Who made the gains? Here are the top 50 resources winners for February
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There were 0 producers in January’s Top 50 ASX resources stocks.
In February there were 12, plus a handful looking to join their ranks by the end of the year.
Why? Maybe reporting season underlined just how much money miners are making from this totally unprecedented commodity boom.
From battery metals, through to tin, nickel, gold and copper, producer profits are sky high.
Even iron ore is making a comeback.
The result is a top 50 jam-packed full of small and mid-tier ASX producers across a range of commodities.
May the divvies flow like honey.
Scroll or swipe to reveal table. Click headings to sort. Best viewed on a laptop
Terracom (ASX:TER), which owns the Blair Athol mine in Queensland along with coal mines in South Africa, has taken advantage of the boom in coal prices to radically change its fortunes.
The speed of its debt repayments could see it in a position by the September quarter or even earlier to consider dividend payments to shareholders.
Blair Athol delivered $38.5m in positive EBITDA in the month of January alone. That compares to just $8.2m for the whole of the March quarter last year. Add in $16.4m from the lower margin South African operations and Terracom raked in $54.9m in earnings in a month.
Special mention goes to Bowen Coal (ASX:BCB), which is on the cusp of production.
BCB expects first production in the March quarter from the ‘Bluff’ mine it bought for shares off MACA in October last year.
That will be followed by the start of offtake contracts in the June quarter for Bluff, which will deliver production of 1-1.2Mtpa over four to six years.
Bluff’s coal is an Ultra-Low Volatile Pulverised Coal for Injection coal, which should attract a premium for its low ash, high energy and high coke replacement ratio.
ULVPCI was trading at record highs of over US$242/t in December.
Bowen has raised $15 million in debt to speed the mine to market amid record buying conditions for met coal producers.
Mount Gibson Iron (ASX:MGX) was the biggest mid-cap casualty of iron ore’s price collapse in the second half of 2021.
Plummeting prices forced it to mothball the brand-spanking new ‘Shine’ mine in WA’s mid-west in October, after just a handful of shipments.
It has bounced back in 2022 alongside the iron ore price, despite posting a half year loss of $65.5m.
Grange Resources (ASX:GRR), in total contrast, has been a standout performer over the past year, and recently climbed to a 13-year high.
GRR’s +50-year-old ‘Savage River’ magnetite mine produces an ultra-high grade pellet concentrate which attracts well over benchmark prices from steelmakers.
While the Pilbara iron ore miners were seeing prices collapse and discounts rise in the December Quarter, Grange was humming its own tune.
It’s realised prices increased from US$153.09/t ($206.80/t) in the September quarter to US$164.14/t ($226.71/t) in the December quarter.
Since the end of the financial year GRR has recommended the payment of a 10c per share final dividend of $115.7 million.
This represents a total of $254.6 million (22c per share) fully franked dividend for the year-end 31 December 2021.
The NSW-based small cap goldie produced 16,935oz of gold during the December 2021 quarter at an AISC of $1,338/oz.
FY22 guidance is between 55,000oz and 60,000oz. ALK had $118.3m in cash, bullion and listed investments at 31 December 2021.
As a bonus, the company has the potential company-making porphyry discovery at Boda, where it is in the final stages of resource drilling.
Dual listed SSR Mining (ASX:SSR) came through with outstanding results at exactly the right time.
Full year production of 794,456oz approached the top end of the company’s guidance (720,000 to 800,000oz) while costs were lower than predicted at $US955oz (guidance: $US1,000 to $US1,040/oz).
A nice profit margin of $444.2 million saw the company declare a quarterly cash dividend of US$0.07 per share — an increase of 40% over the third quarter dividend.
SSR is aiming to produce ~800,000oz per year over the next three years, “a strong and stable production profile without requirements for material capital investment”.
On 21 Feb WWI produced first ore from its 4.28Moz, 95,000ozpa Witwatersrand Basin Project (WBP) in South Africa. BGL, meanwhile has all the cash in needs to develop the low cost 200,000ozpa ‘Bellevue’ gold mine in WA.
In Feb, Mincor Resources (ASX:MCR) trucked its first lot of nickel ore to the BHP (ASX:BHP) Nickel West concentrator in Kambalda, WA, just as nickel prices surpassed decade long highs in excess of US$25,000/t.
WA mineral sands producer and Fitzy favourite Image Resources (ASX:IMA) reported that cash margins from its concentrate product soared from $190/t (Q1) to a record $500/t in the December quarter (Q4).
Late last year AIC Mines (ASX:A1M) picked up the ‘Eloise’ copper mine in QLD for ~$25m in cash and shares – and made the move from explorer to miner.
December quarter production totalled 8,597dmt of concentrate containing 2,392t of copper at an AISC of A$3.05/lb and AIC of A$3.29/lb for November and December 2021.
This meant an immediate strong cashflow for the company, with sales of 1,818t copper, 945oz gold and 19,654oz silver generating net revenue of $25 million.