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Top 5 Junior Gold Stocks on the TSXV in 2024

2024 has been a storybook year for gold. Coming off a record-setting December 2023, markets were range bound as they awaited important interest rate decisions from the US Federal Reserve.

As March started, messaging from the central bank became clearer. The Fed was confident it was done raising rates and cuts could be expected in 2024. Gold took off, setting the quarter’s high of US$2,264.52 per ounce on March 31, with momentum continuing to set an all-time high of US$2,426.56 per ounce on April 12.

Despite gold’s solid performance at the end of 2023 and continued high prices in 2024, it didn’t translate to gold stocks. They saw little movement through the first 10 weeks of the year. It wasn’t until after gold’s dramatic breakout that some of the major gold stocks saw some upward momentum.

How have these gains affected small cap gold stocks on the TSXV? These are the biggest movers through the start of the year. Data for this article was retrieved on April 2, 2024, using TradingView’s stock screener, and only companies with market capitalizations greater than C$10 million are included.

1. Contact Gold (TSXV:C)

Press ReleasesCompany Profile

Year-to-date gain: 200 percent; market cap: C$10.57 million; current share price: C$0.03

Contact Gold is a gold exploration company that is working to create a district-scale gold property in Nevada, US.

Its Pony Creek project consists of a 43.8 square kilometer land package that has hosted exploration since the 1980s. Since acquiring the property in 2016, Contact has conducted more than 25,000 meters of drilling across 118 holes, identifying five zones of gold mineralization. The company released a maiden resource estimate for the asset in January 2022, reporting 433,000 inferred ounces of gold from 25.72 million metric tons (MT) of ore with an average grade of 0.52 grams per MT (g/t).

Contact’s Green Springs property lies along the southern end of Nevada’s Cortez Trend and consists of a 19.5 square kilometers land package that hosts three past-producing open-pit mines that produced 74,000 ounces of gold in the late 1980s. In December 2022, Centerra Gold (TSX:CG,NYSE:CGAU) entered into a US$10 million earn-in agreement to potentially gain a 70 percent stake in Green Springs over a four year period.

Shares of Contact have been trending up since the February 26 news that Orla Mining (TSX:OLA,NYSE:ORLA) will acquire all of the company’s issued and outstanding common shares through a definitive arrangement agreement. The deal will allow Orla to consolidate the Railroad-Pinion district in Nevada by combining Contact’s Pony Creek property with Orla’s adjacent South Railroad project.

Shares of Contact gold reached a quarterly high of C$0.03 on March 6.

2. Falco Resources (TSXV:FPC)

Press ReleasesCompany Profile

Year-to-date gain: 192.31 percent; market cap: C$103.2 million; current share price: C$0.36

Falco Resources is a gold exploration and development company operating within the Abitibi Greenstone Belt in Québec, Canada. Its flagship asset is the Horne 5 project, which consists of 67,000 hectares of land in the Noranda Mining Camp and includes 13 historic gold and base metals mining sites.

A March 2021 feasibility study update for Horne 5 would see an average annual production of more than 220,000 ounces of gold with a mine life of over 15 years. This would generate a C$761 million after-tax net present value with an 18.9 percent rate of return and an average all-in-sustaining cost of $587 per ounce.

Shares of Falco saw gains early in the year following a news release on January 24, when the company announced it had executed an operating license and indemnity agreement with Glencore (LSE:GLEN:OTC Pink:GLCNF). Under the terms of the deal, Falco will gain access to a portion of lands that it will use to advance Horne 5.

The deal will also establish a technical committee to ensure that operations at Horne 5 do not interfere with Glencore’s Horne smelter. Additionally, Glencore will gain the right to require remediation, suspension or risk mitigation in order to protect its Horne smelter. Glencore will also have the right to a seat on Falco’s board of directors.

The most recent news from the Horne 5 project came on March 27, when Falco confirmed the admissibility of an environmental impact assessment from the Ministry of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks. Falco can now move forward to the public hearing process for the asset.

The share price for Falco reached a quarterly high of C$0.37 on March 28.

3. PPX Mining (TSXV:PPX)

Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 150 percent; market cap: C$33.71 million; current share price: C$0.05

PPX Mining is a precious metals company that is focused on its Igor project, which contains the operating Callanquitas underground mine, located in the Otuzco province of Northern Peru.

In a prefeasibility study for Igor, which was amended in January 2022, the company indicates that the 1,300 hectare site previously hosted small-scale mining operations and hosts a 50 MT per day gold-processing plant from the 1980s. PPX is currently working to upscale processing at the site through the construction of a 350 MT per day carbon-in-leach and flotation plant that will be used to process oxide and sulfide ore from Callanquitas.

An updated resource estimate for Callanquitas released by the company this past January shows measured and indicated amounts as oxides of 81,090 ounces of gold and 2.9 million ounces of silver. The inferred resource as sulfides stands at 34,450 gold equivalent ounces at 4.63 g/t gold equivalent.

Shares of PPX saw gains following news on March 12 that the firm has signed a letter of intent with Silver Crown Royalties for US$2.5 million in funding in exchange for a 15 percent silver royalty from Igor. Under the terms of the arrangement, which can be expanded, the royalty is currently set to expire upon the delivery of 250,000 ounces of silver, or after five years, whichever comes later. This funding will be put toward a new processing plant.

The company followed with additional funding news on April 18, when it closed a C$1.35 million private placement with proceeds earmarked to finance further exploration at Igor.

PPX shares reached a quarterly high of C$0.60 on March 13.

4. Sun Peak Metals (TSXV:PEAK)

Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 135.71 percent; market cap: C$42.68 billion; current share price: C$0.495

Sun Peak Metals is a gold exploration company operating in the Arabian Nubian Shield in Ethiopia. Its flagship Shire project consists of six exploration licenses covering an area of 1,450 square kilometers in the northern part of the country. Early work by Sun Peak has revealed approximately two dozen gold and copper targets at the site.

Work on the project was stymied in November 2020 as war broke out between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Operations at Shire remained suspended until February 7, when the company announced that a force majeure put in place to protect workers during the conflict had been lifted on three licenses. The company said it expects the restrictions on the remaining three licenses to be lifted at a later date.

The company’s most recent announcement came on April 4, when it commenced drilling at Shire. Sun Peak has 6,000 to 7,000 meters planned for 2024 and will focus on the Hamlo prospect

Sun Peak’s share price hit a high of C$0.54 for the quarter on March 12.

5. Bluestone Resources (TSXV:BSR)

Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 134.78 percent; market cap: C$75.8 million; current share price: C$0.54

Bluestone Resources is a gold exploration and development company operating out of Guatemala. Its flagship property is the Cerro Blanco gold project, located near the town of Asunción Mita 160 kilometers from Guatemala City.

In a resource estimate from July 2021, the company reported measured and indicated amounts of 3,089,000 ounces of gold and 13,445,000 ounces of silver at the site. Bluestone is also developing the Mita geothermal project, which will provide power for the mine when it is complete.

Shares of Bluestone soared early in the year following an announcement on January 18, when the company said that an amendment to its environmental permit for Cerro Blanco was approved by the Guatemalan government. The initial application for the site was for the development of an underground mine, but in November 2021 Bluestone applied for an amendment to switch to surface mining. The company said the change will increase the size of the project’s layout, but the fundamental elements will remain unchanged.

Shares of Bluestone reached a quarterly high of C$0.59 on January 18.

Securities Disclosure: I, Dean Belder, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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