June 6 (Reuters) - Canada's Major Drilling Group International Inc, a bellwether for the mining sector, said on Thursday it has cut the number of staff on its weekly payroll by 38 percent as mining companies rein in exploration spending.
Major Drilling, one of the world's biggest metal and mineral exploration drilling companies, disclosed the details on a conference call after its fourth-quarter results, which were released after the market closed on Wednesday.
Some miners have delayed exploration work in recent quarters amid an acute shortage of funding for early-stage companies, stagnant metal prices and escalating costs.
Major Drilling said it is also cutting senior executives' salaries and directors' fees, as it aims to reduce general and administrative costs by 20 percent from their peak in the current quarter.
Shares fell 2.2 percent to C$7.02 on the Toronto Stock Exchange soon after the market opened on Thursday.