A selection of 100 of the world's best performing mining stocks shows an aggregate value of USD 33bn, and a weighted average gain of 367% over the past six months, vastly outperforming any other known grouping of equities. There are multiple themes that emerge from the names on the list, but the presence of gold and silver miners and developers is close to overwhelming.Sub-themes include clear evidence that investors are chasing potential acquisitions, companies with proven treasures in the ground, but lacking broader access to the substantial funds required to build big mines, and, in many cases, infrastructure as well. There are also names that were brutally sold down, and are simply bouncing back to perceived fair value, especially with something of a thaw in broader credit markets.Canada listed Century Mining, as a sampling, was sold down to a cent a share, and then recovered to well above 15 cents on news that it had secured a substantial non-bank loan.

As a rule, Russian stocks rank as the most brutally oversold as all. The bounce back from some of these stocks, especially those with gold and/or silver in the equation, has been huge; JSC Polymetal, a silver and gold digger, is up 600% from lows. London listed Fresnillo, the world's biggest primary silver miner, is up more than 400%.Among the top ten or so hottest global mining stocks sit a number of gold names that rank as clear acquisition targets: Novagold (for its huge Donlin Creek project in Alaska, where Barrick, world's No 1 gold name, is already a partner); Greystar (for its huge Angostura gold discovery in Colombia); San Anton Resources (for its superb Cerro del Gallo project); Guyana Goldfields (for its very neat Aurora project), and Moto Goldmines, for outlining more than 20m ounces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Further top gold names include La Mancha Resources, for fast-growing production and demonstrable entrepreneurial flair,  Regis Resources, for its Duketon project, and Tanami Gold, which dramatically returned from a low stock price of, basically, zero, and also highly rated and highly valued Osisko. Another supporting sub-theme factor for gold stocks has been the strong generally rise in Chinese stocks; Zhaojin has cashed in on both fronts with a stock price that has bounced by nearly 500%. While gold stocks, in particular, remain well supported by underlying commodity prices, the connection is not as clear with other favoured sectors such as silver and uranium.Gold bullion currently trades 9% off its dollar highs, while silver is far further out, at 33% below. Uranium prices have done little if anything for months. First Uranium (market value: USD 810m) ranks as one of the hottest in the mining field, along with Extract Resources, a Namibian uranium name that has come under the very close attention of mining major Rio Tinto and most recently by Polo Resources.

Another top performer, Niger Uranium, represents the far smaller exploration sector, but with management that has an enviable record. Then there is Ivanhoe Australia - part of the wider Robert Friedland clan - which continues to announce fan-gathering drill results from its molybdenum-rhenium Merlin project, but retains gold, of course, as one of its main broader targets. Ivanhoe itself ranks as a top 100 performing mining stock.Corporate action, real or imagined, is always a theme; in the case of top-performer Aricom, it's very real, in the form of Peter Hambro.   Investors are also prepared to chase certain stocks among the least generally favoured sectors; in diamonds, examples include Mano River Resources, Tsodilo Resources, Kopane Diamonds, Pangea Diamondfields, and Peregrine Diamonds, and in coal, Evergreen Energy, Homeland Energy, and Waratah Coal.Copper stocks generally have run the hardest, after gold and silver names, but individual performances have been relatively subdued. Northern Dynasty stands out, however, with its huge copper-gold Pebble project in Alaska, where mining major Anglo American is the joint venture partner. Copper-gold is also a dominant theme for Ivanhoe, with Oyu Tolgoi, where major miner Rio Tinto is a partner.

100 SELECTED TOP PERFORMING MINING STOCKS

Stock

From

From

Value

price

high*

low*

USD bn

Century Mining

CAD 0.18

-30.8%

1700.0%

0.024

La Mancha Resources

CAD 0.44

-22.8%

1000.0%

0.050

Ivanhoe Australia

AUD 1.49

-26.6%

893.3%

0.329

VorkutauGol

USD 4.00

-49.4%

900.0%

0.038

San Anton Resource

CAD 0.29

-64.2%

866.7%

0.024

Novagold

CAD 3.71

-62.9%

681.1%

0.538

Greystar

CAD 3.93

-32.8%

641.5%

0.165

JSC Polymetal

USD 7.00

-23.9%

600.0%

2.205

Regis Resources

AUD 0.42

-1.2%

566.7%

0.072

Tanami Gold

AUD 0.04

-41.7%

600.0%

0.087

First Uranium

CAD 6.70

-12.0%

556.9%

0.810

Golden Odyssey

CAD 0.13

-7.1%

550.0%

0.004

Extract Resources

AUD 4.70

-1.1%

526.7%

0.738

Niger Uranium

GBP 0.24

-5.1%

526.7%

0.039

Coral Gold

CAD 0.66

-48.8%

560.0%

0.013

US Gold Corp.

