"No warning can save people determined to grow suddently rich" - Lord Overstone

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Richard Mills

Richard Mills

Richard is host of www.aheadoftheherd.com and invests in the junior resource sector. His articles have been published on over 200 websites including: Wall Street Journal,…

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Cherry Picking Season

As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information

"Everyone dreamed of the day when they would be the one to strike it rich, but what does it mean to people today? I'll tell you, a big house and a nice car. People don't see that it's so much more than just finding the golden score. It's not seen as a building block for freedom. It's been twisted and messed up to the point of being stuck on a scratch and win ticket. That is what is left of the prospector's dream in today's world. All the people around you don't understand, they can't see the freedom and the hope it brings you when you chase the dream. They just think you're dreaming, but we know the truth don't we? Daryl Friesen author, Seekers Of Gold

Prospectors are today still scouring the bush, in remote, and not so remote places - chasing the rainbow and its pot of gold - looking for the next discovery.

Prospecting, whether for precious or base metals, is of course the integral first step in the process of discovery, walking the bush and hammering rocks means boots on the ground. It's people walking through the bush that have found the worlds mines.

Staking claims and making a deal with a junior resource company, a vendor's agreement, is often the second step - the prospectors claims are turned over to be worked for shares and or cash and a one or two percent net smelter royalty (NSR) from a mine if the showing goes all the way. Most prospectors don't have the wherewithal, the money raising capabilities or the expertise to develop a showing so this is where a junior would come in. Being publically traded they have access to capital and expertise the prospector most often does not.

Why are the juniors so successful at finding mines? Well the good ones are lean mean boots on the ground exploration and development companies run by people who have been out there and know what it takes. They know how to raise money from the suits and they know how to get the story out to the retail investor.

They are not tied up in bureaucratic red tape and can make the important decisions without commissioning a six month study or running it up through 12 layers of pencil pushers and then sitting on their butts waiting for an answer while somebody else scoops the prize. They can and do make up their minds very quickly and can execute immediately on plans.

Juniors outperform majors

Mining is a self-depleting industry meaning mines have an inherently limited lifespan. Every day a mine operates, it is that much closer to running out of ore. So the industry needs to find new deposits in order to replace these ever-depleting mines.

For the past decade, junior mining companies have outperformed senior miners at finding new mineral deposits and generating wealth for stakeholders.

"These are among some of the findings released in a study conducted by resource company strategist MinEx Consulting, which analyzed the performance of explorers and producers operating in Canada between 1975 and 2014. What the consultancy firm found is that, in the last decade, junior companies were responsible for more than three quarters of all new mineral discoveries and were approximately 30 percent more effective than senior companies at generating wealth...

In 2009, 2010 and 2012 senior companies failed to make a single new discovery.

Juniors handily beat the seniors when it comes to the total number of discoveries. Of all the deposits found, over three quarters were made by junior miners.

Mineral discoveries made by Juniors

Juniors also spent more than the seniors on exploration - $14.6 billion compared to $12.5 billion - and their discoveries collectively had a much higher valuation - $12.1 billion compared to $7.9 billion." Frank Holmes, Junior Mining Companies Have Taken a Senior Role

Vancouver, British Columbia Canada is the home of the TSX Venture Exchange (CDNX) - it is the market for juniors. Exploration and development companies focused on precious/base metals, other minerals, energy and technology all call it home. Is it a perfect indicator? No, perfection in anything is an illusion, but to this author it does show a bottom is developing. And that's why this summer, yes during the summer doldrums (June, July, August), could be the perfect time to be cherry picking individual resource juniors and accumulating shares.

CDNX 5-Year Weekly Chart


Only a few prospectors among the many thousands who search ever find an economic to mine deposit. But prospecting success and drill programs that are targeting these showings should be on every investors radar screen.

For a fact most of us can't be prospectors, and it's pretty difficult to invest directly in a prospector. But for those of us who dream of discoveries made and riches hard won we can chase the rainbow through our publically traded junior resource companies.

If you want to invest in a potential discovery, or the building of something of value - be in on the discovery of a mineral deposit and be there as the company moves it down the development path towards a mine there are quality junior companies to choose from. There are enormous opportunities to back excellent management teams with your investment money.

Is cherry picking on your radar screen?

If not, maybe it should be.


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