It’s been a rough old year for small cap resources stocks.

Over the past 12 months only 94 stocks on our list have come out ahead. Over 445 stocks look like finishing the year in negative territory.

Nonetheless, there’s still a few stocks that have made some huge gains over the past 12 months — even if some of those gains have been pared by a volatile market.

Our top 10 for 2018 is very balanced, covering gold, copper, coal, iron ore, lithium, phosphate, silica sands, tungsten, and vanadium.

>>Scroll to the end for our Top 50 resources performers of 2018

 

TOP 10 for 2018

The Golden Cross share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade
The Golden Cross share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade

#1 GOLDEN CROSS RESOURCES (ASX:GCR) — up 260%

Market Cap: $5.4 million

Copper-focused explorer Golden Cross went from a low of 1.5c to a high of 8.7c on July 24 for no apparent reason.

It’s softened since then, but still takes our number one spot — which is strange because the cash-strapped explorer didn’t do much of anything in 2018.

Currently funded by loans from major shareholder HQ Mining Resources (76 per cent owner), Golden Cross will need more money if it wants to progress its flagship Copper Hill project in NSW next year.

 

 

The Mindax share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade
The Mindax share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade

#2 MINDAX (ASX:MDX) — up 225%

Market Cap: $10.7 million

Iron ore explorer Mindax wants to develop its Mt Forrest project in the Mid-West region of Western Australia.

The cash-strapped explorer is currently chatting with a Chinese conglomerate about funding feasibility studies into project development.

Mindax is also looking at collaborating with other companies surrounding Mt Forrest to create a large-scale infrastructure project.

 

The Vango share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade
The Vango share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade

#3 VANGO MINING (ASX:VAN) — up 200%

Market Cap: $98.3 million

Explorer Vango Mining soared earlier in the year after launching a study into a gold mining and processing operation at its Marymia  project in Western Australia.

The company says it is now “laying all the groundwork” towards joining the ranks of Australian gold producers on the back of its high-grade Trident deposit at Marymia.

 

The Galan Lithium share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade
The Galan Lithium share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade

#4 GALAN LITHIUM (ASX:GLN) — up 180%

Market Cap: $23.1 million

Galan Lithium – formerly Dempsey Minerals – surged in July after buying a project in Argentina’s “lithium triangle”.

The company reckons that the high grade, low impurity Candelas target has the potential to host a substantial volume of lithium brine.

It now has the permits to start drilling at Candelas  in January.

 

The Fertoz share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade

#5 FERTOZ (ASX:FTZ) — up 163%

Market Cap: $25.5 million

Organic fertiliser company Fertoz moved sharply higher in February after it was selected to supply its organic rock phosphate to a major US company.

Soon after, it reported sales growth of 238 per cent for 2017 from its Australian business, FertAg.

 

The VRX Silica share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade
The VRX Silica share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade

#6 VRX SILICA (ASX:VRX) — up 136%

Market Cap: $45.5 million

Explorer VRX – formerly copper play  Ventnor Resources —  is focused on its Arrowsmith silica sands project near the fishing village of Dongara on Western Australia’s west coast.

Silica sand has a range of uses, including in construction, glassmaking, and ceramics.

The share price spiked in October on the back of a maiden resource for its Arrowsmith North project — at 193.6 million tonnes grading 98 per cent SiO2, it was 38 per cent bigger than VRX’s previous exploration target.

 

The Admiralty Resources share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade

#7 ADMIRALTY RESOURCES (ASX:ADY) — up 128%

Market Cap: $18.4 million

Shares in explorer Admiralty spiked in April after the iron ore explorer received long awaited approvals to start mining its Mariposa development in Chile.

The company says this completed the full approvals process for  Mariposa, which meant it could begin mining works on the site.

A mining plan is being finalised for initial production of one million tonnes per annum.

 

The Tungsten Mining share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade

#8 TUNGSTEN MINING (ASX:TGN) — up 124%

Market Cap: $211.4 million

Shares spiked in early May when Tungsten Mining bought the “development ready” Watershed tungsten project in Queensland for $15 million cash.

But its Mt Mulgine project in Western Australia remains “the highest priority development project” for the company.

Tungsten Mining is now implementing a “staged approach” to development at Mt Mulgine, initially focussed on a low cost start-up before ramping up to large scale mining and processing.

 

The Aspire Mining share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade

#9 ASPIRE MINING (ASX:AKM) — up 110%

Market Cap: $66.5 million

Coking coal explorer Aspire is developing a huge coal project known as Ovoot in north-western Mongolia — but first it needs a railway link between the project and Mongolia’s existing rail system.

The 250 million tonne Ovoot project would potentially produce up to 10 million tonnes a year of high quality coking coal over a 21-year mine life.

In June, Aspire shares jumped on news the Russian and Mongolian governments were planning to upgrade the Russian-Mongolian Ulaanbaatar Railway and lower tariffs to boost trade flow between the countries.

