what is happening to junior exploration companies? In capsulated form, financings are becoming increasingly difficult to arrange, the stocks are at much lower prices versus historical levels; mostly because credible information and exploration success is not resonating and consequently the junior resource stocks have little or no resulting upward movement. The consequence of this is that much needed financings for exploration activity are now being transacted at historical low prices, creating an environment of super-dilution and a growing lack of interest for investment in this sector. The result: investors are moving away to similar types of investment opportunities in the high-tech and bio-tech industries.
"There are dire predictions that over half of the junior mining companies will disappear within the next few years (see articles from mining industry analysts and writers Brent Cook and John Kaiser) MacDonald is not sure whether our political leaders realize or care that the disappearance of such a large amount of these companies will constitute major layoffs in personnel and the country will likely lose key exploration scientists such as geologists and geophysicists whose experience, as well as the ongoing opportunity for experience, will be gone forever. Equally important, Canada will lose a significant portion of an industry whose participants today are recognized as the world's best.
"We have seen and heard comments from both the OSC and IROC. These have been bolstered by a number of newspaper articles and they all allude to or say one thing - the playing field is not level and the large and wealthy have a decided edge. We are seeking to nurture a healthy equitable business environment for all potential shareholders, not one that favors a chosen few.
"Most discoveries come about through small exploration companies as they are more nimble, and focus solely on discovery. If they disappear, so will this focus. So here is the question: How can a business sector that is being this decimated be the prime driver for growth in Canada and the province of Ontario? It won't be and this sought after exploration success will significantly diminish. We could go on at great length but the solutions to arrest this problem could be quick and relatively easy:
"1. Stop the high frequency trading,
"2. Do not allow allocation for bid credits,
"3. Allow easier access for bank customers to buy a small portion of their portfolio in junior exploration stocks,
"4. Mandate that the banks have their analysts look at these smaller companies with the objective of grading and rating them and not just a singular focus on the large, mature mining deals. This would enable clients and potential investors to better evaluate stocks, companies and projects in the junior mining sector for consideration as part of their portfolios.
"The Federal Government could look at increasing flow-through tax relief, which today is an excellent stimulant for exploration, to bring more focus back to this important exploration sector. We should also look at disallowing short selling for all stocks less than one dollar. It is important that investors be made aware and have some understanding of what companies such as MacDonald Mines are facing as we strive continue to develop our projects. Hopefully these comments will resonate, for they are indeed relative to the growth of the country and the province of Ontario.
"Exploration is difficult, especially in an economic climate such as this, and requires a high degree of tenacity. MacDonald is fortunate that it has assembled, over the years, an ever-growing compliment of exploration scientists with a management team focused on success. We are extremely grateful that we have continued to be funded by people who understand our dedication and focus on the prize. We are well financed for the next round of exploration and we are counseled by some of the brightest minds in this sector and have highly professional, seasoned exploration geologists leading all facets of the direct exploration process. It is not good luck that brings exploration success - it is good targets selected with quality data that is managed by highly experienced, insightful exploration scientists and geologists who understand how to continue to move a project forward in spite of the challenges that are inherent with looking for these large and worthy prizes.