Hitting the multi-bagger jackpot on a small cap exploration stock is every investor’s dream.

High profile success stories Auteco (ASX:AUT), De Grey (ASX:DEG) and Chalice Gold Mines (ASX:CHN) are up ~1,500 per cent, ~2,000 per cent and ~1,100 per cent respectively so far this year. And they aren’t the only ones.

Which ~$15m market cap Aussie battler could be next? Stockhead is here to narrow it down for you.

When it comes to speculative exploration stocks, a bit of research can boost the odds of a big win.

Here’s a few things to consider before investing:

  • Management’s win/loss record. Are they proven mine finders or project developers?
  • Commodity focus. Right now, gold, copper and nickel are running hot with investors. Cobalt and diamonds? Not so much.
  •  Project location. Is it in a ‘safe’, mineral-rich jurisdiction? Close to a big discovery?
  • Potential ‘re-rate’ catalysts. Upcoming drilling results, merger and acquisition activity, or key project development milestones can re-rate a stock.
  • Do they have a project joint venture with a major miner? This is often a very good thing for cash-strapped juniors.
  • Action from high profile small cap investors. If guys like Kumova, Harmanis, Creasy, Shorrocks, Streeter or Goyder have a stake, then it’s probably a company worth checking out.

 

Here’s a list of 72 exploration stocks with a market cap between $10m and $15m.

Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop:

