Junior exploration companies big investors in Saskatchewan

    SASKATCHEWAN, March 6 /CNW/ - A record breaking $272 million (M) will be
invested in exploring Saskatchewan's vast mineral potential according to a
survey of expenditure intentions completed by the Saskatchewan government in
February 2007.
    This is almost nine times the $31.3M spent on mineral exploration in
2003. In addition, the record 15.1 M hectares being explored in Saskatchewan
today is more than six times the amount explored in 2001.
    "The investment climate that has been established for our mineral
industry, combined with excellent prospects in the province, have contributed
to this strong forecast," Industry and Resources Minister Eric Cline said.
"Since 2001, we have introduced changes to virtually all tax structures that
apply to the exploration and mining industry. The industry continues to
demonstrate its confidence in Saskatchewan and the opportunities presented
    From 2004 to 2007, total spending on exploration in Saskatchewan is
estimated at $721 M. Of this, over $550 million will have been spent by junior
and mid size companies.
    Saskatchewan's Athabasca Basin is the world's premier uranium-producing
region. The province's diamondiferous kimberlite fields in the Fort a la Corne
Forest are the largest in the world. Although exploration for uranium and
diamonds dominates the estimate for expenditures in 2007, there will also be
significant rises in spending for gold, base metals and industrial minerals
    Mining is Saskatchewan's third largest industry after oil and natural
gas, and agriculture. It represents six per cent of the province's GDP.

For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Redston, Industry and Resources,
Regina, (306) 787-1691

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