Who Made the Gains? Here are August’s top small cap miners and explorers
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What happened to the most talked about commodities in August?
We are knee deep in a metals super cycle, the experts say. That means there are far more winners than losers.
Dominant this month was lithium, which continues to go gangbusters:
Lithium carbonate up 131% in 2021
— Simon Moores (@sdmoores) September 1, 2021
As did lithium equities, with a remarkable 22 of the top 50 stocks enjoying exposure to the battery metal.
Premium Low Vol CFR China – a benchmark for Chinese coking coal imports — hit an all-time high of $US410/t. That’s a 248% increase over the past year. Thermal coal prices are doing even better.
Iron ore was one of the month’s only losers. After a tremendous run into the high $US220/t’s, the benchmark price fell to earth with a thud, and now trades sub $US150/t.
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22 stocks in our top 50 had lithium exposure, up from 9 in July.
What happened last month to kick investor FOMO up a gear?
Miner Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) first auction of spodumene — a lithium precursor — went off at an amazing $US1,250t. That’s well above prevailing market price, and streets ahead of the ~$US380/t spod producers were accepting last year.
There was a rush to the doors for lithium stock exposure.
Leading the pack was newly listed lithium and base metals play Charger Metals (ASX:CHR) (+174%), which is currently mapping and sampling at its ‘Bynoe’ project in the Northern Territory.
Pan Asia Metals (ASX:PAM) announced the acquisition of a geothermal lithium project — sending the share price into the stratosphere.
It wasn’t just lithium-focused stocks that benefitted — punters also uncovered a bunch of explorers hiding exposure in the recesses of their respective portfolios – like gold-focussed Aruma Resources (ASX:AAJ), Caeneus Minerals (ASX:CAD) and Breaker Resources (ASX:BRB).
In late August, Scandinavian base metals explorer Kuniko (ASX:KNI) stormed onto the ASX boards with a 325% first day gain.
The ‘zero carbon’ Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) spin-off then went on to notch up a remarkable 1,260% gain to month’s end.
The stock subsequently addressed its use of a paid investor relations services provider and knowledge of various “meme stock promoters” in response to an ASX query, but punters are still waiting on the ‘dump’ part on this possible pump and dump.
Is it fair value? Probably not. Is it fun to watch? Yes … yes it is.