Junior Explorers – refers to those companies that have limited (or no) revenue streams to finance their exploration activities. Instead the principal means of funding exploration is through equity finance.
Small Producers – are companies with one small mining operation. They typically have sales revenues of <US$50m pa.
Moderate Producers – are companies with one or two mining operations to fund their exploration activities. They typically have sales revenues of around US$50-500m pa.
Major Producers (Single) – are companies with multiple mining operations that generate sufficient cash flows to internally fund and develop large mining projects on its own. They tend to be focused on only 1-2 commodities. They have sales revenues >US$500m pa. A current example of this company type would be Newcrest Mining Ltd.
Major Producers (Multi) – are those Major Companies with a spread of mining operations and expertise across a broad range (ie >3) of different commodities. They have sales revenues >US$500m pa. An example of this company type would be BHP Billiton.
As a simplification for the current study, the Major Producers (Single) and (Multi) have been merged together to form one category.
State Owned Companies – generally refers to mines owned and managed by the National Government. It also refers to discoveries made by Government geologists. This is often the case in the Former Soviet Union and in China.
Oil Companies – generally refers to companies who main activity is oil & gas exploration and production. In the 1970’s a number oil companies (like BP, Shell and Chevron) were actively exploring for minerals.
Private/Unlisted Companies – are companies not publicly trading on the Stock Exchange. They rely on their own internal cash flows and/or the private shareholders for funding exploration.
Prospectors – these are individual people (usually with no formal geological skills) that self-fund their own exploration efforts. They are associated with many of the discoveries in the early part of a country’s mining history.