What happened to the most talked about commodities in June?

Star performer iron ore hit US$US220/tonne (again) late in the month to be up ~38% year-to-date.

The benchmark lithium price in index was up another 2.9% month-on-month, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

A year ago, Aussie lithium spodumene producers were in dire straits and accepting sub-$US400/t.

Prices have now punched through $US600/t, with Chinese major Ganfeng now expecting prices to keep rising back to the 2018 level of +$US1,000/t.

Copper prices softened ~8% in June after hitting record highs in May, but Citi have upgraded their near-term outlook in light of the recent sell-off and remain bullish on prices over the next 3-6 months.

Nickel, meanwhile, continued to shrug off Chinese scare tactics to surge past $US18,500/t.

Gold did it tough, posting its worst month since November 2016 in June.

On a positive note, experts say the drop in gold equity valuations could create a buying opportunity.

And guess what investors? There’s still a tonne of money to be made in coal – especially the steelmaking stuff — as the dark clouds surrounding the sector in 2020/ 2021 begin to lift.

What were the top 40 resources winners for June searching for?

Here are the top 40 ASX resources stocks for the month of June >>>

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GBE Globe Metals & Mining 313 0.165 $ 76,877,191.55 Niobium Malawi
COD Coda Minerals 251 1.315 $ 107,769,145.75 Copper, Gold South Australia
FTZ Fertoz 190 0.145 $ 26,696,339.91 Phosphate Canada
RAG Ragnar Metals 167 0.072 $ 24,313,312.01 Nickel, Copper, Gold Sweden, WA
CVS Cervantes Corp 118 0.008 $ 12,432,099.71 Gold WA
SYA Sayona Mining 91 0.082 $ 422,603,020.75 Lithium, Gold Canada, WA
TRN Torrens Mining 79 0.26 $ 17,735,883.88 Copper, Gold South Australia, VIC
LSA Lachlan Star 72 0.055 $ 69,933,199.00 Nickel, Copper, PGE, Gold WA
CAP Carpentaria Resources 65 0.215 $ 102,284,238.68 Iron Ore NSW
POS Poseidon Nickel 52 0.105 $ 294,988,559.46 Nickel WA
PSC Prospect Resources 50 0.225 $ 84,010,655.93 Lithium Zimbabwe
INF Infinity Lithium 46 0.105 $ 42,278,728.38 Lithium Spain
ASM Australian Strategic Materials 45 7.29 $ 1,016,998,783.74 Rare Earths, Zirconium, Niobium, Hafnium NSW
BRL Bathurst Resources 45 0.45 $ 76,928,230.35 Coal New Zealand
AQC Australian Pacific Coal 44 0.18 $ 9,087,265.80 Coal NSW
LTR Liontown Resources 42 0.81 $ 1,473,479,084.61 Lithium, Nickel, Copper, PGE WA
STK Strickland Metals 42 0.044 $ 32,351,111.50 Gold WA
GLN Galan Lithium 41 0.91 $ 222,630,668.26 Lithium Argentina
VAR Variscan Mines 39 0.079 $ 21,022,454.90 Zinc, Lead Spain
VMS Venture Minerals 38 0.145 $ 192,730,996.04 Iron Ore, Tin, Tungsten, Nickel, Copper, PGE Tasmania, WA
BCI BCI Minerals 38 0.565 $ 338,553,555.65 Salt, Potash, Iron Ore WA
LKE Lake Resources 33 0.345 $ 365,010,802.82 Lithium Argentina
GWR GWR Group 29 0.33 $ 99,919,526.19 Iron Ore WA
EMH European Metals 28 1.545 $ 200,624,375.93 Lithium Czech Republic
BUX Buxton Resources 25 0.15 $ 20,408,314.80 Nickel, Copper, Gold WA
PLL Piedmont Lithium 24 1.045 $ 616,978,241.00 Lithium US, Canada
CRN Coronado Global Resources 24 0.87 $ 1,458,514,745.10 Coal US, QLD
VR8 Vanadium Resources 24 0.062 $ 25,943,534.51 Vanadium South Africa
NAG Nagambie Resources 23 0.087 $ 43,494,114.10 Gold Victoria
AHQ Allegiance Coal 21 0.68 $ 192,050,746.24 Coal US, Canada
MNB Minbos Resources 21 0.075 $ 34,802,467.28 Phosphate Angola
AAU Antilles Gold 20 0.082 $ 20,695,864.22 Gold Cuba
CTM Centaurus Metals 19 0.805 $ 276,701,886.86 Nickel Brazil
JNO Juno 19 0.19 $ 25,775,020.19 Iron Ore WA
DTR Dateline Resources 19 0.095 $ 35,888,739.00 Gold US
QPM Queensland Pacific 19 0.16 $ 192,295,612.00 Nickel, Cobalt, Iron Ore, HPA QLD
TRM Truscott Mining 18 0.039 $ 5,340,720.22 Gold Northern Territory
DKM Duketon Mining 18 0.325 $ 39,362,148.80 Nickel, Copper, PGE WA
AIS Aeris Resources 18 0.2 $ 441,470,551.60 Copper, Gold South Australia, NSW, QLD
FEX Fenix Resources 17 0.37 $ 173,979,150.40 Iron Ore WA
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The Top 3

