Best Copper Stocks of 2018 on the TSX

- December 5th, 2018

What are the best copper stocks on the TSX so far this year? These five companies have seen the biggest gains year-to-date.

The copper price has fallen from grace in 2018, dipping below the $3-per-pound mark, but some companies focused on the base metal have still made good progress.

As 2018 comes to a close, the Investing News Network has rounded up the best copper stocks on the TSX by share price performance so far this year. All have experienced positive momentum at their copper assets in 2018, with the biggest gainer being up over 100 percent year-to-date.

All year-to-date and share price information was obtained on December 5, 2018 from TradingView. All companies listed had market caps above C$50 million at that time.

1. Trilogy Metals (TSX:TMQ,NYSEAMERICAN:TMQ)

Year-to-date gain: 110.79 percent; share price: C$2.93

A former NovaGold Resources (TSX:NG,NYSEAMERICAN:NG) subsidiary, Trilogy Metals is an exploration company with a primary focus on Alaska. While Trilogy has multiple holdings in the state’s Ambler Mining District, its two most advanced projects in the area are its Arctic and Bornite deposits.

The company has had a fairly steady year in terms of growth, and has reached the C$3 mark twice since the beginning of October. The first time was on October 15, less than a week after the company announced drilling results from Bornite. The second instance happened less than 10 days after further Bornite drilling results rolled in.

2. Nevsun Resources (TSX:NSU,NYSEAMERICAN:NSU)

Year-to-date gain: 94.93 percent; share price: C$5.97

A Canadian mining company with a focus on base metals, Nevsun Resources has flourished in 2018. The company has two main operations under its belt: the Bisha copper-zinc mine in Eritrea and the Timok copper-gold project in Serbia. Nevsun also has exploration properties in these areas and in Macedonia.

While Nevsun’s share price had been slowly but surely rising throughout the year, it leaped in September when Zijin Mining (HKEX:2899) put forth a C$1.86-billion takeover bid for the company, beating out an offer from Lundin Mining (TSX:LUN). The company’s board of directors has unanimously recommended the offer, which remains open for acceptance by shareholders until December 28.

3. Atalaya Mining (TSX:AYM,LSE:ATYM)

Year-to-date gain: 42.86 percent; share price: C$3.60

With humble 2005 beginnings on the AIM, Atalaya Mining’s present-day focus is its wholly owned Proyecto Riotinto copper mine in Spain. In addition, Atalaya is set to acquire 80 percent of the Proyecto Touro copper project, also located in Spain, through an earn-in agreement.

While the company gained some major strength in the spring, the fall months were less than kind to Atalaya. Its share price was strong at the end of September and through to mid-October, but saw a 50-cent drop off to C$3.75 within two days near the end of the month. Atalaya stabilized after the drop, only to see another plunge in November days before it released its quarterly results, slipping from C$3.60 to C$2.88 in just two days. It has since rebounded back to C$3.60.

4. Ero Copper (TSX:ERO)

Year-to-date gain: 34.04 percent; share price: C$10.16

Ero Copper, a copper producer with assets in Northeastern Brazil, has continued to keep its sights set on production at its MCSA Mining Complex in the state of Bahia. Alongside the complex, Ero is also working on its Boa Esperanca project in Brazil’s Pará state, which has its first production planned for 2022.

The company’s share price has been fairly consistent all year, albeit with some notable spikes, one of which saw it skyrocket from C$8.66 to C$12.20 in less than a month. The peak of that climb followed intersect results from the company’s Vale do Curaçá property, which showed a new zone of mineralization at the operation.

5. Sierra Metals (TSX:SMT)

Year-to-date gain: 2.69 percent; share price: C$3.05

Once known as Dia Bras Exploration, Sierra Metals is a mid-tier precious and base metals producer focused on projects in Latin America. The company owns assets in Peru and Mexico, including its Yauricocha mine in Peru and its Bolivar and Cusi mines in Mexico; additionally, Sierra has ongoing exploration activity in both countries.

Sierra has maintained a relatively steady share price throughout 2018, but took a heavy hit near the end of October when it announced Q3 results from its Sociedad Minera Corona subsidiary. The results saw some decreases in revenue and EBITDA, leading the company’s share price to tumble down to C$2.96, one of its lowest points this year.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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