Many investors historically have turned to safe haven assets such as precious metals in times of economic and political turmoil. One way to gain exposure is by owning companies in the metals and mining industry, which are involved in the exploration, extraction, and sale of metals and other minerals. These materials are used in a wide range of applications in jewelry making, industry, technology, aviation, aerospace, and more. Some of the industry's biggest companies globally include Franco Nevada Corp. (FNV) and Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (WPM).

Despite the economic upheaval in 2020, mining companies as a group have underperformed the broader market. The benchmark SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME) has provided 1-year trailing total returns of 14.9% compared with 21.5% for the Russell 1000 as of December 9. All other figures below are as of December 10, 2020.

Here are the top 3 mining stocks with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and the most momentum.

Best Value Mining Stocks

These are the mining stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.

Best Value Mining Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
Sibanye Stillwater Ltd. (SBSW) 14.30 10.5 3.9
Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. (TRQ) 11.15 2.2 5.7
Jaguar Mining Inc. (JAG.TO) CA$7.58 CA$0.5 7.1

Source: YCharts

  • Sibanye Stillwater Ltd.: Sibanye Stillwater is a South Africa-based mining company that develops and extracts mineral properties. The company serves customers in South Africa and the U.S. Following a vote by shareholders, the company announced on December 11 that it would make odd-lot and specific offers to shareholders owning up to 100 and between 100 and 400 shares of the company. The offer price will be a 5% premium on the stock's list price and the process will be completed by the end of the year.
  • Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.: Turquoise Hill Resources is a Canadian mining company focused on Asian and Australian sites. The company explores for and develops mines producing gold, copper, coal, molybdenum, and other minerals. Some of Turquoise Hill's main mining operation are in Mongolia and Kazakhstan.
  • Jaguar Mining Inc.: Jaguar is a Canada-based mining company that explores, develops, and operates gold properties in Brazil. For Q3 2020, Jaguar reported an increase of net income by roughly 14-fold on an 89.1% year-over-year (YOY) increase in revenue. Gold production rose 24.7% YOY for the quarter as well. This marked the company's fifth consecutive quarter of increased production.

Fastest Growing Mining Stocks

These are the mining stocks with the highest year-over-year (YOY) earnings per share (EPS) growth for the most recent quarter. Rising earnings show that a company’s business is growing and is generating more money that it can reinvest or return to shareholders.

Fastest Growing Mining Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) EPS Growth (%)
Champion Iron Ltd. (CIA.TO) CA$4.75 CA$2.2 4,870
Jaguar Mining Inc. (JAG.TO) CA$7.58 CA$0.5 1,060
Sierra Metals Inc. (SMTS) 2.95 0.5 1,000

Source: YCharts

  • Champion Iron Ltd.: Champion Iron is an Australia-headquartered company that explores and develops properties containing iron ore deposits. On November 16, the company announced that it had received regulatory approval to acquire the Kamistiatusset iron ore project in Newfoundland, Canada. Per the agreement, Champion Iron will pay $15 million in cash and will extinguish approximately $19.4 million in secured debt of Alderon Iron Ore Corp., the seller.
  • Jaguar Mining Inc.: See company description above.
  • Sierra Metals Inc.: Sierra Metals is a Canada-based mining company which targets properties in Mexico and Peru.

Mining Stocks With the Most Momentum

These are the mining stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.

Mining Stocks With the Most Momentum
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Jaguar Mining Inc. (JAG.TO) CA$7.58 CA$0.5 544.4
Tudor Gold Corp. (TUD.V) CA$2.77 CA$0.5 471.1
Skeena Resources Ltd. (SKREF) 2.20 0.5 398.9
Russell 1000 N/A N/A 21.5
SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME) N/A N/A 14.9

Source: YCharts

  • Jaguar Mining Inc.: See company description above.
  • Tudor Gold Corp.: Tudor is a Canada-based mining company focused on the exploration and development of precious metals. The company targets mining operations in the area of British Columbia known as the Golden Triangle.
  • Skeena Resources Ltd.: Canada-based Skeena Resources develops prospective mining properties in Canada. The company focuses on the Golden Triangle in British Columbia and particularly on the Eskay Creek gold-silver mine. On December 8, Skeena reported positive results from its Phase 1 exploration drilling at Eskay Creek and announced that Phase 2 development is underway.

The comments, opinions and analyses expressed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be considered individual investment advice or recommendations to invest in any security or to adopt any investment strategy. While we believe the information provided herein is reliable, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. The views and strategies described on our content may not be suitable for all investors. Because market and economic conditions are subject to rapid change, all comments, opinions, and analyses contained within our content are rendered as of the date of the posting and may change without notice. The material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region, market, industry, investment, or strategy.