A tidal wave of turmoil for junior and mid-cap miners

Apr 20, 2009 | 11:52 AM |

It's already been a tumultuous year for junior and mid-cap Canadian miners. Get ready for things to turn even nastier.

A wave of proxy fights, mergers, business closures and desperate attempts at financing is expected to inundate the industry before calmer seas return. Survival amid this severe economic downturn won't come easy.

A survey released in late February by the Fraser Institute provides a hint of what's to come. Four out of five mining executives predicted that at least 30 percent of global junior explorers would go out of business before markets recover; 40 percent said that more than half of the juniors would disappear. Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of respondents believed exploration and development activities at these companies would be further curtailed.

"Survey responses indicate this year that the mining sector expects dramatically decreased investment plans along with a large number of companies either reducing activity or going out of business all together," said Fred McMahon, the Canadian research institute's director of trade and globalization studies.....

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