• Rare earths hunters in Brazil make huge gains in FY24 and niobium juniors ride WA1 Resources’ Luni euphoria, but a scandium junior steals top spot
  • Wildcat and Raiden rise to the top of an average lithium market
  • Spartan soars on Never Never find and gold’s all-time highs


It was a big FY24 for ASX small caps in certain commodities – with WA1’s huge niobium find growing in West Arunta, bringing with it a pack of explorers to the region. Juniors also led the way in Brazil’s emerging rare earths economy and gold hunters rode all-time highs.

In a tough market that saw most explorers struggle and trail large caps, a handful of companies posted outsized gains in the past financial year.

Here, we lay down our Top 100 resources that made the gains for FY24.


Who stood out amongst the pack?

Our list contains resources companies that were active over the full year and excludes other top performers that IPO’d after the start of FY24 or left the market before its completion.


FY24 Small Cap Resources Winners

Here are the best performing ASX resources small caps for the last financial year.

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Wordpress Table Plugin


Top of the table

Right at the top, those who bought Rimfire Pacific Mining (ASX:RIM) on July 1, 2023 saw 460% gains for the minnow, but at 3cps, a market cap of ~$68m and 2.25 billion shares on issue, longer term holders have seen plenty of dilution.

The East Lachlan Fold Belt explorer has been rising on scandium hits at its Fifield project 70km north-west of Parkes in New South Wales. All a bit weird, but there is the chance a handy scandium resource puts Rimfire under the microscope of $170 billion market giant Rio Tinto.

A critical mineral used in lightweight, high-strength aluminium alloys in aviation, baseball bats, lacrosse sticks, bicycle frames and metal halide lamps, Rio paid $21 million for a project just 10km to the north in April last year which could eventually become the world’s largest standalone scandium mine.

A big discovery from Rimfire could present the opportunity for Rio to expand its control of the precious but lightly traded material.

Rio entered the scandium market by accident, a curio alongside its massive multi-billion buck iron ore, aluminium and copper divisions, because it generates scandium oxide as a waste stream of its titanium dioxide operations in Canada.

Rio became the first North American producer of scandium oxide at its RTIT Quebec operations in Sorel-Tracy in May 2022.


REE winners

One of those of note not on the list, is Gina Rinehart-backed Brazilian Rare Earths (ASX:BRE) with its 510Mt Rocha da Rocha REE portfolio of projects in Brazil, missing out cut-off by only listing in December. It still made a handy 93% gain.

With adjacent tenements and coming in at #14 on the FY24 winners list, Equinox Resources (ASX:EQN) saw a 71% rise in value as it proves up its own Campo Grande REE project in the region.

However the gold medal for FY24 gains goes to another ASX-listed Brazilian rare earther, Viridis Mining and Minerals (ASX:VMM), which has skyrocketed 459% while proving up its colossal 201Mt at 2590ppm TREO Colossus project. Most of that gain was realised in November last year, when VMM announced major discoveries at Colossus, before a pullback this calendar year.

New mining and exploration licenses for its Cupim South and Centro Sul target areas were recently granted and results from the area to be incorporated into the next resource upgrade.

WA1 Resources (ASX:WA1) was #11 on the list, with another smashing 12 months on the back of high-grades of niobium that culminated in a maiden resource of 200Mt at 1% Nb for its Luni discovery – making it the largest niobium find on the planet for the last 70 years.

In December last year, Canaccord Genuity lifted its price target on the niobium hopeful from $11.50 to $17.50.

This sent the market into a frenzy and WA1 up 25% in a day to an all-time high of $12.15 and a market cap of over $516m before Christmas. It’s kept climbing on new discoveries and now the Luni resource estimate.

That’s helped the stock price post a 235% increase across FY24.

Argonaut now hold a $25.45 price target on the stock, with analyst George Ross (early days though they are) thinking the mine could run for 17 years and generate $400m in NPAT a year. Again, early days.

The market darling has gone from strength to strength, rising 7816% in just two years from a $9m market-capped minnow to a >$1.3bn heavyweight.

It also sent a flurry of ASX juniors into the West Arunta, including Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR), which came in at #63 with a 71% stock rise during the period.


Gold gainers

With new management leading the way, the company formerly known as Gascoyne Resources – now Spartan Resources (ASX:SPR) – has turned the once cursed Dalgaranga gold project in WA’s Mid-West into one of the most exciting gold plays on the ASX. It has consistently showed high-grade gold seemingly every time the team gets the drillbit out.

Since a recapitalisation in early 2023 the explorer hasn’t looked back, as the Never Never gold discovery has grown to 953,000oz at 5.74g/t with a exploration target suggesting SPR could touch 1.6-1.9Moz at the future underground mine. The nearby Peppers discovery has added to the intrigue.