CODE NAME 1 MONTH RETURN % 1 YEAR RETURN % LOOKING FOR WHERE SHARE PRICE [intraday Thursday] MARKET CAP
DTM Dart Mining -13 42 GOLD VIC 0.165 $ 14,915,785.55
ALY Alchemy Resources 35 96 GOLD, COPPER, NICKEL AUS 0.023 $ 14,789,355.97
CGN Crater Gold Mining -14 -20 GOLD PNG 0.012 $ 14,729,950.40
GTR GTI Resources -8 77 GOLD WA 0.023 $ 14,720,413.95
TRT Todd River Resources -21 19 NICKEL, COPPER, PGE WA 0.037 $ 14,659,960.61
CHK Cohiba Minerals -19 -7 COPPER, GOLD SA 0.013 $ 14,493,496.11
TKM Trek Metals -9 200 GOLD WA 0.072 $ 14,491,404.70
SI6 Six Sigma Metals 8 250 NICKEL, COPPER, COBALT AFRICA 0.014 $ 14,418,684.89
EMT Emetals 100 -10 LITHIUM, RARE EARTHS WA 0.036 $ 14,007,000.00
GBE Globe Metals & Mining 19 63 NIOBIUM AFRICA 0.031 $ 13,977,671.19
HNR Hannans 14 -11 GOLD, NICKEL, COPPER, LITHIUM WA 0.008 $ 13,915,681.77
AON Apollo Minerals 65 39 ZINC, LEAD AFRICA 0.043 $ 13,787,166.35
GBR Great Boulder Resources 39 54 GOLD, NICKEL WA 0.068 $ 13,728,363.21
SRI Sipa Resources -13 -14 GOLD, COPPER WA 0.078 $ 13,692,705.80
CRL Comet Resources 18 13 GOLD, COPPER, GRAPHITE MEXICO, NSW 0.026 $ 13,562,500.00
RMX Red Mountain Mining 44 160 GOLD WA, NSW 0.013 $ 13,527,869.87
LIN Lindian Resources 29 47 BAUXITE AFRICA 0.022 $ 13,514,405.04
MRQ Mrg Metals 67 43 MINERAL SANDS AFRICA 0.01 $ 13,499,516.39
ONX Orminex -24 -78 GOLD WA 0.025 $ 13,477,554.20
BDG Black Dragon Gold -23 45 GOLD SPAIN 0.1 $ 13,435,361.20
VIC Victory Mines -40 50 GOLD, COPPER WA 0.003 $ 13,248,964.47
IDA Indiana Resources 20 187 GOLD SA 0.061 $ 13,167,547.27
MBK Metal Bank 0 -12 GOLD QLD 0.011 $ 13,029,591.34
MNB Minbos Resources -20 100 PHOSPHATE AFRICA 0.002 $ 13,005,122.64
BNR Bulletin Resources -8 188 GOLD, NICKEL, COPPER, LITHIUM WA 0.072 $ 12,909,101.33
SLZ Sultan Resources -10 249 COPPER, GOLD, NICKEL NSW, WA 0.22 $ 12,897,566.00
AAJ Aruma Resources -11 60 GOLD WA 0.008 $ 12,715,311.23
HXG Hexagon Energy -31 -31 GOLD WA 0.041 $ 12,574,636.07
RHI Red Hill Iron -5 42 GOLD, IRON ORE WA 0.21 $ 12,574,411.29
SBR Sabre Resources -8 267 GOLD WA 0.011 $ 12,506,462.58
WCN White Cliff Minerals 79 317 GOLD, COPPER, NICKEL WA 0.025 $ 12,398,397.17
BUX Buxton Resources -18 25 NICKEL WA 0.099 $ 12,381,044.31
AVW Avira Resources 29 200 COPPER, GOLD WA 0.009 $ 12,375,000.00
XTC Xantippe Resources -14 50 GOLD WA 0.003 $ 12,223,693.21
FEL Fe Limited -23 60 IRON ORE, GOLD, LITHIUM WA 0.024 $ 12,048,638.88
AX8 Accelerate Resources 6 144 GOLD WA, CANADA 0.085 $ 12,032,767.66
TMZ Thomson Resources 64 169 GOLD NSW, QLD 0.082 $ 11,972,391.47
IBG Ironbark Zinc 0 -29 ZINC, LEAD, GOLD GREENLAND, WA 0.012 $ 11,965,318.89
MRZ Mont Royal Resources 33 45 GOLD, COPPER CANADA 0.34 $ 11,888,794.80
DAV Davenport Resources 38 15 POTASH GERMANY 0.055 $ 11,823,152.94
ERL Empire Resources 0 41 GOLD, NICKEL, COPPER, LITHIUM WA 0.013 $ 11,813,750.29
BSM Bass Metals -25 -63 GRAPHITE AFRICA 0.003 $ 11,783,627.21
ANL Amani Gold -25 -50 GOLD AFRICA 0.0015 $ 11,757,295.12
CBY Canterbury Resources 21 -29 GOLD, COPPER QLD, PNG 0.145 $ 11,733,074.37
ARO Astro Resources 60 167 GOLD USA 0.008 $ 11,703,295.30
AGR Aguia Resources 8 -77 PHOSPHATE, COPPER BRAZIL 0.042 $ 11,649,334.91
REZ Resources & Energy Group 58 -30 GOLD WA, QLD 0.03 $ 11,630,423.10
KGM Kalnorth Gold 0 86 GOLD WA 0.013 $ 11,625,120.78
SPQ Superior Resources 33 60 GOLD, NICKEL, COPPER QLD 0.012 $ 11,580,299.06
RML Resolution Minerals -18 5 GOLD USA 0.042 $ 11,458,302.43
CZN Corazon 75 21 NICKEL, GOLD, COPPER CANADA, WA 0.0035 $ 11,386,757.01
TEM Tempest Minerals 12 4 GOLD, COPPER, LITHIUM WA 0.046 $ 11,329,338.43
WML Woomera Mining 44 134 GOLD WA 0.036 $ 11,226,159.25
ICG Inca Minerals -10 38 COPPER, GOLD, SILVER PERU, AUS 0.053 $ 11,215,123.59
CR1 Constellation Resources -18 35 NICKEL, COPPER WA 0.31 $ 11,205,365.12
FTZ Fertoz -4 -31 PHOSPHATE CANADA 0.072 $ 11,183,157.22
CNJ Conico 24 110 NICKEL, GOLD, COPPER, COBALT, LEAD, ZINC GREENLAND, ICELAND 0.021 $ 11,173,818.34
QGL Quantum Graphite -11 -3 GRAPHITE SA 0.051 $ 11,162,586.24
CXM Centrex Metals 29 -58 PHOSPHATE, RARE EARTHS QLD 0.036 $ 11,048,987.50
ENT Enterprise Metals -21 118 GOLD, NICKEL, COPPER WA 0.019 $ 10,883,636.94
CBE Cobre -3 GOLD, COPPER WA, AFRICA 0.17 $ 10,851,649.05
MRD Mount Ridley Mines 17 250 NICKEL, COPPER, IRON ORE WA 0.0035 $ 10,731,175.81
TKL Traka Resources -5 51 GOLD WA 0.018 $ 10,635,766.43
CXX Cradle Resources 0 0 NIOBIUM AFRICA 0.05 $ 10,622,179.85
VR8 Vanadium Resources 12 -38 VANADIUM SOUTH AFRICA 0.028 $ 10,479,768.26
SER Strategic Energy -19 -2 GOLD, COPPER, MINERAL SANDS AUS 0.064 $ 10,240,013.18
LSR Lodestar Minerals -8 33 GOLD, COPPER WA 0.012 $ 10,233,623.93
TAO TAO Commodities 159 150 MINERAL SANDS USA 0.035 $ 10,200,666.78
ENV Enova Mining 50 0 MINERAL SANDS NT 0.03 $ 10,159,765.32
KAU Kaiser Reef 6 GOLD VIC, NSW 0.41 $ 10,106,500.41

