Cross-industry mining companies are battling to raise funds amid faltering investor enthusiasm and challenges to junior miners and explorers, according to a new report by the consultancy SNL Metals & Mining. In Q1 2014, SNL’s 46-page survey showed miners brought in a “lackluster” $7 billion, with $1.6 billion for explorers.

With “no real improvement” over the $9.8 billion raised in Q4 2013, moreover, Q4 2013 revenues stood at $108.1 billion, down from Q3’s of $111.8 billion — held, mostly, by large companies, according to the State of the Market: Mining and Finance Report. Although “the global economy might have turned the corner this is not true for mining,” that is. “The industry’s position and prices are illustrated by the decline,” SNL added.

Freshly discovered gold in Q1 2014 stood at 30.7 million oz, for example, down from Q4’s 35.6 million, according to the survey; new reserves were 3.1 million oz in Q1, down from Q4’s 15.7 million oz. New copper resources and reserves, however, jumped in Q1 2014 over Q4 2013, with resources at 14.1 million tons, compared with 5.3 million tons; new reserves stood at 2.6 million tons by Q1, up from Q4’s 1.3 million.

At the same time, mergers and acquisitions surged 66% to $11.87 billion in Q1, contrasting with Q4’s $7.17 billion. Agreements have increased in value since Q3 2013, meanwhile, although the number of deals is down; 62 were announced in Q1 2014 as opposed to 76 in the preceding quarter. More than 50% were for gold, with copper at 23%. Copper deals totaled $6.6 billion in worth, while gold deals stood at $3.27 billion.

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