USD 2.26

-24.4%

494.9%

0.179

Marum Resources

CAD 0.15

-30.2%

500.0%

0.012

Zhaojin

HKD 10.98

-23.5%

490.3%

0.619

Mano River Resources

CAD 0.07

-84.3%

550.0%

0.016

Tsodilo Resources

CAD 0.38

-25.5%

484.6%

0.005

Yukon-Nevada Gold

CAD 0.13

-92.8%

550.0%

0.031

Brazauro

CAD 0.59

-34.4%

490.0%

0.040

Evergreen Energy

USD 1.36

-45.6%

491.3%

0.171

Queenston Mining

CAD 4.15

-1.9%

446.1%

0.190

Oremex Silver

CAD 0.12

-60.0%

500.0%

0.005

Silverstone

CAD 1.95

-33.9%

465.2%

0.191

Keegan Resources

USD 2.12

-63.2%

488.4%

0.060

Australian Solomons

CAD 0.15

-75.8%

500.0%

0.012

Aurizon

CAD 6.21

-0.5%

413.2%

0.735

Fresnillo

GBP 4.72

-17.9%

407.5%

4.938

Homeland Energy

CAD 0.23

-88.8%

475.0%

0.047

Pangea Diamondfields

GBP 0.02

-95.9%

480.0%

0.055

Guyana Goldfields

CAD 3.28

-55.6%

437.7%

0.154

NWM Mining

CAD 0.66

-55.6%

433.3%

0.007

African Queen

CAD 0.30

-25.0%

400.0%

0.008

Dynasty Metals

CAD 5.23

-23.6%

398.1%

0.148

Anatolia

CAD 3.25

-26.1%

400.0%

0.297

Western Prospector

CAD 0.53

-60.4%

430.0%

0.023

Golden Goose

CAD 0.37

-61.1%

428.6%

0.014

Western Goldfields

CAD 2.47

-26.9%

394.0%

0.267

Claude Resources

USD 0.61

-44.6%

408.7%

0.059

Aricom

GBP 0.28

-74.1%

437.1%

0.475

Kalahari Minerals

GBP 1.19

-3.5%

360.2%

0.309

Northern Dynasty

CAD 8.97

-15.4%

367.2%

0.663

Moto Goldmines

CAD 3.20

-35.2%

384.8%

0.224

Archipelago

GBP 0.10

-65.5%

412.5%

0.030

Oceanagold

AUD 0.77

-70.6%

413.3%

0.088

Colossus Minerals

CAD 2.10

-47.5%

388.4%

0.092

Centerra

CAD 4.56

-66.1%

406.7%

0.787

Kopane Diamonds

GBP 0.06

-59.7%

400.0%

0.015

Pan Palladium

AUD 0.04

-61.2%

400.0%

0.008

Azteca Gold

CAD 0.10

-63.6%

400.0%

0.014

PC Gold

CAD 0.54

-56.8%

390.9%

0.013

Andean

AUD 1.85

-1.6%

335.3%

0.529

Dragon Mining

AUD 0.07

-40.0%

371.4%

0.034

NWT Uranium

CAD 0.10

-68.8%

400.0%

0.010

Catalpa Resources

AUD 0.09

-19.0%

347.4%

0.031

Bannerman

AUD 1.09

-58.1%

382.2%

0.120

North Atlantic Resources

CAD 0.10

-78.7%

400.0%

0.002

Osisko

CAD 5.90

-3.3%

321.4%

1.201

Medusa

AUD 1.73

-5.7%

322.0%

0.204

Frontier Mining

GBP 0.01

-90.2%

400.0%

0.002

Colombia Goldfields

CAD 0.05

-94.9%

400.0%

0.004

Plexmar Resources

CAD 0.12

-57.4%

360.0%

0.015

Seabridge

CAD 29.86

-0.8%

298.1%

0.890

Peregrine Diamonds

CAD 0.65

-20.7%

318.0%

0.042

Reunion Gold

CAD 0.12

-82.9%

380.0%

0.005

Uranium One

CAD 2.67

-48.5%

345.0%

1.000

Iamgold

USD 8.82

-2.0%

297.3%

3.220

Atlanta Gold

CAD 0.29

-80.2%

375.0%

0.013

East Asia Minerals

CAD 0.55

-68.4%

358.3%

0.016

Richmont Mines

CAD 4.75

-3.7%

292.6%

0.099

Ivanhoe

CAD 8.55

-32.1%

315.0%

2.578

Caledon Resource

GBP 0.33

-79.2%

361.3%

0.100

Allied Nevada

CAD 7.91

-3.4%

284.0%

0.361

Nevsun

CAD 1.45

-34.1%

314.3%

0.148

Eldorado

USD 9.14

-5.8%

284.0%

3.383

Chariot

CAD 0.27

-75.2%

350.0%

0.071

Rainy River

CAD 2.60

-45.3%

319.4%

0.117

Adamus Resources

AUD 0.40

-25.9%

300.0%

0.044

Minco Silver

CAD 1.30

-67.5%

333.3%

0.032

S American Silver

CAD 0.40

-37.5%

300.0%

0.016

Exeter Resources

CAD 4.01

-20.9%

281.9%

0.199

African Minerals

GBP 0.39

-79.9%

333.3%

0.107

Aura Silver

CAD 0.09

-71.7%

325.0%

0.003

Blue Sky Uranium

CAD 0.13

-71.6%

316.7%

0.004

Mines Management

USD 1.90

-51.9%

295.8%

0.043

Golden Star

USD 1.59

-58.5%

297.5%

0.299

US Silver Corp

CAD 0.13

-81.1%

316.7%

0.021

Darnley Bay

CAD 0.20

-66.7%

300.0%

0.008

Detour Gold

CAD 11.13

-56.2%

289.2%

0.399

Silvercrest

CAD 0.72

-48.2%

278.9%

0.026

Hochschild Mining

GBP 2.44

-44.4%

275.0%

1.093

Lingbao

HKD 2.87

-29.0%

258.8%

0.110

Searchgold Resources

CAD 0.04

-74.2%

300.0%

0.004

Waratah Coal

CAD 1.55

-63.5%

287.5%

0.076

Moneta Porcupine

CAD 0.10

-56.8%

280.0%

0.008

Hunan

HKD 1.50

-56.4%

275.0%

0.316

PMI Gold

CAD 0.04

-84.6%

300.0%

0.003

Verena

CAD 0.15

-61.5%

275.0%

0.012

Herald Resources

AUD 0.40

-86.6%

300.0%

0.057

Averages/total

 

-46.2%

433.4%

33.215

Weighted averages

-34.4%

366.9%

* 12-month

 

Source: market data; table compiled by Barry Sergeant