Tethyan Resources (up 174% to the end of February), Murchison Minerals (+125% year-to-date), North American Palladium (+115%), Hannan Metals (+87.5%) and CopperBank Resources (+50%) have led the way so far in 2019 among 118 companies that will present over two days at this year's PDAC corporate presentation forum for investors.
Tethyan just closed a C$3.3 million financing backed by Augusta Group and its former Arizona Mining executive team, led by Richard Warke, now executive chairman of Tethyan, Don Taylor and Jerrold Arnett. The company is advancing the Rudnica copper-gold and Kizevak zinc-lead-silver projects in Serbia.
About 58% of the PDAC investor forum companies have gained on Canadian, US, UK and Australian equity markets this year, with a further six companies flat in the first two months of the year.
After Tethyan, Murchison, North American Palladium, Hannan and CopperBank, Robert Friedland's Ivanhoe Mines (up 47.6% to the end of February), Great Bear Resources (+46%), Cabral Gold (+40%), Osino Resources (+38.5%) and Copper Mountain Mining Corp (+37.3%) round out the top 10.
Just outside the top 10 is gold-sector powerhouse Kirkland Lake Gold (+36%, and +137% since March 1 last year), which continues to surge off a high base, recently passing C$10 billion market capitalisation (now around $10.1 billion). Leveraging production from its high-grade mines in Australia and Canada, Kirkland Lake has been generating piles of cash, finding lots more gold, and giving plenty back to shareholders as it joins the heavyweights of the global gold sector.
PDAC's two days of corporate presentations to investors is broken into commodity and region slots, in the main, and also has a royalties, project generators and global financing segment. All the companies in that band have gained on equity markets this year, led by Abitibi Royalties (+31%).
Americas gold producers, led by Kirkland Lake, are up across the board (nine companies) except for McEwen Mining (down nearly 8% year-to-date), signalling a change in fortunes for the space after last year's adversity.
Copper and nickel equities are generally stronger, particularly those with advanced projects; gold explorers and developers are mixed; and silver companies are having a better period, led by Excellon Resources (+38.5% year-to-date) and SilverCrest Metals (+27%).
Zinc, diamonds, uranium and battery minerals companies presenting at PDAC have not given investors much joy so far in 2019, though there are exceptions such as Lucara Diamond Corp (+15% ytd), Frontier Lithium (+9%), ASX-listed Vimy Resources (+28%) and Hannan Metals, which has its mainstay 100%-owned County Clare zinc project in Ireland but is also now building a substantial copper-silver exploration footprint at San Martin in north-central Peru.