After a really strong start to the year, March was a mixed bag for commodities.

Copper prices hit two month highs, but gold and nickel lost some shine and uranium prices dropped to year lows (but don’t worry just yet, the overall trend is still upwards).

And despite the tsunami of electric vehicle/ battery-related news, battery metals had a disappointing month — vanadium is down, cobalt is still in the dumps, while lithium and graphite look pretty flat… for now anyway.

Our top 50 mining stocks for March are, once again, dominated by gold. In fact, stocks in our top 50 with a gold focus jumped another 6 per cent on last month.

Check this out:

 

In other words, quality gold and copper plays are the place to be right now.

 

TOP 50 HIGHLIGHTS

Small gold explorer Spectrum (ASX:SPX) acquired the historic Penny West gold mine in December last year.

Up to that point Spectrum had been spinning its wheels in a sort of exploration purgatory.

Spectrum had a diminutive $5.3 million market cap when it kicked off the maiden drill program at Penny West on February 20.

It immediately hit high grades about 150m north of the historic high-grade Penny West open pit, which had been mined in 1991/1992 for 85,000 ounces.

These results included 4m at 105.2 g/t gold from 151m, including 1m at 292.8 g/t gold from 153m. That’s bonanza grade (which is a made up term meaning ‘super high grade’, just fyi)

By the end of March, Spectrum’s market cap was $26.3 million.

An explorer to keep your eye on.

The Spectrum share price over the past 6 months.

It was a nice little recovery month for Australian heavy rare earths producer Northern Minerals (ASX:NTU).

The share price surged 107 per cent after Northern Minerals unveiled a maiden resource for the (appropriately-named) Dazzler deposit, which boasted grades three times higher than the Browns Range project average.

And Westfarmers’ failed $1.5 billion takeover play for global rare earths heavyweight Lynas (ASX:LYC) didn’t hurt.

That news sent a bunch of junior rare earths players, including Northern Minerals, on a bit of a late-month run.

The Northern Minerals share price over the past 6 months.

Before it jumped 100 per cent for March, gold and copper explorer Ausmex Group (ASX:AMG) was well and truly flying under the radar.

Ausmex has a solid plan; start by mining its extensive, shallow high-grade gold and copper deposits by the end of the year using spare third-party processing in Cloncurry, Queensland.

This early cashflow will help fund its main game – discovering gigantic iron-oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) deposits.

The kicker here is that mining giant Newcrest is right next door, currently drilling a massive IOCG target, Ausmex MD Matt Morgan told Stockhead in early March.

“I saw all the action. They drilled 8 holes, over 850m deep each from April to August and they have not released an assay,” he says.

“Newcrest drilled 850m diamond core holes. They cost a fortune.

“They had whole camps there. It was 24-hour drilling. If there was four dud drill holes I don’t think they would’ve kept going to eight.”

The Ausmex share price over the past 6 months.

Here are the top 50  mining small caps for the month of March:

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

TickerNameOne Month Price Change %One Year Price Change %Share Price [01/03]Market Cap [Million $AU]
SPX SPECTRUM METALS 525.0072.410.027 $26,279,546.00
VRM VERDANT MINERALS 114.293.450.030 $33,112,844.00
NTU NORTHERN MINERALS 107.500.000.083 $127,809,240.00
BMT BERKUT MINERALS 101.30-6.060.155 $8,419,083.00
GBG GINDALBIE METALS 100.0030.000.026 $38,990,564.00
AMG AUSMEX MINING GROUP 100.00133.330.140 $57,737,736.00
NCR NUCOAL RESOURCES 100.0033.330.026 $21,521,148.00
SRK STRIKE RESOURCES 97.6238.330.079 $12,062,744.00
CMC CHINA MAGNESIUM CORP 95.0095.000.039 $18,035,104.00
TIE TIETTO MINERALS 80.952.700.180 $43,555,780.00
AWV ANOVA METALS 77.78-70.910.016 $10,226,116.00
PKO PEAKO 66.6725.000.025 $1,800,517.00
RES RESOURCE GENERATION 57.8955.840.110 $69,765,640.00
AGD AUSTRAL GOLD 57.144.760.110 $58,759,032.00
HOR HORSESHOE METALS 55.56-30.000.013 $2,725,130.75
EMU EMU NL54.55-23.600.070 $8,925,322.00
N27 NORTHERN COBALT 50.00-81.820.063 $3,228,804.25
VAR VARISCAN MINES 50.00-70.540.002 $1,906,610.38
SHK STONE RESOURCES AUSTRALIA50.00-25.000.003 $2,434,938.50
POD PODIUM MINERALS 48.21-17.000.083 $7,940,192.50
RND RAND MINING 47.2047.062.495 $150,070,448.00
EUR EUROPEAN LITHIUM 46.07-42.220.130 $72,632,896.00
AHQ ALLEGIANCE COAL 45.2412.960.061 $31,181,092.00
BBX BBX MINERALS 43.7531.430.300 $92,983,752.00
PEN PENINSULA ENERGY 43.1834.040.305 $77,164,664.00
KZR KALAMAZOO RESOURCES 42.8651.160.130 $11,633,515.00
KCN KINGSGATE CONSOLIDATED 40.62-31.820.228 $50,900,836.00
STM SUNSTONE METALS 40.6228.570.045 $54,669,456.00
WKT WALKABOUT RESOURCES 36.3668.540.150 $45,637,464.00
AUQ ALARA RESOURCES 36.3620.000.030 $18,870,528.00
TSL TITANIUM SANDS 35.71-9.520.019 $12,071,007.00
KOR KORAB RESOURCES 34.48-15.220.035 $12,045,383.00
MEI METEORIC RESOURCES33.33-65.710.011 $7,997,469.00
LNY LANEWAY RESOURCES 33.33166.670.008 $29,440,528.00
DHR DARK HORSE RESOURCES 33.33-77.780.005 $7,904,346.50
AKM ASPIRE MINING 31.58257.140.026 $83,163,528.00
HAS HASTINGS TECHNOLOGY METALS31.03-38.710.190 $147,834,384.00
CHZ CHESSER RESOURCES 30.00-5.450.052 $11,669,069.00
RMI RESOURCE MINING28.57-40.000.009 $2,666,406.00
TLG TALGA RESOURCES 26.53-25.300.652 $135,356,192.00
DRM DORAY MINERALS 25.2987.930.535 $244,940,288.00
CYL CATALYST METALS 25.1390.242.340 $184,608,320.00
LI3 LITHIUM CONSOLIDATED 25.00-25.000.075 $6,811,659.00
ARX ARC EXPLORATION 25.00-34.430.200 $5,050,146.50
E2M E2 METALS 25.00110.530.190 $15,141,588.00
AOP APOLLO CONSOLIDATED 25.000.000.265 $47,869,136.00
EFE EASTERN IRON 25.00-54.550.005 $2,059,501.88
AUL AUSTAR GOLD 25.00-37.500.004 $16,951,552.00
KGM KALNORTH GOLD MINES 25.00-28.570.005 $4,471,200.50
MHC MANHATTAN CORP 25.00-80.770.005 $3,706,393.50