MoneyTalks is Stockhead’s regular drill down into what stocks investors are looking at right now. We’ll tap our extensive list of experts to hear what’s hot, their top picks, and what they’re looking out for.

Today we hear from Alto Capital investment manager Tony Locantro. 


What’s hot right now?

There is a big trend emerging in the copper space as the push for green energy takes centre stage but while the commodity is predicted to become ‘the next big thing’, Alto Capital investment manager Tony Locantro says prices are likely to remain volatile as we head into 2023.

“A lot more exploration success is needed to get the development of copper mines underway, which could lead to even further M&A activity in the sector following BHP’s bid for Oz Minerals,” he says.

“I think copper definitely has a shot at becoming one of the major commodities in 2023 but it has been trending sideways since it recovered from the COVID crunch.

“Back then it was trading at $US2.19/lb, it is currently sitting at about $US3.80/lb but there has been a prolonged period of weakness of about 18 months now.

“The share prices of Australian copper juniors have been decimated this year and sold off heavily following a weak end to the previous financial year period in Australia.”

Locantro says these companies are now being forced to raise capital in a tough market as the more ‘speculative money’ heads towards the more favoured battery metals.

“A lot of the small cap stocks outside of the battery metals thematic have all struggled this year regardless of fundamentals,” he explains.

“But in saying that there is incredible upside potential in a number of copper juniors I follow on a risk-reward basis.

“These copper stocks I am about to mention look very attractive relative to their resources and growth potential – we haven’t really seen a lot of positive sentiment to them at all, it is baffling.”


Top picks


Trading around 0.16 cents, EM2 is exploring the Oracle Ridge Copper Project in Arizona, one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world.

Back in October the company increased the measured and indicated resources by 12pc to 10.8Mt at 1.5pc copper, 15.23g/t silver and 0.21g/t gold at a 1pc cut off.

While additional discoveries did not ‘backfill’ the combined impact of the upgraded inferred tonnes and the updated geological model, it has vastly improved EM2’s understanding of the mineralisation which will assist in future drill targeting.

“Exploration results have been strong, and they also have multiple of other exploration projects in the region which boast upside potential,” Locantro explains.

“Their share price has struggled throughout 2022 but they are cashed up and ready to grow.”



MMA own the Maronan Copper-Gold-Lead-Silver deposit in the Cloncurry region of Queensland where drilling results have confirmed the geological integrity of the resource.

“This is a bit of a higher risk stock as they are undertaking a program of deep drilling for a large copper-gold system as well as potential Cannington style lead-silver mineralisation at depth.”

The Maronan Project has JORC compliant Inferred resources of 30.8Mt at 6.5% lead with 106 g/t silver (using a 3% lead cut-off grade) and 11Mt at 1.6% copper with 0.8 g/t gold (using a 1.0% copper cut-off grade).

Locantro believes the existing resource supports the valuation, with further drilling providing the
potential for upside, albeit speculative in nature.



AIC Mines recently moved to the compulsory acquisition of Demetallica, acquiring a 90c interest in Demetallica shares.

AIC Mines’ Eloise copper mine and processing facility is only 4km from Demetallica’s Jericho copper deposit. The company believes combining these assets will provide the quickest and most efficient means of developing, mining, and processing the Jericho deposit and potentially other deposits within Demetallica’s Chimera project in NW QLD.

“There is a potential for staged expansion to increase mine life to over 10 years and production to over 20,000tpa copper and 10,000ozpa gold in concentrate – a 60% increase on the current production rate at Eloise,” Locantro says.



Eagle Mountain, Maronan Metals, and AIC Mines share price today


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