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Against that backdrop, Netolitzky and his partners decided to change the focus of Santoy Resources from base metals exploration to focus on discovering and proving uranium deposits with a focus on areas of Canada that have produced uranium in the past. Santoy is far from alone. “In the last three or four years, we’ve gone from virtually no companies to around 500 claiming to be in the uranium business,” he says. What sets Santoy apart are its experience and its approach to discovery and exploration, which relies heavily on joint ventures. Netolitzky himself has been working in mining exploration for over 30 years, with three gold discoveries in Canada that led to active production to his credit. “The long period of doldrums when there wasn’t much speculating on uranium took a lot of the expertise out of the industry,” says Netolitzky. “You’ve got only a few gray-haired geologists like myself and a lot of younger ones.” The company is also well capitalized, Netolitzky says, with investors backing Santoy because of the experience the team brings and because of the sheer opportunity the uranium market now represents. Santoy actively acquires and pursues uranium resources in four main geographic locations across Canada; the Athabasca Basin in Saskatchewan, the southeast part of British Columbia, the Otish Mountains of Quebec, and the Central Mineral Belt of Labrador in the far eastern reaches of the country. The Athabasca Basin is particularly promising, Santoy believes, and the company has formed two joint ventures there to explore areas where uranium has been found in the past. In that area, Santoy is working through a joint venture with Denison Mines Corp. on four separate project areas, known as Hatchet Lake, Murphy Lake, Fond du Lac River and Riou River. So far, exploration has included aerial surveys and magnetic testing and Santoy has pledged to fund half of an additional exploration budget of $1.4 million in prospecting and drilling for this year. Santoy also moved early to acquire land and mining rights in Labrador’s Central Mineral Belt. It directly owns a property known as Anomaly 7, where it recently dispatched a crew to increase exploration activity. Its 50- 50 owned Mustang Lake property, a joint venture with Mega Uranium Corp., is similarly close to active drilling, with a permit to do so pending before regulators, while the nearby Bruce River property is undergoing water sampling aimed at finding evidence of belowground uranium deposits. Through an investment, Santoy also ended up with an interest in what is considered the best uranium deposit in the province of British Columbia. That deposit was poised for production in the 1970s, but political pressure created permitting barriers and the project was shelved when the provincial government put a seven-year moratorium, which expired in 1987, on permitting new uranium mining projects. The project is now moving into the permitting phase, which can be a cumbersome procedure in Canada, where both provincial and federal regulations apply. Netolitzky says that offi cials in Australia have begun to change their view on permitting new exploration and mining activity and that there is a risk that African countries (where uranium is also found, though often at a lower grade than that mined from Canada and Australia) will move quickly to produce uranium to meet the current bull market, which could depress prices before higher quality material can reach market, unless permitting becomes somewhat more manageable. “There is still opposition to uranium, but October 07 Businessexcellence 49 “The long period of doldrums when there wasn’t much speculating on uranium took a lot of the expertise out of the industry. You’ve got only a few gray-haired geologists like myself and a lot of younger ones” The Saskatchewan Research Council’s Geoanalytical Laboratories has been providing Smart Uranium Solutions to the uranium exploration industry for over 35 years. The lab has a proven track record for producing high quality, traceable results, and its world renowned repertoire of uranium analysis services includes U308 analysis. More details on the lab can be found at SRC Geoanalytical Laboratories SantoyResources