Meet Our Speakers



SME THRIVE 2020 Conference Co-Chairs

Robert W. Schafer is a Registered Professional Geologist with +30 years international experience exploring for mineral deposits and identifying, evaluating and structuring business transactions globally having worked in more than 80 countries, notably Russia, Australia, Afghanistan, China, India, and most countries in Africa and South America. As a field geologist, manager and executive, Mr. Schafer led teams to the grassroots discovery of mines in the western USA and Russia, as well as developing strategies that lead to brownfields discoveries in western Canada and southern Africa.

Bob is an active member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME), its President 2020-2021, and served on the Board for more than a decade. He is also Past-President the PDAC, the CIM and the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America. Bob was a member of the Board of Governors for the US National Mining Hall of Fame and the Board of Directors of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. He is the first person to hold such leadership roles in both the USA and Canada.

Bob is the recipient of the William Lawrence Saunders Gold Medal from AIME, as well as the prestigious Daniel C. Jackling Award and Robert A. Dreyer Award from SME for technical achievements and leadership in the mining industry during his career. He is a Fellow of SME, CIM and SEG. Bob earned his BSc and MSc degrees in Geology and in Mineral Economics. In addition, he completed the Executive Management program at Stanford University. Bob is also a Certified Corporate Director (ICD.D) and a Registered Professional Geologist in the States of Wyoming and Utah.  He is founder and CEO of Eagle Mines Management and is a member of the Board of Directors of select mining companies.


Tim Alch is Managing Partner, Corporate Development Advisor of MDS, LLC and Managing Partner of TAA Advisory LLC and Executive Director of the New York Section of SME (Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration). Tim is known for his project management, team building, business development and analytical skills and long history of analysis of the natural resources, financial and capital markets and related challenges facing owners, management, and governments therein.

His career spans 35 years working in equity analysis, management consulting and investment advisory about business, technical, financial, investment, management and placement issues while associated with these leading advisors and banks: Managing Director of Behre Dolbear, Senior Vice President of Anderson & Schwab Inc., Equity Analyst at Paine Webber Inc., Prudential Securities Inc., and Dean Witter Reynolds and Senior Consultant and Industry Analyst at CRU International (London), World Steel Dynamics (New York) and Resource Strategies (London and Pennsylvania).

Tim graduated from Amherst College, B.A. Geology with honors; John Mason Clarke fellow and studied in M.Sc. Energy & Mineral Economics program (ABD) at Penn State University; is a member of: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME); American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA); was Executive Committee member of the New York Section of SME (2008-16); is Executive Director of NY SME (2016-20); a Co-Chair of SME’s Current Trends in Mining Finance (CTMF) Conference (2013-20) in New York and Member of SME’s Finance Strategic Committee (2017-20).


Conference Speakers

Meet the experts | Tuesday, October 20, 2020


The Outlook - A Phoenix Rising from Ashes of the Pandemic

Michael Fox, (Moderator) Publisher, The Prospector News

Michael Fox is a media relations/ communications professional with 28 years of media experience. Michael’s career began in News Talk Radio in Calgary Alberta Canada. After leaving the radio business Michael transitioned his professional life to a media consultant. In 2002 he started consulting to the Prospector News and eventually becoming its Owner/Publisher in 2008. “The past 18 years have been a whirlwind, when I first started, I thought a 43101 was a zip code. What I know today about the industry is tantamount to the individuals who will willing to take the time to share their expertise and experiences. The key to good story telling is to have great characters. There is no shortage of colorful characters in our business. They make the mundane task of looking at rocks exciting. After all, if it can’t be grown it needs to be mined.”


Iron Ore and Steelmaking Raw Material Trends - China's Driving the Market

Chuck Bradford, CFA, President, Bradford Research Inc.

Chuck Bradford has been a metals analyst for more than 50 years. Formerly partner and metals analyst with Affiliated Research Group.  Previously (and again), he was the President of Bradford Research, Inc. which marketed his research through Soleil Securities. He was the senior steel analyst at Smith Barney and prior to that with UBS Securities, a subsidiary of the Union Bank of Switzerland (6 years). He had been the senior metals analyst with Merrill Lynch for 14 years. Chuck is back being president of Bradford Research, Inc., an international investment consulting firm. Chuck has been placed on the Institutional Investor magazine "All American" Research Team 26 times, covering (at various times) nonferrous metals, coal and steel.

On six separate occasions he was ranked as the #1 steel analyst on Wall Street by II. He has also represented the United States at various United Nations metals conferences and has been an advisor to various companies (both domestic and foreign) and U.S. government agencies including the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. and in March 2003 was asked to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee on steel trade. In 1985, Chuck gave the keynote speech in Beijing at the HSLA Steel conference, the first international conference ever held in China. He has an MBA in Finance from the Wharton Graduate Division of the University of Pennsylvania and a BS degree from the University of North Carolina. The Bradford’s are also benefactors of the Manhattan Institute, a policy research organization, and Chuck was awarded a Life Saver medal by the AAA while in grade school.  


Dr. Joseph Poveromo, President, Raw Materials & Ironmaking Global Consulting

Dr. Joseph J. Poveromo (Ph.D., M.S. Center for Process Metallurgy, State U. of New York/Buffalo; BS Chem. Eng. Rensselaer Poly). From 1974 he was at Bethlehem Steel’s Homer Research Laboratories. In 1993 he established his consultancy, Raw Materials & Ironmaking Global Consulting.  Through 2008 his principal client was the Quebec Cartier Mining Company, serving as Director Technology-International. Currently, he consults for steel, iron ore, other natural resource, technology provider, financial and consultancy companies on a global basis.  Dr. Poveromo is a Distinguished Member of AIST (Assoc. of Iron & Steel Technology); his awards include the T. L. Joseph Award for long-standing contributions to ironmaking technology.  He is also a Special Member of the IIMA (International Iron Metallics Association).