In the meantime, Aspire has kicked off studies into a smaller road-based operation — the OEDP — which will give the miner early cash flow while waiting for rail access.

 

The King River share price over the past 12 months. Source: Nabtrade

#10 KING RIVER RESOURCES (ASX:KRR) — up 106%

Market Cap: $39.6 million

The share price of vanadium-focused explorer King River jumped in March after test work on its Speewah project returned “the highest vanadium concentrate grade of all Australian deposits”.

It’s been on a slow decline since then, but still makes our top 10.

In November, an early study put Speewah development costs at an eye-watering $2 billion.

This was poorly received by investors — King River says it is now examining lower cost project development strategies.

Here’s our Top 50  ASX small cap resources stocks for 2018>>>

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

TOP 50 

Ticker Name Market Cap Dec 2018 Price Dec 18, 2018 (Intraday) Price Dec 18, 2017 Total Return YTD (%)
GCR GOLDEN CROSS RESOURCES $5,487,601 0.054 0.015 260
MDX MINDAX $10,776,012 0.013 0.004 225
VAN VANGO MINING $98,303,664 0.165 0.055 200
GLN GALAN LITHIUM $23,199,948 0.21 0.075 180
FTZ FERTOZ $25,558,270 0.2 0.076 163.1579
VRX VRX SILICA $45,581,652 0.125 0.053 135.8491
ADY ADMIRALTY RESOURCES $18,465,850 0.016 0.007 128.5714
TGN TUNGSTEN MINING $211,378,384 0.28 0.125 124
AKM ASPIRE MINING $66,530,612 0.021 0.01 110
KRR KING RIVER RESOURCES $39,636,432 0.031 0.015 106.6667
KIS KING ISLAND SCHEELITE $20,931,112 0.08 0.0394 103.1746
TMT TECHNOLOGY METALS $25,916,034 0.345 0.2 72.5
BGH BLIGH RESOURCES $13,723,781 0.048 0.028 71.4286
AIS AERIS RESOURCES $79,749,536 0.18 0.1055 70.6423
TNO TANDO RESOURCES $16,648,489 0.089 0.053 67.8286
DRM DORAY MINERALS $156,339,904 0.345 0.21 64.2857
CAY CANYON RESOURCES $76,316,680 0.2 0.13 53.8462
NKP NKWE PLATINUM $61,849,608 0.069 0.045 53.3333
AVL AUSTRALIAN VANADIUM $48,304,836 0.028 0.019 47.3684
RDG RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT $13,890,889 0.025 0.017 47.0588
PTR PETRATHERM $5,985,058 0.035 0.024 45.8333
ANW AUS TIN MINING $33,628,904 0.016 0.011 45.4546
BGL BELLEVUE GOLD $176,698,800 0.385 0.265 45.283
GWR GWR GROUP $29,154,506 0.115 0.08 43.75
RED RED 5 $101,939,688 0.083 0.058 43.1034
CMC CHINA MAGNESIUM $10,573,157 0.03 0.021 42.8571
CZL CONSOLIDATED ZINC $19,756,282 0.02 0.014 42.8571
CHK COHIBA MINERALS $9,304,599 0.014 0.01 40
AHQ ALLEGIANCE COAL $26,069,438 0.052 0.038 36.8421
MYE MASTERMYNE GROUP $106,141,912 1.1 0.81 35.8025
CYL CATALYST METALS $119,712,216 1.65 1.23 34.1463
WLC WOLLONGONG COAL $74,935,816 0.008 0.006 33.3333
AGS ALLIANCE RESOURCES $11,472,332 0.12 0.09 33.3333
MRC MINERAL COMMODITIES $71,585,568 0.16 0.13 32.9955
SLR SILVER LAKE RESOURCES $269,219,968 0.505 0.38 32.8947
CXM CENTREX METALS $34,725,388 0.11 0.085 29.4118
TRY TROY RESOURCES $57,678,340 0.125 0.098 27.551
FGR FIRST GRAPHENE $72,365,648 0.165 0.13 26.9231
AIV ACTIVEX $35,445,680 0.2 0.16 25
G1A GALENA MINING $60,664,112 0.175 0.14 25
GIB GIBB RIVER DIAMONDS $10,744,767 0.06 0.048 25
CZI CASSINI RESOURCES $30,750,132 0.088 0.071 23.9437
HXG HEXAGON RESOURCES $40,849,676 0.13 0.105 23.8095
VMC VENUS METALS $13,949,017 0.16 0.13 23.0769
RBR RBR GROUP $9,213,569 0.011 0.009 22.2222
DAU DAMPIER GOLD $6,459,966 0.039 0.032 21.875
TLM TALISMAN MINING $40,853,972 0.22 0.23 21.6004
SIH SIHAYO GOLD $31,522,462 0.017 0.014 21.4286
MGV MUSGRAVE MINERALS $30,737,948 0.095 0.079 20.2532
BSR BASSARI RESOURCES $41,171,276 0.018 0.015 20
GSN GREAT SOUTHERN MINING $8,362,370 0.03 0.025 20