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A toast to discovery in Top 10 juniors at year end

There was lots to not like about 2013 for juniors. But for those that had success, discovery played a notable role.

It won’t be remembered as a the finest year for juniors. Indeed, it ranks among the worst, with massive shareprice losses the norm, incredibly tight financing conditions, which have hardly loosened, and flight from the markets by speculators, as evidenced by slowing trading volumes. Most junior CEOs won’t give toasts to the end of a fine year. Quite the opposite. The toasts are more likely to be, Thank God 2013 is behind us.

Still, there was success, and for some the markets took note. That is reflected in the final snapshot of the top 10 juniors by marketcap on the TSX Venture for 2013.

Discovery proved a driver of some of the greatest success stories, measured by TSX-V marketcap and shareprice performance. In this, it’s fitting that Fission Uranium ended the year on top and on a fairly strong note. Shareprice wise it’s up about double since the beginning of the year. It has built on the discovery of the Patterson Lake South uranium deposit in the Athabasca Basin that gathered steam earlier this year with important mineralized extensions.

Another discovery-driven story in the top 10 was Reservoir Minerals, fifth on the top 10 list. It and joint venture partner Freeport McMoRan discovered high grade copper-gold in Serbia at the Timok project, which Freeport operates. This year Reservoir’s shareprice started out a little over C$2 a share. Since then it has climbed steadily and is now topping C$5 as the year closes out (at presstime mid-day trading December 31).

To pad the point further – that discovery and exploration has driven some remarkable performances this year – I’ll stretch the list just a bit further to included a few more top juniors – those with marketcaps over C$100 million on the TSX-V (15 in total, list below.) Here you also find Zenyatta, which discovered graphite in Ontario last year. It has moved up nicely since. And there’s also Kennady Diamonds, up by more than double on the year thanks to diamond exploration in Canada’s North.

To be sure, the grind down through 2013 is evident in the top 10 list as well, both by shareprice performance and by its very nature – how few TSX-V juniors boast C$100 million plus marketcaps. For instance, it’s been a tough year shareprice wise for advanced-stage junior Lumina Copper, number two on the list. It started 2013 around C$10 a share and ends it around C$6 a share (up, it’s worth noting, from a low of about C$4 a share a few months back.)

And many juniors would count that performance a good one this year.

So sure. It’s been an awful year. A hard year. And many will want to forget it. But juniors also did what they were supposed to do. Go up when they made great discoveries. Here’s hoping for more.

C$100M-PLUS MARKETCAP JUNIORS ON THE TSX-V

Company Marketcap Price 52 Week High 52 Week Low
Fission Uranium $328,606,696.00 $1.05 $1.48 $0.52
Lumina Copper $272,535,892.00 $6.20 $10.65 $3.86
Gold Reserve $268,104,559.00 $3.55 $3.78 $2.50
Largo Resources $211,203,070.00 $0.22 $0.28 $0.16
Reservoir Minerals $209,625,983.00 $5.02 $5.75 $2.14
SilverCrest Mines $192,785,222.00 $1.77 $2.79 $1.19
Probe Mines $161,965,315.00 $2.14 $2.47 $1.10
Copper Fox Metals $149,753,816.00 $0.37 $1.02 $0.31
Bear Creek Mining  $135,176,492.00 $1.46 $3.47 $1.17
Chesapeake Gold  $126,586,643.00 $2.85 $10.09 $2.78
Zenyatta Ventures  $124,672,189.00 $2.25 $5.00 $0.76
Atlatsa Resources  $121,133,083.00 $0.60 $0.61 $0.14
Arianne Phosphate  $120,330,750.00 $1.43 $1.69 $0.93
Kennady Diamonds  $106,005,638.00 $4.91 $8.74 $1.00
True Gold Mining  $104,533,721.00 $0.40 $0.63 $0.21

Ed. note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the 52-week highs of the six juniors at the bottom of the table above.

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