TSX-V junior mining sector continues impressive growth: PwC survey

    Investors seeing potential in exploration and development

    TORONTO, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - It was another very impressive year for Canada's
junior mining industry on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V). According to the
second annual PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on Canada's junior mining
sector - review of trends in the TSX-V mining industry - while the market cap
for the entire TSX-V increased a solid 14%, the mining sector surged 45% and
the top 100 mining companies saw their market caps rise 37%.
    The PwC survey examines the top 100 mining companies on the TSX-V based
on market capitalization as at June 30, 2007. Paul Murphy, PwC partner and
Canadian Mining Practice leader, noted "The mining sector led the exchange in
more than growth - it also had presence. Of the more than 2,000 companies
listed on the TSX-V, 47% were mining companies."
    $3 billion was generated through share issues in 2007 as investors saw
potential in exploration and development. Total assets for the top 100 rose to
$6.6 billion in 2007 from $4.1 billion in the previous year. Revenue jumped
81% in 2007 to more than $471 million. "Part of the increase can be attributed
to the rise in the number of producing companies, up four to 17, from the year
before," said Murphy.
    Commodity prices continued to play a significant role in growth with
prices remaining strong. Emerging markets like China and India helped fuel
demand for steel, copper and gold while plans for more nuclear reactors added
to the demand for uranium.
    Investor interest in higher-risk junior companies was strong in 2007 and
evident in the growing market caps on the TSX-V. Companies in the top 100 with
market caps above $200 million more than doubled to 29 in 2007 from
14 companies in 2006. Those that made the top five had their market caps
ranged from $558 million to $1.15 billion in 2007, compared with a range of
$475 million to $1.23 billion a year earlier.
    The top five companies in 2007 by market capitalization were:

    -   Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. ($1.15 billion)
    -   Seabridge Gold Inc. ($764 million)
    -   Osisko Exploration Ltd. ($714 million)
    -   Nautilus Minerals Inc. ($577 million)
    -   Palmarejo Silver and Gold Corporation ($558 million)

    For more information on PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on Canada's
junior mining sector - review of trends in the TSX-V mining industry - please
visit www.pwc.com/ca/mining

    PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com) provides industry-focused assurance,
tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its
clients and their stakeholders. More than 146,000 people in 150 countries
across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop
fresh perspectives and practical advice. In Canada, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
(www.pwc.com/ca) and its related entities have more than 5,200 partners and
staff in offices across the country.
    "PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario
limited liability partnership, or, as the context requires, the
PricewaterhouseCoopers global network or other member firms of the network,
each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.

For further information:

For further information: Lisa An, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, (416)
941-8383 ext. 14368, lisa.an@ca.pwc.com

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