Getting It Right: Moving Forward Following a Global Pandemic 

Alim Visram, Vice President, Corporate Development, Coeur Mining Inc.

Alim Visram joined Coeur in 2018 from Barrick Gold where he was a Senior Director in Strategic Matters and Corporate Development. Before joining Barrick, he spent 12 years as an Investment Banker, most recently at Credit Suisse in London, UK. He has extensive experience in structuring and executing a variety of strategic M&A and capital market financing transactions with a wide range of global metals and mining and industrial companies. Mr. Visram holds an Honors in Business Administration (HBA) degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.


Bradford Cooke, Chief Executive Officer & Director, Endeavour Silver Corp.

Bradford Cooke is a professional geologist and entrepreneur with 43 years of experience in the mining industry. He has specialized in the formation, management and financing of exploration and mining companies and the acquisition, exploration, development and mining of mineral properties. Mr. Cooke founded Endeavour Silver Corp. in 2003 for the purpose of acquiring high-grade silver-gold projects in Mexico. Since that time, the Company has acquired, rebuilt and expanded four silver-gold mines in Mexico, and made a new discovery with the potential to become Endeavour’s fifth mine.

Mr. Cooke began his career as project geologist in 1976 managing mineral exploration programs for uranium, base metals and precious metals across Canada with Noranda Mines, Shell Minerals and Chevron Minerals. He later owned and operated Cooke Geological Consultants Ltd., discovering several high-grade gold vein deposits for clients in British Columbia from 1983 to 1987. In 1988, Mr. Cooke launched Canarc Resource Corp., a junior gold exploration and mining company focused on exploring and developing prospective gold properties in the Americas. Canarc successfully delineated a 1.15 million oz gold resource at its core asset, the New Polaris gold mine project in British Columbia.

Mr. Cooke received a B.Sc. Geology degree (Honours) from Queens University in 1976 and a M.Sc. Geology degree from the University of British Columbia in 1984. He is a member in good standing of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, The Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, the Association of Mineral Exploration in BC, and a Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada.


Jess Kindler, President Parts & Services, Epiroc Rockdrills AB, Member Group Management, EPIROC

Jess Kindler is a member of Epiroc´s Group Management team and serves as President of Parts Services and Supply Chain. He is responsible globally for marketing, sales and delivery of all parts and service products to Epiroc’s customers, as well as the full Epiroc supply chain to also including drilling tools, consumables, and hydraulic attachments. Jess is further commercially responsible for all Epiroc operations in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. Additionally, Jess is responsible as the executive sponsor of Epiroc’s People and Leadership Council, Live Works Elimination Council, and the Service Council. Previous to this role Jess was the Director and General Manager for PT Atlas Copco Nusantara, Atlas Copco's subsidiary in Indonesia. 

Jess graduated in 1998 from the Colorado School of Mines with a degree in mining engineering, and in 2012 from the Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania) with a MBA.  He received the Outstanding Mining Engineer Graduate Award and the Colorado Engineering Council’s Silver Medal from Colorado School of Mines, and the Dean Patrick Harker Leadership award from the Wharton School. Upon graduation from Mines, Kindler served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne School and the U.S. Army Ranger School. He received both the Army Achievement medal and Army Commendation medal during his service. He left the army as a captain in 2002 and joined Ingersoll-Rand Drilling Solutions in Garland, Texas.

He has held various engineering, management, and executive positions with Ingersoll-Rand, Vulcan Materials, Unocal-Molycorp (now Chevron Mining), Epiroc (Formerly Atlas Copco).  Kindler and his family (6 children) have lived and worked in New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, and internationally in Jakarta, Indonesia and Stockholm, Sweden


Jeff Swinoga CPA, CA, MBA, National Mining & Metals Co-Leader, Ernst & Young Canada

Jeff Swinoga is EY Canada’s National Mining and Metals Co-Leader. Jeff leads a team of professionals across the country supporting mining and metals companies as they pursue their growth ambitions in the wake of a transformed competitive and operating landscape. Jeff leverages years of business strategy, structuring, change management, M&A and relationship building experience in CEO/CFO positions for intermediate to large public companies and over 25 years of experience in the sector and finance. Jeff has successfully built and led finance teams through the different stages of financing, construction and production. He also brings international experience in the mining and finance industries with an extensive network, operating and undergoing development in North and South America, as well as Africa. Jeff has served on boards of publicly-traded companies, such as First Cobalt and Tonbridge Power. He holds an MBA degree from the University of Toronto and a four-year Honours Economics degree from the University of Western Ontario. He’s also a Chartered Professional Accountant. 


Anthony Vaccaro, (Moderator) CFA, MBA, Group Publisher, The Northern Miner Group

Anthony Vaccaro is Group Publisher of The Northern Miner Group, where Anthony has overall responsibility for some of the mining industry’s most distinguished media brands including: The Northern Miner, Canadian Mining Journal and Mines Handbook. Mr. Vaccaro also serves as Head of Global Mining for Glacier's Resource Innovation Group, where he oversees such noted brands as, EduMine, CareerMine and Mining Intelligence. Mr. Vaccaro holds the CFA designation, has an MBA in Investment Management and serves on the Boards of the Resource Innovation Group, The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame and Women Who Rock.

An Overview: ESG, Responsible and Sustainable Mining, and Corporate Finance

Robert W. Schafer, Reg. P.G., 2020 SME President

Robert W. Schafer is a Registered Professional Geologist with +30 years international experience exploring for mineral deposits and identifying, evaluating and structuring business transactions globally having worked in more than 80 countries, notably Russia, Australia, Afghanistan, China, India, and most countries in Africa and South America. As a field geologist, manager and executive, Mr. Schafer led teams to the grassroots discovery of mines in the western USA and Russia, as well as developing strategies that lead to brownfields discoveries in western Canada and southern Africa.

