The downturn in the resources markets left many junior miners reeling following a protracted boom in basic materials, driven by demand in countries such as China, India and Brazil.  That rampant economic expansion has now normalised and market prices for metals has consequently fluctuated significantly causing mining companies, large and small, to adjust their strategies.  Many of the mining ‘majors’ have almost completely stripped back exploration activities as they struggle to make unwieldy production portfolios work. Whilst junior exploration companies have also suffered during the commodities downturn a new breed of company, with better levels of cost-control and operational focus is now emerging, looking to position themselves as credible suppliers of new projects. Increasingly, market commentators are seeing a turn in the commodities cycle following concerns over falling production and restrictive metals ‘cartels’.  Already iron ore has seen strong rises in spot price this year, following a long period in retreat.