Report says Canada's junior mining industry showing signs of recovery

A new report says Canada's junior mining industry is showing signs of a "delicate recovery" after years of struggling following a drop in commodity prices.

The PwC Canada report says the top 100 mining companies on the TSX Venture Exchange raised $2.04 billion in equity in the year ending June 30, up 174 per cent from the $746 million a year earlier.

Money raised through debt rose more modestly, up 20 per cent to $487 million, while five public offerings raised only $40 million but was up from no IPOs in 2016.

Spending on exploration, development and mergers and acquisition is also up, with cash outflows coming in at $1.15 billion, up from $268 million a year before.

PwC says the aggregate market cap of the top 100 junior mining companies was up seven per cent to $12.2 billion to a level not seen since 2010, but the group significantly underperformed the Venture Exchange as a whole.

Despite the underperformance, the consulting firm says the mining sector still accounted for 47 per cent of the Venture Exchange, which hit an all-time high of over 3,300 in 2007 but has been trading largely under 800 this year.