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July 07 Businessexcellence 65 “There are mines that spend years or even decades in the permitting stage. We were able to be up and running in a few months” is that because metal prices were depressed for a while, we basically lost a generation of miners,” Hartmann notes. The result is few qualifi ed mining technicians and a shortage of experienced mining professionals such as geologists and engineers. US Silver has responded with a mentoring program that matches experienced miners with those with less experience and with a bonus program that pays employees for referring new hires and the new hires themselves for coming aboard. Looking forward, Hartmann feels US Silver is putting itself in a position to thrive in whatever type of conditions the market brings. From copper (from which the company gets a tenth of its revenue) to lead and silver, metals remain in short supply and hot demand. “Even if the price of silver were to go down from where it is now, the prices would still be historically high,” he notes. Production costs are currently high due to the investments being made in revamping infrastructure and expanding capacity, but even if silver prices fall from their current $13-plus levels, US Silver will be positioned to thrive. “With the improvements we’re making, our costs are only going down.” US Silver

Businessexcellence July 07 66 A new management team has brought a change of fortune for nutritional supplement manufacturer and marketer Natrol, as Martin Ashcroft discovered from COO Craig Cameron