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Three junior copper stocks for the long run

Copper demand has pushed prices to their highest level since 2022 thanks to a confluence of increased government intervention, as highlighted by First Quantum Mining’s travails in Panama, and a rapid ramp up in the global energy transition, which requires copper for EV batteries, wind turbines and solar farms, in addition to its widespread uses in power lines, appliances, medicine, industrial machinery and more.

A more than 30 per cent price increase since February has lifted junior miners levered to the metal, bringing market awareness to the vast and numerous price-value dislocations in the space. The most attractive among these opportunities are being obscured by investor conservatism lingering from recently high inflation, despite their high-quality assets, multi-billion-dollar generational tailwind, and multiple years of room to run, as exploration-stage projects lead to resource delineation, feasibility studies and asset sales or mineral extraction.

As you ease into the weekend, here are three junior stocks with green flags to help you capitalize on copper demand’s expected generational upswing:

Grizzly Discoveries

Grizzly Discoveries (TSXV:GZD) is a diversified Canadian mineral explorer whose veteran junior resource management team, a specialist in ushering early exploration projects into the feasibility stage, is developing 72,700 ha (180,000 acres) of precious and base metal properties in British Columbia.

Grizzly’s flagship Greenwood project is less than 10 km from Kinross Gold’s past-producing Buckhorn gold mine – which housed a 1.2 million ounce resource at 16 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold at start up in 2010 – and less than 50 km north of the 2-million-ounce Golden Eagle Project. Management’s compilation, assessment and exploration work leads it to believe that much of Greenwood contains the same geological structures as these two mines.

Michael Dufresne, Grizzly’s chief geology officer, spoke with Stockhouse’s Lyndsay Malchuk about high-grade gold, silver, copper (up to 5.92 per cent), lead and zinc encountered during 2023 sampling at the Midway mine area, one of five exploration projects within the Greenwood umbrella. Watch the interview here.

As drilling gets underway at Midway later this year, and Grizzly secures permits for Greenwood’s Imperial, Sappho and Copper Mountain target areas – adding to active drilling permits for the Ket 28, Dayton and Motherlode areas – management is affording its history of high-grade copper, silver and gold results with multiple chances to shine and reward shareholders after a 57 per cent loss year-over-year.

Mundoro Capital

Our next junior copper stock worth highlighting is Mundoro Capital (TSXV:MUN), whose large portfolio of base and precious metal properties generates near-term royalty cash flow through option partners. The portfolio focuses primarily on copper exploration in two mineral districts, the Western Tethyan belt in Eastern Europe and the Laramide belt in the southwest United States.

The company has grown the fees it earns by 28 times, grown partner exploration expenditures 6 times, and has been fully funded for exploration since 2016, all while maintaining consistent general and administrative expenses, with multiple exploration programs on the go in 2024 (slide 7).

Recent phase-I drill results from Mundoro’s Dos Cabezas project in Arizona hold the potential for a porphyry copper system that merits further drilling. Teo Dechev, Mundoro’s chief executive officer, joined Stockhouse’s Lyndsay Malchuk to discuss the results and what they mean for the company. Watch the interview here.

Mundoro’s strong operational performance has translated into a 75 per cent return for shareholders since 2019, which is poised to continue backed by 53 per cent institutional ownership, copper’s key roles in electrification and everyday life, sole funding from industry leading partners JOGMEC and BHP, and robust expansion potential across its land package.

World Copper

Our last junior copper stock pick, Vancouver-based World Copper (TSXV:WCU), explores and develops the Zonia project in Arizona and the Escalones project in Chile, each of which houses significant estimated copper porphyry resources with vast untapped expansion potential.

The 4,279.55-acre Zonia project contains an estimated 450.5 million pounds of copper indicated and 575.4 million pounds of copper inferred, and is de-risked by historical mining in the 1960s and 1970s, over 51,000 m of drilling completed to date, and a 2018 preliminary economic assessment detailing an after-tax net present value of US$177 million at a copper price of US$3 per pound.

The Escalones project features a 2022 preliminary economic assessment that details a US$1.5 billion post-tax net present value at US$3.60 per pound of copper over a 20-year mine life. Today, a pound of copper is priced considerably higher at US$4.76, granting the company leverage as it pursues expansion targets to the south, east and west. According to a 2021 resource estimate, Escalones offers exposure to 3.45 billion pounds of copper inferred, with recoveries by heap leaching expected to average 71 per cent.

Up by more than 370 per cent since April, the market has singled out World Copper’s projects as the kind of high-quality assets investors should relate with outsized returns. The company is keen on further strengthening this relationship by forming a technical advisory committee for Zonia, which is in charge of guiding development toward a construction decision.

Gordon Neal, World Copper’s president and chief executive officer, sat down with Stockhouse’s Lyndsay Malchuk to shed light on the new committee and its role in expediting shareholder value creation. Watch the interview here.

Join the discussion: Find out what everybody’s saying about these junior copper stocks on the Grizzly Discoveries Inc.Mundoro Capital Inc. and World Copper Ltd. Bullboards, and check out Stockhouse’s stock forums and message boards.

This is sponsored content issued on behalf of Grizzly Discoveries Inc., Mundoro Capital Inc. and World Copper Ltd., please see full disclaimer here.

(Top image is sourced from World Copper and depicts exploration and sampling at the company’s Escalones project in Chile in 2021.)