Money worries weigh on juniors at PDAC

The buzz at the world's largest mining show, PDAC International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange, is the lack of funds.

The four-day mining conference started on Sunday at the Toronto Convention Centre.

"We have a crisis in the small- and mid-sized companies that are exploring. And there is a lot of selling that's happening," says MaryAnn Mihychuk, PDAC board member, which announced a study looking at the issue.

Mihychuk says there are about 630 companies, which makes up about half of the 1,300 listed companies in Canada, that have less than $200,000 in working capital.

"That indicates that they have one year of life just paying off their accountants, lawyers, securities commissions and virtually nothing to put into the ground."

The results are backed up by Grant Thornton, which released its own study of miners Tuesday. The study found that 55% of juniors rated funding as a top constraint.

"For some junior miners (25%) around the world, the liquidity crunch is serious enough that they need to raise cash within three months or less, with that number rising to 31% in Canada," wrote the study's authors.

"Low cash balances, coupled with broader pressures around regulatory risks and rising operating costs, have put some junior miners at a disadvantage in the capital markets and undoubtedly, some of the poorly managed entities will go bust in the near future."