What a difference a week makes to world’s hottest mining stocks
The world’s biggest 100 mining stocks, measured by value, currently carry an aggregated value of USD 954bn, and have "bounced" by 90%, on a weighted average basis, from low stock prices seen during the latter part of 2008. The benchmark MSCI Barra dollar index for all global equities has so far managed a bounce of just 22%. A selection of the world’s Top 100 "hottest" mining stocks, worth an aggregate USD 41bn, have bounced by 313%, on a weighted average basis.The underlying dynamics are ever-changing. Seen as a global grouping, listed gold stocks hit multi-month highs on 2 April, and have since declined sharply on a wobbly gold price, while most industrial metal prices have continued to rise, led decisively by copper which broke above USD 2.00/lb on Thursday, for the first time in months.The result has been plain in switches of portfolio flows away from gold (and silver) stocks. Across the global mining sector, copper stocks have grabbed leadership from their gold peers, for now. Seen as a broader grouping, mining stocks as a whole continue to lead global equity markets.The biggest recovery in country indices is seen in the Micex Russia, which has risen 79% from viciously sold off levels. China’s CSI 300 has risen by 57% from its lows; leaving the Moscow aberration aside, this is the best recovered country index. Stock price recoveries in both countries have assisted the retrofitting of any number of stock prices; energy miner VorkutauGol has bounced more than 700% from its lows, and JSC Polymetal, which produces the charmed duo of silver and gold, by nearly 600%.Where a stock’s country recovery has been underpinned also by relevant strength or stability in commodity prices, gains, as seen in the latter two cases, have been sharp. Chinese gold miner Zhaojin has seen its stock price bounce by more than 400% from lows. Either way, there are still lots of gold stocks sitting in a selection of the world’s "hottest" 100 listed mining stocks.A subtheme is seen in stocks rated as potential acquisition targets. Samples include Novagold (for it huge Donlin Creek project in Alaska; Greystar (for its Angostura gold discovery in Colombia); San Anton Resources (for its Cerro del Gallo project in Mexico), and Moto Goldmines. Further top performing gold names include La Mancha Resources, for fast-growing production and demonstrable entrepreneurial flair, Regis Resources, for its Duketon project, and Tanami Gold, which dramatically returned from a low stock price of, basically, zero, and also highly rated and highly valued Osisko.Stocks with the charmed duo of copper and gold such as Northern Dynasty are also increasingly in favour; new moves on this theme into the Top 100 include the likes of Imperial Metals, and Pan Australian; new copper and related names include Augusta Resources, Boliden, and Monterrico.Mantra Resources is also a new entry, with interests in uranium, copper and gold. Uranium continues to be popular despite no real direction from underlying uranium oxide prices; new names include Berkeley Resources, Black Range Minerals, and Mega Uranium. Other new entries include Gryphon Minerals and Perseus Mining, both with gold interests in West Africa, along with Aquiline Resources (silver-gold), Orko Silver, Caledonia (cobalt and gold), and also Anooraq (platinum group metals) and Braemore (platinum and nickel).Century Mining stays on top; this week it announced high grade intercept results from exploration drilling at its existing Lamaque mine in Canada. Century is just one example of a stock price previously sold down to "priced to go bust" levels during the worst latter months of 2008. It secured financing, a key to recovery, around 31 March.Kopane Diamonds continues to draw attention; it suspended production in December at its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho, and moved to "priced to go bust levels", but then secured strong support from London-listed Obtala Resources, which now holds 27% of Kopane. Wreckage stories from the diamonds sector have also not prevented stellar performances from Peregrine Diamonds, Pangea Diamondfields, and Mano River Resources.NWT Uranium continues to soar; it holds 34.06% of Niger Uranium, which in turn owns 15.06% of Kalahari Minerals, which in turn holds 38.85% of Extract Resources, the company that’s made a world class uranium hit in Namibia. All four stocks rank in the Top 100 hottest mining performers; major miner Rio Tinto has previously bought stakes in Extract and Kalahari; Extract’s Rössing South discovery is adjacent to Rio Tinto’s long standing Rössing mine.