Investors backed the gold hunter to a 437% gain in FY24, sitting at #4 on our winners list as it continues expanding the endowment ahead of an expected resource update. And understandably $2.2 billion capped mid-tier miner Ramelius Resources (ASX:RMS), owner of the nearby Mount Magnet gold project, has taken a keen interest as well, building a stake of almost 18%.

Southern Cross Gold (ASX:SXG) recently agreed to merge with Canadian miner Mawson Gold which will see it list on the TSX as well. The move comes after months of proving up bonanza gold at its Sunday Creek project north of Melbourne which has thick, high grades of gold-antimony mineralisation.

The $500m market-capped gold digger rose 385% over the course of the last financial year on the back of well-received results.

READ: Around the world and back – why this geo returned home in search of Victoria’s next major gold discovery

African gold developer WIA Gold (ASX:WIA) was up 189% on enthusiasm around its Kokoseb project, with Magnetic Resources (ASX:MAU) also more than doubling after posting a 1Moz+ resource for its Lady Julie North deposit near Leonora.

Shoutouts go to Strickland Metals (ASX:STK), Turaco Gold (ASX:TCG) and Auric Mining (ASX:AWJ),who all made the top 20 with gold on their minds.

Mid-tier Westgold Resources (ASX:WGX) was also an interesting inclusion on the list, the $1.25bn miner up ~69% after cancelling its hedges, returning to profitability and paying dividends for the first time since 2021, along with announcing a $2bn merger with TSX-listed Beta Hunt gold mine owner Karora Resources.


Lithium gainers

Backed by Chris Ellison’s Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN), Wildcat Resources (ASX:WC8) is proving up the Tabba Tabba lithium project in WA’s Pilbara.

Looked over by previous companies including Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), the project is one of many former tantalum deposits being retooled for the electric vehicle age, following in the footsteps of Pilgangoora, Wodgina, Greenbushes and Bald Hill.

WC8 had a wild ride in FY24, rising from 12c per share and peaking at 92c in late November 2023 before dropping sharply – yet was still one of the best performing lithium stocks with a 162% increase in a market year explorers of the battery metal would rather forget.

Raiden Resources (ASX:RDN) saw improvement too, with exploration at its Andover North-South project – adjacent to one of the most prolific hard rock Li2O discoveries on the planet, Andover.

That was bought from Azure Minerals by Chilean lithium major SQM and Gina’s Hancock Prospecting for a cool $1.7b, with Azure a certain inclusion on our list had it not been taken over by the mining giants.


Energy winners

On its way to commercial production of natural hydrogen and up to 17.5% helium from its Ramsay project on South Australia’s York Peninsula, Gold Hydrogen (ASX:GHY) took its share price along for the ride, gaining over 417% over the last fiscal period.

Testing showed some of the highest purity levels seen globally and Stage 2 well work will inform flow rates and future well designs.

Penny stock Condor Energy (ASX:CND) (previously Global Oil and Gas) soared in the 12 months to July after reviewing its Piedra Redonda gas field off the coast of Peru to contain a best estimate of 404 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas from the existing C-18X and C-13X appraisal wells.

There’s multiple proven plays and more than 20 prospects and leads already mapped in the prolific Talara Basin, where to the south, 1.6 billion barrels of oil have been produced to-date.


Other interesting gainers

While most of the biggest gains come at the bottom end of the market, some larger players also made the gains in FY24.

Uranium prices hit a 16-year-high in January, and while they’ve since cooled from US$107/lb to ~US$85/lb, last year’s second half rally brought joy for a number of yellowcake plays such as dual-listed NexGen Energy (ASX:NXG), Lotus Resources (ASX:LOT), Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL), and the top uranium gainer, WA uranium hopeful  Cauldron Energy (ASX:CXU) (+247%).

$390m capped Tasmanian tin miner Metals X (ASX:MLX) rode the spice metal’s 2024 rise onto the list, while the manganese price bump seen when South32’s GEMCO project was wiped out by a cyclone did the same for South African producer Jupiter Mines (ASX:JMS).

Just snagging a spot in the top five was one of the most unique stocks on the list, Aspire Mining (ASX:AKM), up 400% after releasing a number of announcements boasting of the high quality of metallurgical coal at its Ovoot deposit in Mongolia.

The country is now one of China’s top suppliers of steelmaking coal imports, with its ‘fat’ coking coal expected to contain lower ash and sulphur than Chinese domestic products.



At Stockhead we tell it like is is. While Viridis Mining & Minerals, Raiden Resources, Strickland Metals, Spartan Resources, Magnetic Resources, Brazilian Rare Earths and Equinox Resources are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.