 

SMALL CAP STANDOUTS: Management focus

What’s one thing wildly successful explorers like Chalice (ASX:CHN) and De Grey (ASX:CHN) have in common? The quality of their leadership teams.

Todd River Resources (ASX:TRT) is hunting for nickel, copper and PGE’s near Chalice’s massive Julimar discovery in WA. It’s a good spot to be.

Complimenting this is a talent-stacked board which includes former Sirius boss Mark Bennett – (yes, that Sirius) – and Ian Murray, former boss at miner Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR).

Both these guys have experience turning struggling small cap explorers into +$1bn success stories. That’s rarefied air.

Todd River (ASX:TRT) share price chart

Pilbara gold stock Trek Metals (ASX:TKM)  is run by the same three guys that founded and built lithium miner Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS).

These three — John Young, Tony Leibowitz and Neil Biddle — then helped transform ~$20m market cap Spitfire Materials into a 3 million ounce, $130m market cap butterfly called Bardoc Gold (ASX:BDC).

Mont Royal Resources’ (ASX:MRZ) directors were behind Riversdale Mining, a coal explorer sold to Rio Tinto for $4 billion.

More recently, they sold another coal explorer called Riversdale Resources to Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, for $600m.

And the guys behind recent IPO Kaiser Reef (ASX:KAU) have listed six companies and built four mines, with another currently in construction.

Trek Metals (ASX:TKM), Mont Royal (ASX:MRZ), and Kaiser Reef (ASX:KAU) share price charts

Corazon Mining (ASX:CZN) chairman Terry Streeter built his name on the success of nickel-focused companies Jubilee Mines and Western Areas.

Jubilee Mines, worth about $20m when it discovered the Cosmos nickel deposit in WA, was eventually sold for over $3bn.

Similarly, Western Areas (ASX:WSA), which floated with a market cap of $5m in 2000, is now an established WA nickel producer with a market cap of ~$630m.

Streeter is also currently on the board of junior explorers Moho Resources (ASX:MOH) and EMU NL (ASX:EMU), and unlisted companies Fox Resources and Riverbank.

Why these companies? It’s all about the “management team, the project and the commodity”, he told Stockhead.

“If you are in the right company, with the right management, going in the right direction – you will make something happen.”

Corazon (ASX:CZN) share price chart