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File photo of an employee seen at the Toronto Stock Exchange.Kevin Van Paassen

Those looking for even more evidence that corporate executives are smelling bargains in the junior mining sector should consider this: Insider buying on the TMX Venture exchange is near a record high.

INK Research's Venture indicator is at 715 per cent today, just 20 percentage points below its record peak of 735 per cent set on Oct. 27, 2008. That means there are more than seven stocks listed on the exchange with insider buying for every one seeing selling. It also marks a steep increase since early March, when the indicator was near 400 per cent.

Such a high level of buying interest among officers and directors within their own businesses in the resource sector has correctly foreshadowed a recovery in share prices in the past: That high point of nearly five years ago came about six weeks before the Venture market bottomed on Dec. 5, 2008, points out Ted Dixon, INK Research CEO.

The Venture indicator is based on insider transactions over the past 60 days. But INK also has a Venture indicator that covers just the past 30 days of transactions. It's more volatile, but gives a better sense of the more recent insider activity.

And right now, that shorter-term indicator is painting a picture of corporate insiders scooping up beaten-down shares with little hesitation. The 30-day Venture indicator is at 1,229 per cent today, after reaching a record high on Monday of 1,305 per cent.

The gold sector is clearly driving a lot of the buying enthusiasm. The INK Gold Stock Indicator – which tracks insider buying on all Canadian-listed gold stocks and is heavily influenced by junior miners – has now surpassed its March high and is over 1,000 per cent, according to Mr. Dixon. That's more than 10 stocks with key insider buying for everyone with selling.

The indicator hit an all-time peak of 1,046 per cent last Thursday.

We've attached this PDF of INK Research's latest gold industry report that details the buying and selling activity in the sector by company name over the past 30 and 60 days.

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