Silver has had an exciting 2023, with banking crises and other economic factors driving it to sustained heights.
After starting the year just below the US$24 per ounce mark, the white metal fell through February and early March to US$20. However, in the time since then the metal has been on a run, crossing US$26 on April 14. After a brief dip to US$23 heading into the summer, the silver price revived to the US$25 level in mid-July.
The top silver stocks list below was generated on July 24, 2023, using TradingView’s stock screener, and it contains the five silver-focused companies on the TSX, TSXV and CSE with the biggest share price gains year-to-date. All the silver stocks listed had market caps above C$10 million at that time. Read on to learn more about what they’ve been up to.
1. CMX Gold and Silver (CSE:CXC)
Year-to-date gain: 60 percent; market cap: C$11.11 million; current share price: C$0.16
CMX Silver and Gold is an exploration and development company focused on restarting its 100 percent owned, past-producing Clayton silver mine in the mining-friendly jurisdiction of Idaho. The project has historically produced over 2 million metric tons (MT) of ore from a known vein system, and a stockpile of 1 million MT of unprocessed material remains on the property. CMX is working to identify other veins on the property, which includes newly staked lands.
CMX’s share price didn’t see much movement through the first quarter of the year as a result of little material news flow while the company waited for results from a stockpile testing program initiated in Q4 of last year. Under an agreement with Sulphide Remediation, materials were collected from nine areas at the Clayton silver mine stockpile, and about 536 kilograms were shipped to Sydney, Australia, for testing in an ore-sorting laboratory facility operated by TOMRA. The results of the testing program will be used to determine the best ore-sorting process for the Clayton silver mine stockpile.
Shares of CMX rose from C$0.07 on March 27 to C$0.09 at market close on March 29 on news that ore testing at the TOMRA facility had been successfully completed, with the sorted product sent to Bureau Veritas for assaying.
CMX’s next share price jump came this summer, when it reached C$0.11 on June 30 before climbing to a year-to-date high of C$0.16 per share by July 10. This significant increase followed the June 29 release of stockpile assay results confirming the viability of ore sorting at the Clayton silver mine project, including the enhancement of silver and zinc grades by 6.4 and 7 times, respectively.
‘The silver, lead and zinc assay results are robust and ore-sorting returned a high-grade concentrate. This provides CMX with a unique opportunity as a junior mining company to exploit the stockpile, which is estimated to contain 1,000,000 tonnes or more of mineralized material,’ CMX President and CEO Jan Alston stated. Processing of the stockpile is expected to start in 2024.
2. Metallic Minerals (TSXV:MMG)
Year-to-date gain: 47.73 percent; market cap: C$51.68 million; current share price: C$0.36
Metallic Minerals is a silver and gold company operating projects in Canada and the US. The company’s flagship asset is the Keno silver project in Canada’s Yukon. According to Metallic, Keno covers the second largest land position in the Keno Hill silver district. Additionally, Metallic holds the Australia Creek and Dominion Creek gold projects in the territory, as well as the La Plata copper-silver-gold project in Colorado, US.
Metallic released two sets of drill results from Keno in January, one on January 12 and one on January 30; the latter intersected a highlight of 230 grams per metric ton (g/t) silver equivalent over 20.9 meters, including 1,540 g/t silver equivalent over 1.63 meters.
On January 24, the metals company announced a gold production royalty agreement with Little Flake Mining, which is owned and operated by Parker Schnabel, a significant player in the TV show Gold Rush. Little Flake will receive exclusive rights to extract gold from the Australia Creek gold property.
Metallic’s share price performed relatively flatly through late February, but shot up on February 28, when the company revealed that its 2022 exploration program at La Plata intercepted a hole grading 0.41 percent copper equivalent over 816 meters, which is not only the longest and highest-grade interval seen at the project, but “one of the top intersections for any North American copper project in the past several years.”
After cooling from the C$0.37 in the days following that news, Metallic’s share price climbed again from mid-March to early April, reaching a year-to-date peak of C$0.40 on April 4. On April 10, the company released high-grade drill results from the Keno project’s Caribou target, with a highlight of 195.8 g/t silver equivalent over 6.7 meters, including 1,310 g/t over 0.53 meters. Now that it has finished processing the results from its 2022 exploration, Metallic is planning its 2023 drill program with a focus on continued resource expansion and the testing of new targets.
After a short slide to the C$0.35 level, the company’s share price got another boost back up to C$0.40 with news in mid-May of a C$6.3 million equity investment by major miner Newcrest Mining (TSX:NCM,ASX:NCM,OTC Pink:NCMGF) for a 9.5 percent interest in Metallic.
At the top of Q3, Metallic shares had dropped as low as C$0.28; they then rose more than 25 percent to reach C$0.36 following the launch of the company’s first phase drill program at La Plata.
