Precious metals stocks dominated in price gains in 2020, and the subsector had a median annual gain of 31.8%, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis. The study considered companies with market capitalization of at least US$1 billion and daily trading volume averaging 100,000 shares.
Of the 15 companies that booked stock-price increases during the year, 11 were precious metals companies that included three four-digit increases. The other four were specialty commodities companies.
The stock price of London-based, Australia-focused Greatland Gold PLC increased the most in 2020, jumping 1,950.0% over the year. The company secured a mining lease for its Havieron gold-copper deposit in Western Australia in September 2020 and formed a joint venture with Newcrest Mining Ltd. at Havieron in November 2020 after Newcrest met a phase-three spending requirement as part of an earn-in agreement.
De Grey Mining Ltd. was the second-largest stock gainer of the group, increasing 1,890.2% in 2020. The Australia-based company announced plans in September 2020 to raise A$100.0 million, with a portion of the proceeds earmarked for ongoing drilling of the Hemi discovery at De Grey's Mallina gold project in Western Australia.
Another Australian stock, Chalice Mining Ltd., had the third-largest share-price gain in 2020, up 1,633.3%. The company changed its name from Chalice Gold Mines in November 2020 and outlined plans in December 2020 to raise A$110 million for its early-stage Julimar nickel-copper-platinum group elements project in Western Australia.
Bulk commodities companies best represented the stock depreciation group, comprising six of the 15 companies. The bottom bracket also included four base metals companies, four precious metals companies and one specialty commodities company.
China-based aluminum producer Dongguan East Sunshine Technology Co. Ltd. booked the largest decrease in stock price in 2020, dropping 50.9%. The European Commission started an antidumping investigation of China's aluminum extrusions imports in the European Union in February 2020 after a complaint by industry association European Aluminium.
Australia-based coal producer Coronado Global Resources Inc. posted the second-largest decline in 2020, decreasing 46.4% over the year. The company launched a fully underwritten A$250 million equity raise in August 2020 to improve its financial flexibility amid the COVID-19 health crisis.
Another Chinese stock, Maanshan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd., had the third-greatest share price drop for the year, down 32.3%. The company agreed in September 2020 to set up a joint venture in Shanghai to enhance the quality of its supply chain.