VentureTrader1, very detailed and high quality post outlining not only the issue haunting VTR but the same issue across the board with many of these similar exploreCo's and developmentCo's juniors. As I mentioned before many, many months ago I exited out of VTR after realizing that there was an abrupt but fundamental shift in investor mindset between investment in cash flow producing companies and pure development/explorer plays. The divide between these two extremes has only widened over six months later. I took an ugly hit at the time of disposition even though I figured I could have executed with better sell prices with a bit more patience (and the stock did go substantially higher by 20-25 cents from my liquidation range), but I still believed that it was the correct strategic move to exit.
I am only browsing this board this weekend due to the low price once again near 52-week lows and because I read the recent NR, just to see if possibly there was some opportunity here even if just for a trade. My general feeling is that VTR with their last news update is doing somewhat of a "copy cat move" ala Keegan Resources because their sp got a big boost upon releasing an update towards selective mining and reduced capex. And they figured it would also work wonders for their sp so why not try it but it has backfired on them for whatever reason.
The gloomy thing about all of this is that the final salvation for a miracle buyout is remote considering that most mergers and acquisitions have generally avoided Africa. I think there has only been a handful with Riverstone the only one recently that pops in my mind along with the rumour of African Barrick. Most of the junior buyout candidates seem to be focused in Ontario, Canada.
It's a very bad market for juniors that are required to continue raising funds for exploration and/or development and ones that are not fully funded up to production. The ones that excel in this category either have management with prior track record of success that gets automatically followed and backed by institutional money managers or have creative non-dilutive means to raise capital either by way of divesting of hidden assets not valued by the market or by way of debt/streaming deals. I do not think this is a short term phenomena either and will likely last for several years because I think investors have finally realized that most of these juniors are really mining the pockets of investors/shareholders which have kept them afloat all along.