Market analysts have copper demand going through the roof, but if you’re one to play the short game, it’s hard not to feel a little underwhelmed with prices, which have barely moved amid economic growth concerns across the world.

Capital Economics commodities strategist Kieran Tompkins puts it simply – for copper demand, China’s reopening rebound has disappointed.

But better days could be around the bend, given we are in the middle of a metal intensive green energy transition, which requires 36.6Mt of copper by 2031 for electrification technologies like EVs, charging infrastructure, wind power, and batteries.

Companies that push forward with development when things are dire are usually in a great position when the market turns.

That means rewards for those who wait, and those playing the long game.

Here’s a list of nine undervalued copper stocks with a sub $15m market cap who are making a solid effort to prove up their resources and move their projects further along the development pathway and up the value curve.


Potentially undervalued copper stocks with sub $15m market cap

(Note: All market cap information pulled from the ASX and correct as of 17 November). 


Alma Metals (ASX:ALM) and Canterbury Resources (ASX:CBY)

Market caps: $7.80m (ALM), $3.47m (CBY)

ALM is sole funding $15.25m in exploration over a little more than nine years to earn up to 70% in Canterbury Resources’ (ASX:CBY) Briggs, Mannersley, and Fig Tree Hill project, about 60km west of the deep-water port of Gladstone, Queensland.

The company recently completed Stage-1 of the earn-in to reach an initial 30% interest in the project and can reach a 51% interest through further exploration and evaluation funding of $3 million by 30 June 2026.

A current inferred resource of 415Mt grading 0.25% copper and 31ppmm molybdenum puts the project amongst the Top 10 largest undeveloped projects in Australia.

But it has the potential to grow even further with an Exploration Target of between 480Mt and 880Mt grading 0.2-0.3% copper and 25-40ppm molybdenum.


Drill status plan on gridded copper in soils. Pic via Alma Metals

Expanding the resource beyond the current +1Mt of contained copper will go a long way towards meeting the expected copper supply shortfall from 2026 to 2030 and beyond.


Culpeo Minerals (ASX:CPO)

Market cap: $4.08m

Culpeo owns a big exploration package in Chile, the world’s number one copper producer, with two high priority project areas (Lana Corina and Fortuna) on the Chilean coastal belt.

The company has had huge drilling success at Lana Corina, having generated five surface geochemical copper and molybdenum targets along a >1km copper alteration trend at the Vista Montana prospect.

Broad zones of high-grade copper including 257m at 1.10% copper equivalent from 170m, 173m at 1.09% copper equivalent from 313m, and 169m at 1.21% copper equivalent from 239m have also been returned.

But CPO’s main focus over the next few months will be at its newly acquired Fortuna project, about 10km away from Lana Corina.

CPO’s projects. Pic via Culpeo Minerals


What makes this acquisition particularly intriguing is the presence of numerous historic shafts and small-scale mining sites that hold historical significance, yet have not undergone exploration using modern, state-of-the-art techniques.

CPO plans to conduct mapping and targeted geochemical sampling within this newly acquired territory with its goal being to identify and define promising exploration targets that warrant further investigation through drilling.


Godolphin Resources (ASX:GRL)

Market cap: $5.92m

GRL owns more than five projects and JV stakes in NSW’s Lachlan Fold belt, home to major gold and copper projects like Alkane Resources (ASX:AKE) 10.1Moz gold equivalent Boda discovery and Newcrest’s Cadia Ridgeway, one of Australia’s three largest gold producers.

A drill rig was recently mobilised at its Goodrich-Yeoval copper-gold project during the September quarter targeting areas to the south of historic workings to test for extensions of copper-gold mineralisation.

A two-hole for 618m drilling program returned some good intersections such as 91m at 0.18% copper from 152m to 243m, including 8m at 1.02% copper from 152m to 160m.

GRL says a review is underway to identify the potential for economic mineralisation at Goodrich, including tonnage with drill planning to be completed as part of the assessment.


