It hasn't been much fun for investors in S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) miner Chalice Mining Ltd (ASX: CHN).
The stock has more than halved in the past month, plunging 52.2%.
So far this year it's lost 61.4%.
Let's examine what's happening with the ASX 200 mining stock and whether there's any hope for these hapless shareholders.
First, the bad news
The latest setback for the company has been a scoping study released to the market earlier this month, which the market interpreted negatively.
"Investors appear concerned by the lengthy wait before production commences and the ambitious commodity price forecasts used by the company," reported The Motley Fool's James Mickleboro last week.
Indeed, Chalice admits production is not expected to start until 2029, which is a long way away even for long-term investors.
But here's the good news
Believe it or not, there are a couple of rays of hope for Chalice Mining investors.
First is that the heavily discounted valuation attracted potential takeover suitors just last month.
The Motley Fool reported in August that both "large cap" and "mid cap" miners had been sniffing around, according to Chalice chief Alex Dorsch.
And now with the share price for the ASX 200 mining stock more than halving since then, those acquisition rumours have gone into overdrive, with more speculation published in The Australian this month.
If any of the big boys gobble up Chalice, it could be a windfall for shareholders of the junior miner.
Second cause for optimism is that insiders have been buying up Chalice shares while they're cheap.
Earlier this month, Chalice Mining chair Derek La Ferla purchased almost $30,000 worth of shares and non-executive director Morgan Ball grabbed a $11,000 batch.
Do they know something? Is an acquisition imminent? Only time will tell.
For the moment, Chalice Mining remains a highly speculative — though potentially lucrative — purchase.