Bob is an active member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME), its President 2020-2021, and served on the Board for more than a decade. He is also Past-President the PDAC, the CIM and the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America. Bob was a member of the Board of Governors for the US National Mining Hall of Fame and the Board of Directors of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. He is the first person to hold such leadership roles in both the USA and Canada.

Bob is the recipient of the William Lawrence Saunders Gold Medal from AIME, as well as the prestigious Daniel C. Jackling Award and Robert A. Dreyer Award from SME for technical achievements and leadership in the mining industry during his career. He is a Fellow of SME, CIM and SEG. Bob earned his BSc and MSc degrees in Geology and in Mineral Economics. In addition, he completed the Executive Management program at Stanford University. Bob is also a Certified Corporate Director (ICD.D) and a Registered Professional Geologist in the States of Wyoming and Utah. He is founder and CEO of Eagle Mines Management and is a member of the Board of Directors of select mining companies.

Exploration Finance: How to Get Funded

Normand Champigny, CEO, Quebec Precious Metals Corporation

Mr. Champigny is a geological engineer with extensive experience with both public and private companies, both domestically and internationally and is currently a director of Bonterra Resources. He has been involved in many facets of the mining industry, including engineering, project evaluation, and project management. Mr. Champigny is a member of the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec and Director of Mining Matters. Until recently, Mr. Champigny was an Executive Committee Member of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada. He was Chair of the Board of Directors of Minalliance, an organization raising awareness about the mining industry in Quebec and highlighting its positive contribution to Quebec’s social, economic, and environmental development. Mr. Champigny is a graduate from École Polytechnique in Montreal (B.A.Sc), University of British Columbia (M.A.Sc), and Paris School of Mines (Specialized Diploma in Geostatistics).


Brett Beatty, Partner and Investment Team Leader, Resource Capital Funds

Brett Beatty is a Partner and Investment Team Leader at Resource Capital Funds. He joined Resource Capital Funds in 2009 having worked as a Mining Engineer for numerous companies including Mincor Resources and Barminco. Brett’s field of experience include production, planning, mine design, geotechnical and mine site management in various underground operations across Australia. Brett manages a RCF investment team.


Hugh Agro, P.Eng., President & CEO, Revival Gold Inc.

Hugh Agro is the President and CEO of Revival Gold Inc., a TSX-V-listed growth focused gold exploration and development company. Prior to Revival Gold, Mr. Agro co-founded Carbon Arc Capital Investments Inc., a private-equity backed investor in mining and metals, and served as Executive Vice President, Strategic Development with Kinross Gold Corporation. At Kinross, Mr. Agro was a member of the Executive Leadership Team and responsible for strategic and operational leadership of Kinross’ growth initiatives including corporate development, global exploration and commercial activities in Russia. Previously, Mr. Agro held senior executive positions with Placer Dome, Senator Capital Partners and in investment banking with Deutsche Bank’s Global Metals and Mining Group. Mr. Agro holds a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering from Queen’s University (1989) and MBA Finance from UBC & London Business School (1997).


David Awram, Senior Executive Vice President & Director, Sandstorm Gold Royalties

David Awram co-founded Sandstorm Gold in 2008. Through his contributions to capital raises, technical due diligence, and corporate development, David has been instrumental in growing the company from a start-up to a leading mid-tier royalty company. Before starting Sandstorm, David served as Director of Investor Relations at Silver Wheaton Corp. (now Wheaton Precious Metals Corp.) where his role included corporate development and investor relations during Silver Wheaton’s dramatic growth into a multi-billion dollar company. As Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Sandstorm Gold, David brings a wealth of experience to every acquisition. He has been involved in billions of dollars worth of royalty financings and has evaluated hundreds of resource projects, including on-site due diligence at mines all over the world.  David is a graduate of the University British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology.


Paul Harris, (Moderator) Latin America Editor, The Mining Journal

Paul Harris has more than twenty years’ experience in the mining sector in investor relations, communications, research and news reporting roles. Paul has twelve years’ experience in the Colombia gold sector including investor relations roles with Continental Gold, Gran Colombia Gold and Mineros. Paul founded the successful Colombia Gold Symposium in 2016 and has written for industry leading publication Mining Journal since 2015. Previously, Paul spent five years in Chile reporting and analyzing the copper sector for CRU and Metal Bulletin. Paul received a BA in Business Administration from the University of the West of England, UK; and a MA in International Relations from the University of Chile, Santiago Chile. He is fluent in English and Spanish.


Gold Supply Post-Pandemic - Near Term Opportunities But Challenges Ahead

Christopher Galbraith, P.Geo, Metals & Mining Research Analyst, S&P Global Market Intelligence

Chris Galbraith is a professional geologist and metals and mining analyst focused on supply and exploration trends. After spending a decade on exploration projects across Canada, he joined the Research team, which through acquisition would later become part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Since joining, Chris has worked to expand data coverage of commodities and capital offerings in exploration. In 2016 he collaborated in creating an exhaustive database covering mined supply estimates across the global gold mining sector and co-created the Mined Supply Report: Gold, of which he is the primary author. In addition to this, an emerging area of focus for Chris includes work on greenhouse gases emissions and how they relate to metal supply.


How to Bridge the Financing Gap from PEA to Bankable Feasibility Study

Robert Cohen, MBA, CFA, Vice President & Portfolio Manager, Dynamic Funds

Robert Cohen is a Vice President & Portfolio Manager on the Dynamic Equity Income Team, specializing in the mining industry. Leveraging the teams QUARP® process, he manages concentrated precious metals and resource portfolios that invest in high-quality companies with management teams that have strong technical experience and a history of effective capital allocation. Robert has been on the investment side of the industry since 1998, when he first joined Dynamic, and previously worked as a mineral process engineer at Canadian, Chilean and Australian copper and gold mines. This combination of investment management experience and in-the-field expertise gives him a unique perspective in analyzing the financial viability of projects as well as the geology underlying them. Robert has a degree in Mining & Mineral Process Engineering (1992) and a Masters of Business Administration (1998) from the University of British Columbia and obtained his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2003.


