Help on the way for this investment sector

Help on the way for this investment sector

Help on the way for this investment sector

It was once the gem of Canadian advisors and their clients and now one regulator is focused on finding out what exactly can be done to restore the lustre of that key investment segment.

“It is important to understand the major issues facing the junior mining sector and the factors contributing to the current state of the market,” said Brenda Leong, chair and CEO of the B.C. Securities Commission. “We hope the research we commissioned will form the basis for a good dialogue with industry around these issues, and help identify opportunities to support junior companies through these difficult times.”

WP has learned that Paul Bourque, the BCSC’s executive director, will lead a discussion with five industry experts about the present funding challenges and what if anything can be done about it.

This week the regulator announced it would dig for details on the province’s flagging junior mining sector in an effort to better understand downturn. BCSC’s annual Capital Ideas conference – set for October 17 – will act as backdrop for that discussion. The event is in fact focused on the venture market, but junior mining, in particular.

KPMG is also expected to release the results of research, commissioned by BCSC and summarizing the perspectives of junior mining executives on their troubled market.

While B.C. is home to more than half of Canada’s mining exploration firms, and has the largest concentration of mining exploration firms in the world, its overall performance in 2013 has underwhelmed both institutional and retail investors.

Advisors, traditionally big promoters of investment in Canadian mining, have expressed considerably more ambivalence about the future of those players. Their willingness to recommend those buyers has also taken a hit.

The BCSC event is expected to get candid about investor disappointment and the generally lacklustre returns the sector now affords them.

“We are fortunate to have such a distinguished group of panellists who are knowledgeable about the industry and able to share their experiences and opinions,” said Paul Bourque. “We can expect a very lively discussion.”