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Top 5 Junior Gold Stocks on the TSXV in 2023

Gold approached near-record levels in the second quarter of 2023 before falling to nearly US$1,800 by the end of Q3. However, since conflict broke out in the Middle East in October, it’s been closing in on US$2,000 in October.

It’s been an unpredictable year for gold. Despite maintaining prices above pre-pandemic levels, the yellow metal has still fluctuated by over US$200, hitting a high of US$2,049.92 in May and a low of US$1,820.01 at the beginning of October.

With Middle East tensions being greater than they have been in a generation and a US House of Representatives that has come to a standstill without a speaker, uncertainty has reached a high point for investors. In this environment, gold is once again approaching yearly highs, closing out October 19 at US$1,980.90.

This list shows the TSXV-listed gold companies with the biggest year-to-date share price gains. It was generated on October 23, 2023, using TradingView’s stock screener, and all stocks included had market caps above C$10 million at that time.

1. Condor Resources (TSXV:CN)

Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 350 percent; market cap: C$71.92 million; current share price: C$0.50

Supplemented by a project generator and royalty model, Condor Resources maintains an active portfolio of precious and base metals assets in Peru. These include a dozen targets, with seven projects 100 percent owned by the company, as well as four joint venture agreements. Two of its wholly owned projects are undergoing drilling programs.

Shares in Condor trended gradually upwards in the first half of the year, ranging between C$0.105 and C$0.220. However, trading in the company picked up on May 31 after it announced it had signed a multi-year surface rights access agreement with the local community for its Pucamayo project. Condor followed with news on June 19 that 100 percent of warrants expiring June 18 had been exercised, and it had raised a total of C$2.06 million in June. The funds raised were earmarked for drilling at its Pucamayo East site, which commenced in early October.

Additionally, Condor announced on June 23 that it had received a payment from Chakana Copper (TSXV:PERU,OTCQB:CHKKF) toward an option to acquire 100 percent of the Soledad concession. The payment consisted of US$1 million cash and 1.38 million shares in Chakana.

2. Canadian Gold (TSXV:CGC)

Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 414.29 percent; market cap: C$27.91 million; current share price: C$0.18

Formerly Satori Resources, Canadian Gold is a junior mineral exploration and development company. Its primary asset is the past-producing Tartan mine, located near Flin Flon, Manitoba, which produced 47,000 ounces of gold between 1987 and 1989. Canadian Gold is currently working towards releasing an updated mineral resource estimate for the project. Its most recent was released in 2017, and included indicated reserves of 240,000 gold ounces.

After starting the year at C$0.04, shares in Canadian Gold saw a considerable rise early in the year following a February 6 news release announcing that former Goldcorp Chairman and CEO Rob McEwen would acquire a 37.6 percent stake in the company (then Satori) and Canadian Gold would acquire McEwen’s private exploration company Apollo Exploration.

The deal, which closed on April 25, gives Canadian Gold access Apollo’s portfolio of key exploration projects near current gold mines and significant development sites, namely the Malartic South project near Agnico Eagle’s (TSX:AEM,NYSE:AEM) Canadian Malartic open-pit mine and upcoming Odyssey underground mine, the HEES project near Barrick Gold’s (TSX:ABX,NYSE:GOLD) Hemlo mine, and the Hammond Reef North and South projects adjacent to Agnico Eagle’s Reef gold project. Shares hit a year-to-date high of C$0.345 following the announcement.

The company maintained steady share prices through the second and third quarter. Most recently it announced drill results on September 27 from exploration at the Tartan mine, with intersects of up to 23.8 grams per metric ton (g/t) over 12.6 meters. This built on previous results from August 23, which included assays of up to 12 g/t over 8 meters.

3. Lavras Gold (TSXV:LGC)

Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 294.12 percent; market cap: C$57.55 million; current share price: C$1.34

Lavras Gold is a junior exploration company dedicated to developing its Lavras do Sol project in Southern Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sol state. The property spans 22,000 hectares and includes 23 prospects based on historic gold workings.

Despite several strong drilling results from the first half of the year, shares in Lavras Gold slowly trended downwards through early August. Then trading around the C$0.25 mark, the price for Lavras’ shares saw a large spike following the release of strong second-quarter financial results along with a consolidated discovery report on August 23 that indicated visible near surface gold of 43.59 g/t over 4 meters from a depth of 31 meters at its Zeca Souza target. Its share price hit a year-to-date high of C$1.70 on September 12.

Lavras released additional news on September 29 that it had raised proceeds of C$13,697,973 through a non-brokered private placement offering from a mix of new and existing shareholders, including mining luminaries Rob McEwen and Eric Sprott, as well as a 5 percent ownership stake by Kinross Gold (TSX:K,NYSE:KGC).

4. Winshear Gold (TSXV:WINS)

Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 263.64 percent; market cap: C$15.28 million; current share price: C$0.20

Winshear Gold is a gold and copper exploration company focusing on the development of two projects in Peru; its Gaban property consists of 41 concessions across 15,629 hectares, while its second site, the Ica property is a copper-gold project with six concessions over 2,198 hectares. Development of its previously owned SMP gold project in Tanzania was halted following the abolishment of retention licenses by the Tanzanian government, and Winshear entered into arbitration proceedings with the government in 2020.

Winshear’s share prices rose in July following positive news from another company’s court battles: Indiana Resources (ASX:IDA,OTC Pink:GSMGF) had been awarded US$109.5 million from arbitration proceedings against the Tanzanian government over the abolishment of its retention licenses. On October 16, Winshear reported that it too had reached a settlement with the government, receiving US$30 million. The company has not yet announced a decision on how it will apply its funds.

Winshear announced on May 16 it had received authorization to begin exploration at the Gaban site which has previously identified sample values up to 15.8 g/t over 1 to 2.5 meters, from work conducted between 2019 and 2021. The company has not released further information about the project.

5. Founders Metals (TSXV:FDR)

Company Profile

Year-to-date gain: 151.11 percent; market cap: C$49 million; current share price: C$1.13

Founders Metals is a junior exploration company primarily focused on its flagship Antino gold project in Suriname. The property covers 238 square kilometers along the Lawa river, and Founders holds all necessary permits for exploration, drilling and mining.

The first half of the year saw the company work to raise capital to begin exploration of the Antino site. These efforts generated a C$3.08 million private placement financing on March 21. Founders made a further announcement on April 5 that it had received permits for the property and would begin drilling in early summer.

Drilling on the property’s Froyo zone commenced July 6, and initial results from the drill program on July 27 confirmed high-grade gold mineralization at the site, with a highlight interval of 19.22 g/t over 12 meters. Further news on August 24 caused shares to soar after the company announced near-bonanza grade levels of 30.72 g/t over a 15.5 meter interval. The company made its most recent announcement October 25, when it announced that testing on samples from historical artisanal tailings returned grades up to 9.7 g/t, with 20 from Froyo averaging 3.35 g/t.

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

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