Which ASX 200 mining shares managed to dig up gains in October?

Was October a month to forget for many of the big miners?

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Key points

  • It was a mixed month for ASX 200 mining shares
  • The big three iron ore miners all went backwards
  • However, it was a good month for businesses involved in lithium and rare earths

We're nearly at the end of 2022. October saw heightened volatility as investors came to grips with the latest economic numbers. What did it mean for S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) mining shares?

Miners can be impacted by a number of different things, including changes in the relevant commodity price, sentiment about what direction the prices are headed, the company's ability to maintain or grow its production, and so on.

General market volatility can also hurt the valuation of businesses in the mining sector.

Iron ore miners

The iron ore ASX shares make up the biggest resource position in the ASX 200, so I'll focus there.

Over October, the BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price fell by 3%.

Next, the Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price dropped by 5.6%.

The Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) share price declined by 12.6%.

The Champion Iron Ltd (ASX: CIA) share price retreated 3%.

Interestingly, the Mineral Resources Limited (ASX: MIN) share price went up by 11.2%. However, this may have been due to the lithium side of the business rather than the iron ore side.

The iron ore price has continued to head lower as demand from China continues to be dampened by various factors with lower steel demand, an uncertain housing (including construction) situation and ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns.

Quarterly production reports were released for the three months to September 2022, including Fortescue, BHP and Rio Tinto. Of the three, Fortescue's may have been the strongest because it delivered a record for production.


ASX lithium shares continue to benefit from strong (and strengthening) lithium prices.

For example, Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) revealed that it sold two different cargoes of lithium during the month.

On 18 October it sold 5,000 dry metric tonnes (dmt) for $7,100 per dmt. Then, a week later on 24 October it sold another 5,000 dmt for $7,255 per dmt.

It may be no surprise to learn that the Pilbara Minerals share price increased by 11.6% over October.

Looking at some of the other names for the month, the Allkem Ltd (ASX: AKE) share price climbed 4.3% and the Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) share price rose by 25%.

Other miners

Let's also look at some of how the other largest ASX 200 mining shares performed.

Over the month, the Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) share price rose by 2.5%.

The South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) share price declined by 0.8% in October.

The Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: LYC) share price went up by 10%.

Last month, the IGO Ltd (ASX: IGO) share price climbed by 11.6%.

The Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) share price also went up by 11.6%.

Overall it was a good month for most miners, except the iron ore miners.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has positions in Fortescue Metals Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. 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 Scott Phillips.

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