Investing in the micro-cap space of the mining industry isn’t for the faint hearted however for those investors with a high tolerance for risk, a sound understanding of the benefits of diversification and with the time to carefully select a portfolio of candidates, the sector does offer up the opportunity of “striking it rich!”
One very stark difference that distinguishes companies in the mining sector is between producers and explorers. Only around 15% of listed miners are actually digging a resource out of the ground and selling it. In other words only 15% of miners actually produce a product which provides revenue to the company. The remaining 85% are at different stages of development with many of the smallest still exploring a patch of dirt, otherwise known as a tenement, trying to figure out if there is even a resource there worth mining.
While two of the companies mentioned are still at the exploration stage, Mincor Resources (ASX: MCR) which has a market capitalisation of just over $100 million, is a nickel producer that operates two mines in Western Australia. Mincor’s founder Mr David Moore is still actively involved with the company holding the position of managing director. The miner can also boast of a debt-free balance sheet and has paid regular dividends since 2003.
Corazon Mining (ASX: CZN) has a current market capitalisation of just $8.5 million, but has the very exciting Top Up Rise Project. Top Up is described as “prospective for Olympic Dam/Prominent Hill style iron-oxide copper gold (IOCG) mineralisation.” The anomaly runs 10 kms by 6 kms which makes its likeness to BHP Billiton’s (ASX: BHP) Olympic Dam an exciting idea to ponder!
Peel Mining (ASX: PEX) recently found the support of astute fund management firms Platypus and Acorn. With a market capitalisation of $39 million, Peel’s most exciting exploration project, Mallee Bull, is centred in NSW, with drilling confirming gold-silver-lead-zinc-cobalt mineralisation.
Progressing from exploration stage to production stage not only requires plenty of luck but also plenty of time and money. Investing in this space is no easy task but as Andrew Forrest at Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) can attest, a project that ‘goes all the way’ can certainly make you rich!
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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.