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Remotely controlled tipper trucks operate at a Rio Tinto iron ore mine in Western Australia. (HANDOUT/REUTERS)
Remotely controlled tipper trucks operate at a Rio Tinto iron ore mine in Western Australia. (HANDOUT/REUTERS)

The bright side of the mining sector Add to ...

Given how dire the warnings have been, it’s easy to assume that the mining industry is on death’s doorstep. And some people truly believe it.

But believe it or not, there are some bright spots. Although the S&P/TSX’s materials sub-index is down 13 per cent this year, a handful of stocks actually made sizable gains.

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Since January 1, the two best returns in the materials sub-index are Agrium Inc, up 41 per cent, and West Fraser Timber, up 34 per cent.

Those aren’t exactly metals and mining names, but five of the top ten biggest gainers are. They include, ranging from best returns to lowest:

1. Harry Winston Diamonds
2. Franco-Nevada
3. Agnico-Eagle Mines
4. Pretium Resources
5. Lundin Mining

Harry Winston is up 25 per cent this year, while Lundin is up 15 per cent.

The numbers aren’t as rosy if you judge performance from the materials peak at the end of February until now, but a few mining and metals companies still have positive performance. Agnico-Eagle is the standout with an 18 per cent return.

This isn’t a defence of the entire industry, because clearly there are some serious problems. But the gains serve as a reminder that the whole thing shouldn’t be written off.

Follow on Twitter: @timkiladze

 
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  • LUN-T
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