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3 small cap resource stocks storming higher on sector strength

April has been a good month for the resources sector as the likes of Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) prosper on strong demand for key commodities.

Overall sector strength is giving these three small cap resource stocks some welcome buoyancy as they hit 52-week share price highs, and if they’re not already on your watch list, they should be.

Perseus Mining Limited (ASX: PRU)

Shares in mining operations company Perseus Mining Limited are at a 52-week high, up from 32c per share at this time last year to an April 17 close of 48c per share.

Perseus has caught the attention of Macquarie brokers who have rated the stock as neutral as its newly-commissioned Sissingue mine has started off strongly despite its Edikan gold project coming in softer than the forecast in March albeit reporting a positive operating cash flow.

Perseus yesterday announced a snapshot of its operations, with its Sissingue project ahead of schedule and a clearly defined strategy to develop and operate multiple gold mines in West African geo-political settings.

Macquarie has raised its price target on Perseus from 48c per share to 52c per share.

Copper exploration and development company Avanco Resources Limited (ASX: AVB) has joined Perseus on the 52-week high list, with share prices rising from 11c per share this time last year to today’s open of 16c.

Copper miner OZ Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) made an off-market takeover offer on Avanco last week with an offer price of $0.085c cash plus 0.009 OZ Minerals shares for every Avanco share and the board of Avanco unanimously recommended shareholders accept the offer.

Silver Lake Resources Limited (ASX: SLR)

Also hovering in 52-week high territory is gold producer and explorer Silver Lake Resources Limited, with share prices at 49c at the time of writing.

Silver Lake’s flagship projects are Mount Monger, Murchison and Great Southern projects in the prospective regions of Western Australia.

Silver Lake shares rose 15% on April 6 after the company released a production update for the quarter ended March 31 2018.

The announcement detailed strong operational performance with gold sales for the company up 31% from the December quarter which saw FY18 sales guidance bumped up to between 145koz and 150koz.

Silver Lake is certainly one to watch, with its highly-attractive zero debt status and cash and bullion balance of $87 million.

Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA)

Rapidly shaking off its smaller cap status is nickel-sulphide explorer and producer Western Areas Ltd with shares in the $977 million market cap company sitting at a 52-week high today, up 2.7% to $3.58 at the time of writing.

Western Areas’ core asset is its 100%-owned Forrestania Nickel Operation with two operating mines and interests in projects across Canada and Finland also on the books.

Western Areas reported strong results for its half year to December 31, 2017, with EBITDA up 26% on the previous corresponding period as the company is primed for growth with construction completion of its Mill Recovery Enhancement Project and Odysseus Project now forecast to be larger than expected with a longer mine life.

One to watch given its strong organic pipeline of opportunities.

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Motley Fool contributor Carin Pickworth has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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