Copper stocks share prices today:


Horseshoe Metals (ASX:HOR)

Market cap: $3.86m

Horseshoe is pursuing early cash flow opportunities from direct shipping ore (DSO) sales of existing high-grade copper stockpiles at its Horseshoe Lights project, 60km west of Sandfire’s (ASX:SFR) Degrussa copper discovery and holds a 138,000t copper, 52,000oz gold resource in WA’s Bryah Basin.

Surface sampling was conducted on these high-grade stockpiles during the September quarter, which assayed up to 39% copper for customer assessment.

The company says feedback from these samples has been very encouraging and supports its near-term DSO plans.

HOR is also assessing ground surrounding its Horseshoe Lights project, with a particular interest in ground located immediately northeast.


Golden Deeps (ASX:GED)

Market cap: $6.35m

GED owns a number of battery metal projects in the world-class Otavi-Mountain Land copper belt in Namibia, including its exceptionally high-grade Khusib Springs copper-silver deposit.

Past production at Khusib includes 300,000t at 10% copper, which is extremely high-grade when you consider the average for most existing mines is barely 1%.

Thick hits of up to 90m at 0.8% copper equivalent from 389m have been returned, demonstrating the potential for major extensions to the deposit.

The explorer is also dipping its toes into the prospectivity of the Lachlan Fold belt with its Havilah project where induced polarisation geophysics and gravity surveys are underway to detect targets for buried porphyry/volcanic hosted copper-gold sulphide mineralisation.


Cooper Metals (ASX:CPM)

Market cap: $12.51m

This junior explorer holds the keys to an interesting gold-copper play in Queensland called Mt Isa East.

In early October, a total of fourteen drill holes for 1,553 metres were completed on five prospects, Mafic Sweats South, Brumby Ridge, Long Slot, Raven and Yarraman. These prospects are all within 10km of each other and ~30km to the southeast of Mount Isa.

Recent exploration has focused on the Brumby Ridge and Raven prospects where an initial RC hole pulled up 50m at 1.32% copper from 80m, which the company says is the single strongest mineralised intersection drilled in the last two years.

Follow up drilling at Brumby Ridge then intersected 72m at 1.5% copper from 113m from portable XRF hosted in strongly altered iron oxide copper-gold brecciated mafic volcanics.

Brumby Ridge aerial photograph of RC drilling November 2023. Pic via Cooper Metals


Both Brumby Ridge and Raven are now the company’s main focus.

Mineralisation is open in all directions and appears to be improving with depth with this phase of drilling almost complete.

Assays are due in December.


AusQuest (ASX:AQD)

 Market cap: $9.90m

AQD is in a strategic alliance agreement with market leader South32 (ASX:S32) to target new deposits and mineral provinces with major ore potential and generate early stage exploration opportunities.

There are four Australian projects (Balladonia, Morrisey, Jubilee Lake and Moora) under the SAA with further drilling at each being planned over the next 12 to 18 months.

Project locations . Pic via AusQuest

Balladonia is ~50km south of the famous 300,00tpa Nova-Bollinger nickel-copper deposit and covers some 840km2 within the structurally complex region of the Fraser Range Terrane.

The company believes it could have a district-scale opportunity on its hands following the completion of a 10-hole for 3,677m reconnaissance drilling program, which identified and confirmed large-scale Broken Hill type discoveries.

An airborne VTEM survey will commence at the end of November with data expected in early 2024.


Metal Bank (ASX:MBK)

 Market cap: $10.06m

MBK entered into two agreements with the Jordan Ministry for Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) granting the explorer exclusive exploration rights and reconnaissance rights in Jordan.

Um el Amad exploration agreement area and local geology. Pic via Metal Bank


Field programs currently underway are focused on trenching of outcropping zones of copper mineralisation in the priority historical Um el Amad mine area to provide guidance for an anticipated maiden drilling program either later this quarter or in Q1 2024.

A concurrent regional assessment over other priority areas will be undertaken including geological mapping, rock chip sampling and satellite remote sensing evaluation in order to assess these areas for hosting economic copper mineralisation.

Copper stocks share prices today:

At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Alma Metals, Godolphin Resources and Horseshoe Metals are Stockhead clients, they did not sponsor this article.