In June, the Malawi government recommended Globe Metals & Mining (ASX:GBE) receive a mining licence in a “significant step forward for the company’s goal of becoming a niobium producer”.

Alloys containing niobium are used in jet engines and rockets, beams and girders for buildings and oil rigs, and oil and gas pipelines.

The company surged +310% on the news to its highest point in about nine years.

Meanwhile, junior joint venture partners Coda Minerals (ASX:COD) and Torrens Mining (ASX:TRN)  hit 200m of “intense IOCG alteration”, including ~50m of copper sulphides at the ‘Elizabeth Creek’ project in the Stuart Shelf region of South Australia.

This could be huge.

Iron oxide copper gold ore deposits (IOCG) — like BHP’s Olympic Dam mine or more recent Oak Dam discovery  — can be tremendously large, and simple-to-process concentrations of copper, gold and other economic minerals.

Small cap phosphate miner Fertoz (ASX:FTZ) is also running hot, up 190% over the month.

The catalyst appeared to be positive results of a two-year field study around quality and yield from the phosphate fertiliser product, which has resulted in a steady stream of orders from new and existing clients.


Full charge

Canada-focused lithium play Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA) gained another 91% in June for an eyewatering year-to-date gain of 880%.

In June, a Canadian court approved Sayona’s ~$107 million acquisition of the mothballed North American Lithium (NAL) operation, which will be integrated into the nearby Authier project to create a world scale lithium hub.

The wider lithium cohort also continue to perform well — June winners Prospect Resources (ASX:PSC), Liontown Resources (ASX:LTR), Lake Resources (ASX:LKE), Galan Lithium (ASX:GLN), European Metals (ASX:EMH) and Piedmont Lithium (ASX:PLL) are now up 50%, 95%, 360%, 150%, 28%, and 175% respectively in 2021.


At the coalface

The coal sector was hit by a confluence of shit in 2020 and early 2021.  COVID-19, followed by China’s ban on Australian coal, was a one-two punch.

The irony is that while the price of Australian met coal fell to ~$US100 per tonne, Chinese steel mills were forced to pay up to $US265 per tonne for lower quality domestic coal — and much higher prices than benchmark for other imported coal.

But things appear to be coming good for ASX coal stocks.

In June, Bathurst Resources (ASX:BRL) (+45% in June) announced it would exceed 2021 financial year (FY21) earnings guidance of $55.4m as prices recover.

During the last quarter the premium coking coal benchmark price surged from $US110/tonne to a recent high of US$182/tonne, it says.

Other met coal miners and explorers in our top 40 for June include Australian Pacific Coal (ASX:AQC), Coronado Global Resources (ASX:CRN), and Allegiance Coal (ASX:AHQ).