Joe Mazumdar, Editor/Analyst, Exploration Insights

Joe Mazumdar is Editor / Analyst and Publisher of Exploration Insights. Joe joined Brent Cook as co-editor and analyst of Exploration Insights in December 2015 and transitioned into being the sole editor a couple of years later. Previously, he had spent six years as Senior Mining Analyst at Haywood Securities and Canaccord Genuity in Vancouver, six years as Director of Strategic Planning, Corporate Development at Newmont Mining (Denver), and over two years as Senior Market Analyst/Commodity Trader at Phelps Dodge (now Freeport-McMoRan, Phoenix). Before becoming a mining market analyst, Joe worked for over a decade as an exploration geologist in different capacities for IAMGOLD, North Minerals, and RTZ in South America (Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador), MIM Exploration in Queensland, Australia, and Noranda and others in Western Canada (British Columbia, Yukon) and the Northwest Territories. Joe has a BSc in Geology (1988) from the University of Alberta, an MSc in Geology and Mining (1997) from James Cook University (Queensland), and an MSc in Mineral Economics (2003) from the Colorado School of Mines.”


Ryan McIntyre, President, Maverix Metals Inc.

Ryan McIntyre is President of Maverix Metals Inc. brings more than 15 years of experience in the mining and mining investment industry, having spent the last 11 years with Tocqueville Asset Management L.P., most recently as a Co-Portfolio Manager of the Tocqueville Gold Strategy, as well as the Tocqueville Gold Fund. Prior to joining Tocqueville, Mr. McIntyre was an analyst and then associate focused on mergers and acquisitions in the metals and mining sector with Macquarie Bank. Mr. McIntyre holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction (majoring in finance) from Dalhousie University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. He also holds the CFA designation.


Kai Hoffman, (Moderator) CEO, Oreninc

Kai Hoffmann is the CEO of the Soar Financial Group, a diverse group of companies focused on the mining sector. Part of the Soar Financial Group, Oreninc is North America’s leading provider of relevant financing information in the junior commodities space. Tracking over 1,350 companies on the TSX, TSX-V and CSE gives him valuable insight into the current state of the markets. Kai frequently presents his groups’ findings at leading industry conferences worldwide. He recently presented and opened the capital markets program at the world’s largest mining conference PDAC in Toronto. Follow Kai on Twitter @soarfinancial and @oreninc for up-to-date market commentary, live interviews and more.


Warren Gilman, Chairman, CEO & Director, Queens Road Capital Group

Warren Gilman is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of publicly listed Queen's Road Capital Investment Ltd., a leading financier to the global resource sector. From 2011 to 2019 Warren was the Chairman and CEO of CEF Holdings. Prior to joining CEF, Warren was the Vice Chairman of CIBC World Markets. He was previously Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific Region for CIBC for 10 years, where he was responsible for all of CIBC's activities across Asia. Warren is a mining engineer who co-founded CIBC's Global Mining Group. During his 26 years with CIBC he ran the mining teams in Canada, Australia and Asia and worked in its Toronto, Sydney, Perth, Shanghai and Hong Kong offices. He has acted as advisor to the largest mining companies in the world, including BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American, Noranda, Falconbridge, Meridian Gold, China Minmetals, Jinchuan and Zijin, and has been responsible for some of the largest equity capital markets financings in Canadian mining history.  Warren obtained his B.Sc. in Mining Engineering at Queen's University and his MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University. He is Chairman of the International Advisory Board of Western University and a member of the Dean's Advisory board of Laurentian University.

Green Finance, ESG, and Sustainability: Important Hurdles to Qualify for Investor Support

Victor Flores, Director of Strategic Projects, Orion Mine Resource Partners (USA) LLP 

Victor Flores joined Orion Resource Partners in 2019 as the firm’s Director of Strategic Projects. Prior to Orion, Mr. Flores was a gold mining sector consultant, having worked on projects for both senior gold companies and investment advisors. From 2009 to 2018 he was a partner at Paulson & Co., a leading NY-based hedge fund, where he was one of the Partners responsible for the firm’s gold investments. From 1998 to 2009 he was a Managing Director and Senior Mining Analyst at HSBC, where he was responsible for the firm’s global gold mining research product. Mr. Flores started his career at United Services Advisors (now US Global Investors), a Texas-based investment management company known for its expertise in natural resources and precious metals, initially working as a sector analyst but later taking on the role of Portfolio Manager and Chief Investment Officer. Mr. Flores earned both his Bachelor’s degree in Geological Sciences and his Master’s degree in Energy and Mineral Resources from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been a CFA charter holder since 1992. He serves as an independent non-executive director of Polymetal International, the world’s tenth-largest precious metals producer, and is a member of the Audit & Risk and Safety & Sustainability Committees.


Cynthia Urda Kassis, (Moderator) Head of Mining & Metals and Partner, Project Development & Finance, Shearman & Sterling LLP

Cynthia Urda Kassis is a Partner in the Projects Practice of the law firm, Shearman & Sterling, and Head of their Mining & Metals Group. She represents sponsors/ borrowers/ lenders/ alternative financiers in project transactions worldwide, with extensive experience in the mining and infrastructure industries. She is consistently ranked a leading project finance lawyer by ChambersIFLR 1000 and Legal 500Who’s Who named her “Project Finance Lawyer of the Year” three times and also named her among the “most highly regarded individuals in the world” in project finance and mining. Her recent work includes representing Nevada Copper on its Pumpkin Hollow Copper Project (“North America Mining Deal of the Year” (2020) by IJGlobal) and Orion and Blackstone on Lundin Gold’s Fruta del Norte project in Ecuador (“Latin America Mining & Metals Deal of the Year ” (2017/18) by IJ Global).


