2 ASX shares that ran over 1,500% in 2020

Here's a closer look at 2 ASX shares that delivered an eye watering 1,500% return or more in just one year. And no, they are not tech shares!

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ASX shares that deliver eye watering returns are often found in the tech sector. Last year, however, two ASX shares that ran more than 1,500% were highly prospective exploration companies, powering ahead with significant discoveries and looking to pursue full commercial capability in the coming years. 

2 ASX shares that rose more than 1,500% last year

De Grey Mining Ltd (ASX: DEG

The De Grey share price ran not 1,500% but almost 2,000% in 2020. The company has built up a position in the prospective Mallina Basin of the Pilbara Craton, located in the northwest of Western Australia. The Mallina Gold Project comprises a landholding of more than 1,500 sq kms and boasts greater than 200 kms of gold hosting shear zones. The project currently has a gold resource of 2.2 million ounces with its new Hemi deposit discovery providing the opportunity to increase this resource base substantially. 

Turning to 2021, the company plans to continue drilling to extend and define the overall footprint of its new discoveries, leading to a maiden Hemi mineral resource estimate by the middle of calendar year 2021. Alongside its focus on Hemi, De Grey will continue to explore and define new mineralised intrusions within the greater Hemi region and other targets.

According to De Grey, the company also plans to complete and evaluate early stage project de-risking studies to pursue a corporate strategy to develop a Tier 1 Gold Project, defined as a project producing a minimum of 300,000 ounces per year with a minimum mine life of 10 years. 

Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd (ASX: VUL

The Vulcan Energy share price finished 2020 1,625% higher. The company is focused on reducing the carbon production footprint of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles by aiming to produce the world's first zero-carbon lithium hydroxide product.

To fully electrify our cars with lithium-ion batteries, we need lithium. However, according to Vulcan, using the current main source of producing and refining lithium (hard rock mines) to fully electrify the world's passengers vehicles will emit approximately 1.05 billion tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of the United Kingdom, France and Italy combined. 

Vulcan's project will leverage deep, hot, lithium-rich brine resource which will be used to power a turbine creating renewable energy, powering the lithium extraction process and feeding excess energy into the grid. The company has commenced its pre-feasibility study and is aiming to complete its definitive feasibility study this year. Looking forward to 2023 and 2024, the company is planning a stepwise scale-up to full commercial production capacity.

Foolish takeaway

Both these ASX shares have ballooned to significantly higher market capitalisations in 2020. In the case of De Grey, the company is now worth in excess of $1 billion thanks to its stellar share price gains last year. Whilst these companies are highly prospective and pushing ahead with the steps required to reach commercial production, it is important to note that both have yet to make meaningful revenues or turn a profit. 

Motley Fool contributor Lina Lim has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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