The Minerals Council South Africa has been putting together a portrait of junior and emerging miners in the country. Compared with the likes of Canada, there are hardly any to be found here. But there are a bunch of unlisted miners, and they are aiming big.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has 1,193 junior mining companies listed on it. Australia's has 705. The JSE, by contrast, has only 10.
That is one of many revealing stats that have emerged from the Minerals Council's latest survey of junior and emerging miners, which are defined as mining companies with annual turnovers that do not exceed R500-million. The survey was unveiled at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town on Wednesday 5 February.
The mining industries in Canada and Australia have been built in large part on the backs of junior miners - a trend that shows up in the public listing data. In South Africa, by contrast, big players have historically dominated the scene, in part because of the massive capital requirements demanded by deep-level and often low-grade gold and platinum mining.
But the handful of juniors in South Africa - of which 30 are members of the Minerals Council -...