Simon Mendum, Financial Sector Lead – US, SLR Consulting 

Simon Mendum is Financial Sector Lead – US at SLR Consulting. Simon works in partnership with Financial Sector organisations to deliver ESG Advisory and EHS Transactions Advisory. Simon’s focus is driving EHS and ESG strategies that focus on value-driven actions and opportunities. In ESG and climate change advisory, Simon has successfully developed strategies to enhance and quantify value at mission-critical assets, with positive balance sheet returns. In EHS transactional diligence, Simon has a pragmatic business-issues based approach, to answer the critical questions related to the transaction under consideration, driving at the value consistent with the investment thesis.


Anne Van Riel, Co-Head Sustainable Finance Capital Markets – Americas, BNP Paribas

Anne Van Riel recently joined BNP Paribas as Co-head of the Sustainable Finance Capital Markets team covering the Americas region. She is responsible for the structuring and execution of Sustainable Bonds and Sustainability-Linked Loans, including most recently Suzano’s landmark Sustainability-Linked Bond. Prior to this position, she was the Head of Sustainable Finance for ING Capital in the Americas where she originated and structured several sustainable finance transactions including the Johnson Control Inc Sustainability Linked Loan and Xylem’s Sustainability Linked Facility. Before focusing her attention to Sustainable Finance she was a Director in the Metals and Mining team. She has been instrumental in the successful financing for several greenfield mining transactions in the Americas region, including Minera Constancia, Minera Antucoya and Torex’ Media Luna project. Anne has an MSC in Business Administration from the University of Maastricht.


Judith Mosely, Independent Director; Eldorado Gold and Galiano Gold

Judith Mosely has over twenty-five years’ experience in the mining and metals sectors. She headed the mining finance team of Société Générale until 2011 and acted as Business Development Director for mining and metals for Rand Merchant Bank in London until the end of 2019. Her experience ranges from project finance for junior miners through to funding multinationals as well as trade and working capital finance, commodity hedging and corporate finance. She also has a strong interest in environment, social and governance as well as in renewables and captive power for mines. She has been a Non-Executive Director of BlackRock? World Mining Trust since 2014 and is on the board of Galiano Gold and Eldorado Gold. She also sits on the Board of Women in Mining UK and is a Trustee of the Camborne School of Mines. Judith holds an MA from the University of Oxford and a postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Warwick.


Graham G. Clow, P. Eng., Strategy Director, Global Mining Advisory; SLR Consulting

Graham Clow is a senior mining executive with more than 45 years of experience in all aspects of mine development and operation. He was Chairman of Roscoe Postle Associates prior to its acquisition by SLR Consulting in 2019. Over 20 years at RPA he and colleagues built the consultancy into one of the leading mining advisory firms, providing services to clients in most commodities and in most worldwide mining locations. Prior to RPA, he held responsibility to the CEO level for mining operations in North and South America and Africa. He has been a director of a number of companies, including Barrick and Dominion Diamond. In 2016 he was awarded the CIM Vale Medal for meritorious and practical contribution to the mining and metallurgical industry of Canada and has been recognized as a consulting mining expert in Who's Who Legal for the past three years.


Conference Speakers

Meet the experts | Wenesday, October 22, 2020


Seizing on Infrastructure and Underground Construction Opportunities

Jim Spenceley, P.Eng., Senior Vice President,  Black & Veatch Corporation

Jim Spenceley is the Senior Vice President of Black & Veatch’s Mining business which is focused on Energy and Water infrastructure solutions.  Jim has 25 years of international project development experience in the Mining and Oil & Gas industries.  He has lived and worked in Chile, Ghana, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, and the USA; his experience includes mega project execution, extensive commissioning, high altitude, tropical, marine, desert and arctic environments.  He was an international project director and group executive responsible for global project services for Newmont Mining Corp prior to joining Black & Veatch in 2015.  Jim’s mining experience on both the Owners and Contractors sides of business includes mega greenfield project development, brownfield expansions, open pit and underground mines, for both copper and gold commodities.  Jim’s role is to develop new and existing client relationships and help grow demand for ONE B&V solutions globally while leading business development, financial management, engineering, operations, construction and other areas of the mining organization.  Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and is a native of Ontario, Canada.  He now resides in Denver, Colorado.


Roy Slack, (Co-Moderator) P.Eng., Founder & Past President; Cementation Americas; and Immediate Past President of Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum (CIM);

Roy Slack is Immediate Past President of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum (CIM), Founder and Director Cementation Americas and Independent Director Torex Gold Resources Inc. Roy is a professional engineer with over 35 years of experience in mine construction, design, and development, on projects throughout North America and around the world. Roy is a graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, with a degree in Mining Engineering. In 1998 he started Cementation’s operations in North America. Cementation is a mine contracting and engineering firm that provides design-build and construction management services to the mining sector. In 2019 the company was recognized as the Gold Winner of Safest Employer in Canada in the natural resources sector.  


Andrew O'Donnell (Co-Moderator) Managing Director, Super Charged Stocks 

Andrew O’Donnell is Founder and Managing Director of Supercharged Stocks a media site that bridges the gap between family office and funds, companies, and generalist investors. Throughout his career Mr. O’Donnell has worked at various levels of the financial industry culminating as a Managing Director of an offshore ‘captive insurance company’ in Barbados which he created with Willis Canada for a land banking company. He has worked at Standard Life, RBC and Merrill Lynch looking for innovative, interesting market solutions.

Super Charged Stocks provides market analysis for positioning people ahead of major market moves. We believe that the Commodity Sector is about to begin its cycle of growth, particularly the mining sector. We are the hub for the whispers, chatter, news, and results that provide you perspectives in the market and positioning for solid returns.  


