Investors are always hunting for the next big stock -- the dream stock whose price increases several times when the market finally discovers it. It's easy to look back and see what the 10 best stocks of the past decade were. But I'm more interested in the tools that can not only help me find new stock ideas, but also provide the resources to evaluate tomorrow's greatest companies.

There is a tool that offers a variety of resources to help us find tomorrow's leaders: Motley Fool CAPS, a 120,000-member community of investors helping each other beat the market.

We've enlisted CAPS to screen the mining industry and get the story behind some of the more highly rated stocks. CAPS' nifty screener will help us find stocks with:

  • A market cap of at least $100 million.
  • A three-year revenue growth rate of at least 20%.
  • A price-to-earnings ratio of less than 25.

Then we'll tap the collective intelligence of our CAPS members to see whether these companies present real opportunities -- or whether the numbers fail to tell the true story.

Opinions with the numbers
Here's a sampling from the list of stocks our screen pulled up today.

Company

Revenue Growth Rate,
Past 3 Years

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Cameco (NYSE:CCJ)

31.1%

*****

Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY)

179.6%

****

Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW)

86.8%

****

International Coal Group (NYSE:ICO)

44.4%

****

Data and star rankings from CAPS. All data as of Oct. 17.

Cameco
As the world's largest uranium producer, Cameco's shares have been heavily affected by the drop in uranium prices. But with its products generating electricity in nuclear energy plants globally, many see the company as having big potential to benefit if nuclear demand continues to grow.

Like any miner, Cameco is subject to production delays, accidents, and overhauls of mining operations. But with its integration of virtually all levels of the nuclear supply chain, investors consider the company the best nuclear energy option. Even with the risks, more than 97% of the 1,284 CAPS members rating Cameco expect it to outperform the market.

Yamana Gold
While holders of gold bullion have actually done quite well over the past several decades, long-term investors have endured the peaks and valleys of gold mining stocks like Yamana, Goldcorp (NYSE:GG), and Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI). Stock in many miners has fallen further than the prices of their underlying commodity as they struggle with operational costs that eat into profits.

But even with Yamana's shares far from their 52-week highs, the company carries a next-to-nothing long-term debt-to-equity ratio. And many CAPS members like Yamana's rich reserves in its existing mines, and see solid long-term potential in its low-cost structure and growth plans. As such, 97% of the 3,152 CAPS members rating Yamana Gold expect it to be a market-beating stock.

Silver Wheaton
While gold is primarily held for its value, silver is a metal that also has industrial uses. Silver Wheaton keeps its costs essentially fixed by signing long-term contracts for silver, such as a recent agreement with Alexco Resource for under $4 an ounce. These contracts could help the company see big upside benefits as some -- including Foolish metal guru Christopher Barker -- expect silver prices to move up more in line with historical averages in relation to gold. A solid contingent of CAPS members -- more than 96% of the 1,197 giving an opinion -- expect Silver Wheaton to beat the S&P.

International Coal Group
It's been a very volatile time for commodity suppliers, particularly steelmakers and the coal miners that supply them. But many investors believe stocks such as International Coal and Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI) are oversold as the global demand for steel -- and hence metallurgical grade coal -- will continue. With International Coal controlling about 1 billion tons of coal and expanding into the more profitable metallurgical coal segment, many CAPS members see the stock poised for a rebound. On the scorecard, more than 96% of the 599 members rating International Coal expect it to outperform the market.

Let 120,000 members be the judge
The collective wisdom of a huge pool of investors can help give context to a page of numbers developed through a stock screen. But even with an entire community of qualified opinions acting as the judge, individual investors are still the jury and should perform their own due diligence.

Run your favorite factors through the Motley Fool CAPS screener. It's totally free, and we think you'll like the results.

Finding tremendous bargains on stocks is what the Motley Fool Inside Value service is all about. To see what stocks are trading way below intrinsic value, check out a free 30-day trial of the newsletter service today.

Fool contributor Dave Mock dreams of stocks and sugarplum fairies, but not together. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. International Coal Group is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems Pay Dirt recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy screens the good, the bad, and the ugly.