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Junior Miners: Doom, Gloom, or Boom? [Chart]

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Junior Miners: Doom, Gloom, or Boom? [Chart]

Junior Miners: Doom, Gloom, or Boom? [Chart]

PwC report recaps malaise, but recent traction may indicate signs of life

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

If it wasn’t already clear, the junior companies that explore, develop, and mine the world’s metals are struggling. PwC recently recapped the malaise of these companies in its latest Junior Mine 2015 report, along with highlighting some success stories of those that have been able to bypass the onslaught.

The report, which looks at the Top 100 junior mining companies traded on the TSX Venture exchange, had findings that makes junior mining executives want to bury their heads in the sand. The average market capitalization of exploration companies is down -51.2% from 2014 to 2015. The amount of money raised in equity and debt markets for exploration companies is down -33.4% over the same timeframe.

Furthermore, the average company on the Top 100 list has $7 million cash, which is down from $10 million last year. In 2011 the average cash in the bank was $22.7 million.

Remember, these are the results of the “best” companies in the space. This doesn’t include the zombies or any of the other hurting companies.

Signs of Life?

Every coin has two sides, and here’s the other side to this one. Over the last two months, data shows that things aren’t getting worse. In fact, it could even be argued that things are getting better.

Since the end of the “flash crash” that hit markets on August 24th, when the Dow dropped 1,100 points in the first five minutes of trading, miners have been up. The TSX Venture is up 4.1%, the GDXJ (Junior Gold Miners ETF) is up 3.9%, and the HUI (Basket of Unhedged Gold Stocks) is up 8.0%. Even more spectacular is the GLDX (Global X Gold Explorers ETF), which is up a solid 17.0% since the August lows.

This is obviously not anything definitive. However, seeing all four of these major indices up at the same time is a good sign.

Now we just need a rags-to-riches story like that of Voisey’s Bay to get the market really humming.

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Mining

Visualizing Raw Steel Production in 2023

China produces more than half the world’s steel.

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Voronoi graphic showing top raw steel producers in 2023.

Visualizing Raw Steel Production in 2023

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Steel is essential for the economy due to its crucial role in infrastructure, construction, manufacturing, and transportation sectors.

This graphic breaks down the estimated global production of raw steel in 2023. The data was sourced from the U.S. Geological Survey as of January 2024.

China Produces More Than Half the World’s Steel

One major issue facing the steel industry is overcapacity in top producer China.

Steel production in China has surpassed demand in recent years, leading to downward pressure on the profit margins of steel mills worldwide.

Historically, China’s troubled real estate sector has accounted for over one-third of the country’s steel consumption. To address this issue, the Chinese government has mandated steel production cuts since 2021.

Far behind China, India is the second-biggest producer of steel, followed by Japan.

CountryRegion2023 Production (million tonnes)
🇨🇳 ChinaAsia1,000
🇮🇳 IndiaAsia140
🇯🇵 JapanAsia87
🇺🇸 U.S.North America80
🇷🇺 RussiaEurope75
🇰🇷 S. KoreaAsia68
🌍 Rest of World420
Total1,870

Infinite Recyclability

Steel is an alloy primarily composed of iron ore containing less than 2% carbon, 1% manganese, and other trace elements. It is 1,000 times stronger than iron and can be recycled over and over without sacrificing quality.

Steel is widely used in various industries. It is a fundamental material in construction, providing support through beams, internal structures, and roofing.

Moreover, steel’s corrosion-resistant properties make it ideal for water infrastructure. Stainless steel pipes are the preferred choice for underground water systems, ensuring longevity and purity in water transportation.

Additionally, most canned foods are stored in steel containers for preservation, as steel does not rust.

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