James Anderson, Chairman & CEO, VanGold Mining Corporation

James E. Anderson is Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer at Vangold Mining Corp. Mr. Anderson is also on the board of Orestone Mining Corp. and NuLegacy Gold Corp. (former Chief Executive Officer & Director) and Managing Director at Blueberry Capital Corp.  Mr. Anderson previously occupied the position of Manager at Majendie Securities Ltd., Manager at First Canada Capital Partners, Inc. and Manager of Research Capital Corp. Mr. Anderson received an undergraduate degree from the University of Alberta.


Piotr Pikul, Partner; McKinsey & Company

Piotr Pikul is a Partner in McKinsey? & Company Toronto office. He is the one of McKinsey? global leaders for Capital Excellence practice. Piotr leads McKinsey? global Project Development & Value Improvement (pre-construction) service line for major capital projects and Capital Excellence - Metals & Mining domain for North America. His experience includes large and small capital projects in mining across commodities: iron ore, copper, gold, nickel, bauxite, manganese, potash, phosphate, steel in the Americas, Asia and EMEA.

Some of Piotr’s recent work included leading project value improvement efforts and project business case and concept study reviews for a number of mining players around the world including South East Asia, Middle East, South America, Europe and North America delivering combined more than $2B in NPV improvements, leading multi-year value assurance partnerships on copper and gold mines in LATAM and supporting several mines during commissioning, ramp up and operational readiness.

Piotr has written extensively on capital projects in metals and mining. These include a perspective on mining feasibility studies , a view on how to build mining capex projects and avoiding mistakes of the past and an interview with on building mines on time and budget.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Piotr studied economics and European studies at University of Economics in Poznan, Poland and University of Exeter, UK. He also holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

Golden Opportunities and Welcoming Jurisdictions

Rich Munson, B.A., J.D., L.L.M, President, Gold X Mining Corp. 

Richard A. Munson is President, Gold X Mining Corp. Rich has been active in the natural resources business for 35+ years, starting as a natural resources lawyer specializing in taxation. Rich moved to the private sector in the mid -1980’s joining the Energy Fuels companies which became the largest US uranium producer in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.  Rich has been active in multiple jurisdictions and was a co-founder of Gold X, owner of the Toroparu project in Guyana, S.A.  The Toroparu gold project, with a resource of 10.5 million ounces, is one of the largest undeveloped gold deposits in the Americas.


Chris Taylor, M.Sc., P. Geo., President & CEO & Director, Great Bear Resources Ltd.

Chris Taylor is a structural and economic geologist and mining entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience with both producers and exploration companies. He is President and Director of Great Bear Resources Ltd since December 2010. He is currently Chairman of TSX.V listed Dunnedin Ventures and formerly a geologist with Imperial Metals, Inc., a TSXV company from 2004 to 2009. Mr. Taylor graduated with a Bachelor of Science honors degree in Earth Sciences in 2000, and a Master of Science degree in Structural Geology from Carleton University in 2003.


Donald Hulse, (Moderator) PE, Vice President, Mining, Gustavson & Associates 

Donald E. Hulse is a Mining Engineer with over 30 years of experience in the mining industry. Mr. Hulse has experience in mine start-ups and in re-engineering, focused in Latin America.  His experience spans mineral resource estimates, detailed and strategic planning, and economic evaluation, as well as sustainability and community outreach. Project experience includes involvement with gold, silver, base metals, rare earth elements, and industrial metals in estimation, design, analysis, planning and operational control.  He has been responsible for coordinating the efforts of a management team through permitting, construction, and initiation of mine operation. Mr. Hulse has been an SME member since 1979. He is an SME-Registered Member, a director of the Mexico Section, and serves as the co-chairman of the Resource and Reserve Committee.


Philipps Baker, President, CEO & Director, Hecla Mining Company

Phillips S. Baker, Jr., President and CEO of Hecla Mining has been a director since 2001, has been our Chief Executive Officer since May 2003 and has served as our President since November 2001. He served as Hecla’s Chief Financial Officer from May 2001 to June 2003; Chief Operating Officer from November 2001 to May 2003; and Vice President from May 2001 to November 2001. He has also served as a Director of QEP Resources, Inc. (a leading independent natural gas and oil exploration and production company), since May 2010, as well as serving as a Director for Questar Corporation (a Western U.S. natural gas-focused exploration and production, interstate pipeline and local distribution company) from February 2004 through June 2010.


Ron Parratt, Senior Advisor, Liberty Gold, Inc.

Ronald L. Parratt has over 40 years of exploration experience for precious metals including service with Santa Fe Pacific Gold, Homestake Mining Company, AuEx Ventures and Renaissance Gold Inc. During his years of precious metals experience Ron had direct involvement in the discovery of the Rabbit Creek (now Twin Creeks), Lone Tree, Trenton Canyon, Gold Hill and Long Canyon gold deposits- all in Nevada. Ron is a graduate of Purdue University with degrees in geochemistry and economic geology. He is a Certified Professional Geologist with the American Institute of Professional Geologists, a Registered Geologist in California and a Professional Geologist in Wyoming. He is a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists and a past President of the SEGF Foundation. He is also a past President of the American Exploration and Mining Association. Ron is a Distinguished Member of Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration and a past board member of the society.


Steven Bowles, Senior Director, Investment, Mines & Natural Resource, Invest-Quebec

Steven Bowles was appointed Senior Director of Investment in Mines and Natural Resources at Invest Quebec in early 2020. In his role, Steven manages both equity investment and debt financing in all stages of the resource company life cycle including exploration, project development and operations.

Steven is a business professional in the mining & metals industry with experience in business development, project management and operations management.

Steven holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the Richard Ivey School of Business and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. He is fluent in English and French, and speaks basic Spanish.

Steven was previously Project Manager for the $1.3B Côté Gold Project. In his role he provided leadership for the early stages of project development, the establishment of power and environmental permits and the implementation of an impact-benefits agreement with the project’s First Nation partners.