3. Hercules Silver (TSXV:BIG)
Year-to-date gain: 46.88 percent; market cap: C$40.65 million; current share price: C$0.23
Hercules Silver is an exploration and development company focused on its Hercules silver project in Idaho, US. The company spent much of 2022 exploring the 100 percent owned property, and is continuing to do so in 2023.
Hercules’ first news of the year came on January 24, when it announced that its 2022 rock chip sampling program, which was made up of over 800 samples at its Hercules property, showed the presence of a large mineralized system. The company’s share price trended upward through February, during which time it unveiled and outlined its 3,000 meter Phase 2 drilling plan; it reached a year-to-date high of C$0.28 on February 28, when it announced drill results from Phase 1 drilling at Hercules, including a drill core with highlights of 353 g/t silver over 38 meters and 791 g/t silver over 4.57 meters.
In March, Hercules announced the addition of Kelly Malcolm, a geologist with significant precious metals exploration experience, as an independent director on the company’s board. The company finished the month with the commencement of a brokered private placement, which it closed on April 20 for C$5.75 million, with its share price trading at C$0.25 in the days after; however, Hercules stumbled over the next month to hit a low of C$0.17 on May 16.
Hercules’ May 31 launch of a 6,000 meter Phase 2 drill program and the anticipation of positive news flow in the coming months helped push the stock’s per share value back up to C$0.23 as of July 25. The campaign is aimed at testing ‘extensions of historical mineralization, verify previous historical drilling and test a series of new targets generated by greenfields exploration,’ as per a news release.
4. Silver One Resources (TSXV:SVE)
Year-to-date gain: 42.31 percent; market cap: C$81.66 million; current share price: C$0.37
Exploration and development company Silver One Resources is building a portfolio of quality silver projects. The company’s wholly owned flagship project is the past-producing Candelaria silver mine, located in Nevada, US. Silver One has also staked 636 lode claims and entered into a lease/purchase agreement to acquire five patented claims on its Cherokee silver-copper-gold project, also in Nevada, and holds an option to acquire a 100 percent interest in the high-grade Phoenix silver project in Arizona, US.
News in early March that Silver One had obtained a permit to drill the Phoenix silver project gave the company’s share price a boost, and it rose from C$0.21 on February 28 to C$0.28 on March 3. Those gains didn’t stop there, with Silver One reaching its year-to-date high of C$0.43 by April 10; however, the stock fell back to the C$0.30 level in early June.
On April 24, Silver One completed a C$5 million private placement, followed the next month with the announcement that it had acquired a 100 percent stake in Nevada’s Candelaria silver mine. More recently, the company reported on positive metallurgical results out of Candelaria, and announced in July that further testing results are expected in Q3.
Silver One believes the metallurgical results suggest that the existing mineral resource at Candelaria may be processed by low-cost open-pit, heap-leach methods, similar to those used in the past, but with much improved silver recoveries and the potential to improve the economics of the project. The company plans to complete a preliminary economic assessment following its update to Candelaria’s historic resource estimate.
Shares of Silver One rose from C$0.30 on July 10 to C$0.41 on July 18.
5. Arizona Silver Exploration (TSXV:AZS)
Year-to-date gain: 39.29 percent; market cap: C$28.2 million; current share price: C$0.39
Arizona Silver Exploration has a portfolio of early stage projects in the tier-one mining jurisdictions of Arizona and Nevada. The company’s flagship property is the Philadelphia project in Mohave County, Arizona, which hosts high-grade gold and silver vein targets. The project is located near the Oatman mining district; the region has produced 2 million ounces of gold from high-grade epithermal veins. Arizona Silver’s other assets include the Ramsey silver and Sycamore Canyon gold-silver projects in Arizona and the Silverton gold project in Nevada.
In the first half of 2023, the company was highly active at its Philadelphia gold-silver property, generating a rolling series of press releases that helped boost its share price. The stock started the year at a price per share of C$0.28, and hit a year-to-date high of C$0.59 on May 4.
Arizona Silver kicked off its 2023 exploration program in February, targeting the GAP zone with the first reverse-circulation drilling on the property. A total of 12 holes covering 1,256 meters were completed during the campaign. In April, the company commenced core drilling to test the western edge of the recently identified Red Hill CSAMT geophysical anomaly at the project.
In early May, results from 2023 exploration started coming in, with highlights from the drill program including 51 g/t gold and 16.1 g/t silver in the FW vein from 54.88 meters to 56.4 meters, and 18.2 g/t gold and 46.6 g/t silver in the HW vein from 13.72 meters to 15.24 meters. Later in June, the company reported that the assay results for hole PC23-111 “confirm the down-dip and eastward continuation of the mineral system.’
Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.