the mobilization of drilling contractors, the construction of the first drill pads and the construction of the infrastructure and support facilities for the 2021 exploration program across the Marimaca copper district.
In February, the company started to release results from an induced polarization survey completed at Marimaca; a recently completed rock geochemistry and reconnaissance mapping program at the Cindy target; and induced polarization surveys completed at the Mercedes and Cindy targets.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.