He was also previously Operations Manager at Raglan Mine in Nunavik where he managed its four underground mines and its technical services teams to achieve record-setting safety and production performance for that operation. He also served as Capital Projects Director at Raglan which included the development of two underground mines and concentrator plant growth projects budgeted at $550M. Prior to that, he worked as Project Manager for the $1.2B Cobre Panama concentrator project and led field execution teams in the Middle East on the $5.7B Emirates Aluminium and $4.5B Qatalum Aluminium Smelter projects.

In 2014, Steven received the Bedford Canadian Young Mining Leaders Award granted by the Canadian Institute of Mining for outstanding leadership.


Successful Equipment and Construction Finance Consortia

Ken Murray, (Co Moderator) P.Eng., PMP, Founder & CEO, Captrics Consulting Inc..

Ken Murray is the CEO of Captrics Consulting, which he founded to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the mining industry through the use of improved management techniques and new technologies. He is also VP Engineering for Inspire Resources who is implementing an alternate mining business model to create more sustainable outcomes for all stakeholders in mining projects. He is a professional mechanical engineer and professional project manager with a 20-year background in capital projects, management consulting, innovation and technology. His passion is to improve our lives by continually learning and trying to conceptualize new ways of working. His background allows him to adopt a systems-based approach to tackle most problems and to create an integrated world where the system is better than the sum of the parts. 


Jennifer B. Leinart, (Co Moderator) President, InfoMine USA, Inc.

Jennifer Leinart is President, InfoMine USA, Inc.: Jennifer has over 40 years of experience in the mining industry, from exploration through development and mine operations. She is a specialist in cost and resource estimating and economic analysis, starting out in the team that developed the Red Dog mine in Alaska after it was discovered in the 1980s. She has worked on projects ranging from metals to coal and diamonds to garnets in North American and international locations. Jennifer is a registered member of SME and a licensed professional geologist based in Spokane, Washington, USA. She holds a BSc degree in Geology from Colorado State University. InfoMine USA, Inc. is now a part of the Glacier Resource Innovation Group.


Jon Treen, Senior Vice President, Regional Business Leader, Mining (Global), Stantec Inc.

Jon Treen is Senior Vice President at Stantec. His career has included a wide variety of positions within the mining industry, including safety, engineering, operations, site services, and consulting. Currently Jon oversees a technical staff of over 800 individuals across 5 countries serving the mining industry. In this role, he focuses on providing innovative solutions to meet the current challenges mining companies face. Prior to Stantec, he held leadership roles such as General Manager of Operations for one of the largest integrated underground mining operations in Canada, General Manager of Production Services, Manager of Technical Services, and Mine Manager. His previous experience includes direct responsibility for up to six mines and production of 220 million lb of nickel and 312 million lb of copper, along with associated precious metals. With a Master of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, and significant leadership training, Jon understands how to successfully deliver mining projects on budget and within schedule.


Anthony Lepere, Partner, Project Development & Finance Practice, Shearman & Sterling LLP

Anthony Lepere is a partner in Shearman & Sterling’s energy and infrastructure group, based in London. He is a commercial lawyer whose practice focuses upon corporate and project development work in the mining sector. His recent assignments include the financing of the Pumpkin Hollow copper mine in the United States and Barrick Gold’s take-private of Acacia Mining by court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement.


Angelina Mehta, P. Eng, MBA, LLM, Director, Mining, Investment Banking; Laurentian Bank Securities

Angelina Mehta is Director, Mining Investment Banking at LBS. She has over twenty years of experience in the fields of finance and engineering. Prior to joining LBS, she was Senior Mining Advisor with Paradigm Capital as well as Vice President of Operations for North American Nickel. Over the years, Ms. Mehta served as Investment Manager for Sentient Asset Management Canada and held various operational positions for mining companies, including Rio Tinto's IOC. She currently serves on the board of directors of The Foundation of Greater Montreal, Azimut Exploration. and Falco Resources. Ms. Mehta holds a Bachelor's degree in Mining Engineering, an MBA, as well as a Master of Law degree.

Keynote: The Risks and Advantages of Different Computing Models – Premise, Cloud, Edge and Cyber Security Implications in Mining

Jeff Hamilton, WW Strategy & Alliances Director, Dassault Systèmes GEOVIA.

In his role as Senior Director of Strategy and Alliances at Dassault Systèmes GEOVIA, Jeff Hamilton is a technology thought leader, market disruptor, and strategic visionary. In this role, he is responsible for the Brand’s multi-year strategic formulation process, strategy articulation, and strategic alliances & partnerships.

Over his 30-year career, Jeff has developed a keen interest in mining, GNSS positioning, wireless communications, machine control/guidance and software development. He is particularly interested in how the development and implementation of these tools can modernize and optimize the Mining Value Chain and the impacts & benefits from the mining industries ability to predict future financial outcomes.

Jeff’s technology expertise has led to twenty U.S. and International pending patents and has paved the way for numerous successful acquisitions, partnerships, joint ventures, and alliances. Jeff has worked across multiple domains including, Mining, Agriculture and Architecture / Engineering / Construction, which has led to the creation of new segments and categories in these, and other, industries and markets..

Successful Mine Closure Requires Managing Many Metrics Impacting Legacy and Life-Cycle Financing 

Jeff Parshley, (Moderator) PG, Group Chairman, Corporate Consultant, SRK Consulting Inc. 

Jeff Parshley is Group Chairman of SRK Consulting Inc. Jeff has over 35 years of environmental and mine closure experience. He has helped develop regulatory guidelines for mine closure and closure cost estimating and assisted several clients in developing closure-related corporate standards and guidance documents. He has worked with the legal and policy aspects of mining projects since early in his career, regularly working on World Bank and IFC compliance projects, and is one of SRK’s most experienced mine closure strategists and regulatory specialists.


Jim Harrington, CEO; Ensero Solutions

Jim Harrington is CEO of Ensero Solutions, providing technical management of Ensero services, and part of the management team leading Ensero’s operations in Canada and the United States. He provides technical expertise in the environmental science and engineering fields for clients with whom he has maintained long-term relationships. He consults in the areas of environmental project management, permitting, first nation, regulatory, and stakeholder relationships. He has expertise in the application of cutting-edge technologies to enhance the performance of complex, high profile permitting and remediation projects.


Dirk van Zyl, Professor and Senior Review Consultant; University of British Columbia

Dirk Van Zyl is Professor and Chair of Mining and the Environment at the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. Dirk has spent the last 20 years working extensively to identify how mines can contribute to sustainable development. This is clearly a journey that continues. He has also done extensive work in Mine Closure and is the Convener for a new ISO Standard on Mine Closure Planning that is scheduled for completion and release in 2021. He has worked on closure projects for a number of mines throughout North America.

Tony Scott, Managing Director; Macquarie Metals and Energy Capital (Canada) Ltd

Tony Scott joined Macquarie in 2014 after 17 years working in operating and corporate roles for major mining companies in Australia and the Americas. Prior to Macquarie, Tony was at Teck Resources and before that, Placer Dome Gold. His broad experience in resource estimation and planning across a range of commodities includes extensive experience in base metals and gold for both underground and open-pit mines. He has a Bachelor of Engineering from Curtin University and is a Professional Geoscientist in British Columbia.

Ed Opitz, Vice-President, Safety and Sustainability; Kinross Gold Corporation

Ed Opitz has been involved in project evaluation, permitting, operations, and/or closure at more than 40 precious metal mine operations and projects in ten countries. As Vice President, Safety & Sustainability for Kinross Gold Corporation he oversees the company’s programs for safety, environment, and community. This includes oversight of annual disclosures on reclamation and closure obligations, as well as the company’s engagement with various ESG rating organizations. He holds a MS in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University and a BA in Business Economics from Colorado College.

Transformation through Disruption and Uncertainty

Michelle Ash, (Co-Moderator) GEOVIA CEO, Dassault Systèmes

Michelle Ash, CEO of GEOVIA at Dassault Systèmes, has made significant contributions to the mining sector with a focus on Innovation Strategy, Technology, and Digital Transformation. Michelle is highly passionate about Mining and Infrastructure and remains focused on delivering sustainable solutions that help these sectors to continue to create and shape the world in which we live, through digital transformation and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. As Chair of the Global Mining Guidelines Group – GMG, Michelle has contributed to develop best practices and guidelines for the implementation of technology and socially enabled changes in the mining industry. She is also on the advisory board of several start-ups such as Petra Data Science, OffWorld, Behault, Descartes Labs and MineSpider. Previously she was Chief Innovation Officer at Barrick Gold Corporation where she oversaw the company’s innovation program, looking both at how innovation can drive productivity in the existing business as well as how it can be harnessed to deliver alternative business models.

She began her career as a blasting engineer with Rio Tinto and has held several operational roles in various mining companies and across commodities. Michelle was named to the 2016 list of “100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining” by Women in Mining UK and won the Technology Innovator of the Year Award by Mines and Technology in 2019.  She holds a degree in Civil Engineering and an Executive MBA from the Melbourne Business School; she also holds a degree in Psychology from Deakin University. Follow Michelle on Twitter: MichelleAsh18


George Hemingway, (Co-Moderator) Partner, Head of Innovation Practice, The Stratalis Group

George Hemingway is Managing Partner and leads the Innovation Practice at Stratalis where he advises the leaders of companies, organizations and countries on the future succeeding in uncertain times. Considered one of the leading futurists in the mining industry, he regularly keynotes at venues ranging from the World Mining Congress to NASA and the Pentagon.

He has advised many of the world’s leading natural resource and industrial companies, ranging from Vale, Anglo American and BHP to BASF and the Air Force on how their operations and organizations can best pivot and transform to succeed.

In addition to corporate boards, he is passionate about supporting the next generation of leaders as a board member to the Chamber Orchestra of New York, Moon Mark Aerospace and the Lassonde Institute of Mining at the University of Toronto.


Kalev Ruberg, VP Future & Chief Innovation Officer, Teck Resources Limited

Kalev Ruberg has been active in the information systems arena for over 40 years. As a BSc and Masters graduate from MIT, his studies included work at the Architecture Machine Lab (now the Media Lab) before carrying out digital simulation research at the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST) in Washington DC, University of California Berkeley Labs, and then at Georgia Tech, as an assistant professor.

In 1982 he joined Canada’s National Research Council in Ottawa, as a Senior Research Scientist where he developed a number of machine learning algorithms in the artificial intelligence field. Joining IBM Global Services, he designed large machine learning and control systems for IBM Manufacturing and clients worldwide.

In 1998, he was appointed the CIO and Deputy Minister and CIO to the Finance Minister, at the Government of Manitoba, where he was responsible for the government’s Information Services. Subsequently, he led development at a B2B e-commerce company, and then became a VP at TELUS, where he was responsible for Application Development, Business Development, and development of the IT strategy and offerings for TELUS’ Healthcare vertical.

Building on his experience at TELUS, Kalev became the CIO and Executive General Manager for Information Services at Placer Dome, formerly the largest gold mining enterprise in the world. Here he led the restructuring of technology services worldwide. Since 2006, he has been at Teck Resources as the CIO Vice President, Teck Digital Systems, where he was responsible for the overall digital systems services and projects for this global mining company. Most recently, Kalev was appointed VP Future and Chief Innovation Officer, and he is exploring the future of mining at Teck. In 2020, Kalev was also appointed adjunct Professor at the Keevil School of Mining Engineering at UBC.

Kalev has published more than 30 papers in proceedings and journals. In 2018, he was named to CIM Magazine’s 2018 Names to Know and is Vice Chair of the Global Mining Guidelines organization.