Descriptions of Workshops are Below

Save the dates for SME's 6th CTMF Conference on Sunday, April 29th to Wednesday, May 2, 2018. We hope you join us!  

If you have questions, want to submit an abstract or be a Sponsor in 2018 we want to hear from you. Send your suggestions for topics, speakers and abstracts, including for the dinner and workshops to Tim Alch, Conference Program Chair at Thank you.

Revisit this website for updates about the
6th Annual Current Trends in Mining Finance Conference 
Connecting Mining, Finance and Engineering Executives TM
Sunday, April 29th to Wednesday, May 2nd 2018

The conference will be again at Shearman & Sterling in New York - in the heart of NYC's midtown financial district. We will continue to update this website. The following are details about the 2017 CTMF events for those of you who have not attended CTMF before.

Join us for any of the following four workshops led by leaders encouraging your participation and questions in an inviting environment - with refreshments, food and refreshment breaks to make it a relaxed time to also meet others. A 4 page pdf schedule of the 2017 5th CTMF events, panels and workshops is here A 2 page pdf schedule is here Revisit agendadinner or a workshop for updates. 

Register today to attend a workshop today (click here) or complete the registration form (click) here 

The NY Section of SME thanks all Sponsors, Speakers and Delegates that registered to attend the 5th annual Current Trends in Mining Finance Conference. As has been noted, space is limited and as a result of the over whelming expressions of interest to date, the Committee decided to close conference and the dinner registration. All attendees must register in advance of the event. 

Two Pre-Conference Workshops on Sunday April 30, 2017 Noon - 4:30 PM at Opia Restaurant 130 East 57th St., at corner of Lexington Ave.

I.  Global Battery Raw Materials Supply Chain and Energy Storage: The 21st Century's New Oil by Simon Moores, Managing Director from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence on Sunday April 30th Noon - 4:30 PM at Opia Restaurant

II. Reliability of Mineral Resource Estimates for Exploration and Development of a Mining Project: What a Banker, Finance Expert and Analyst Should Know by Abani R. Samal, Ph. D., Principal, GeoGlobal LLC and Harry Parker Ph.D., Consulting Mining Geologist and Geo-Statistician, AMEC Foster Wheeler on Sunday April 30th Noon - 4:30 PM at Opia Restaurant

Two Post-Conference Workshops on Wednesday May 3 at 7:45 - 11:45 AM at Shearman & Sterling LLP 599 Lexington Ave, at corner of 53rd St.

III.  Where Do Things Go Wrong in Mining Project Development? Red Flags to Watch Out For and Mitigants by Graham Clow, Chairman, Principal Mining Engineer and Jason Cox, EVP & Principal Mining Engineer of Roscoe Postle Associates Inc and  Chris Ryan, Partner and Jonathan L. Greenblatt, Partner of Shearman & Sterling LLP Wednesday May 3rd 8 - 11:45 AM at Shearman & Sterling LLP

IV. Understanding the Importance of Using Hedging in a Volatile Price Environment by Miners and Developers of Resource Projects by Sean Russo, Founder & Managing Director Noah’s Rule Wednesday May 3rd 8 - 11:45 AM at Shearman & Sterling LLP

All must register to attend. Register today on line or Download the registration form  
Space is becoming limited * All attendees must register in advance of the event. 
Here are photos from last year's workshops. Join us.

Two Pre-Conference Workshops on Sunday April 30th, 2017 

Join us at Noon for coffee, tea; Workshop starts at 12:30 PM; Lunch is at 1:10 PM; Break at 2:45 PM; Workshop ends at ~4:30 PM

Workshop I: Global Battery Raw Materials Supply Chain and Energy Storage: The 21st Century's New Oil led by Simon Moores, Managing Director Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Sunday April 30th, 2017 Noon to 4:30 PM at Opia Restaurant

With the energy storage revolution’s ever growing pace, together with the resurgence of the solar industry, the workshop will breakdown the key drivers of the sector, where the bottlenecks lie, and what the future holds. The workshop will answer the common questions raised over batteries, EVs and energy storage, from the raw material:

  • Will there enough lithium, cobalt and graphite?
  • Is cobalt from the DRC acceptable?
  • Can the proposed graphite expansions reach the supply chain in time?
  • How will prices react to such significant growth in these speciality chemical markets?

Benchmark's Workshop will also look further downstream of the supply chain, examining the Tesla Gigafactory ramp up, its impact on raw materials, and the significance of China in this industry and the wave of battery megafactory construction that is underway.  

Setting the scene: The role critical mineral supply chains in 21st century industrial evolution

  • The Rise of the lithium ion battery megafactory - Simon Moores, Managing Director, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
  • The Cobalt Conundrum - Caspar Rawles, Analyst, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
  • Downstream Drivers for Battery Consumption - Michael Schmidt, Senior Geologist, German Mineral Resource Agency (DERA)
  • Lithium Deep-dive: State of the industry: Lithium brines - Patrick Highsmith, CEO, Pure Energy Minerals Limited
  • State of the industry: Lithium spodumene feedstock & Chinese conversion - Mike Tamlin, COO, Neometals Limited
  • Lithium Resources in the wake of the EV revolution - Salustio Guzma, President, 4m Advisors

Simon Moores is the Managing Director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, an independent publishing business focused on critical mineral supply chains and disruptive technologies. Simon has specialist knowledge in critical and strategic minerals and markets including graphite, lithium, cobalt, batteries, electric vehicles and China. He has specialized in the lithium ion battery supply chain and, in particular, the upstream sector from mine to battery cell manufacturing. In 2015, Simon and Benchmark advised Goldman Sachs on lithium and batteries in its Low Carbon Economy Report and with Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, UBS, and Canaccord Genuity on lithium ion battery supply chain roadshows. In addition, he launched subscription products, Benchmark Membership and Benchmark Data | Graphite and the events, Benchmark World Tour 2015 and Graphite Supply Chain 2016.

Caspar Rawles is an analyst at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, an independent publishing company specialising in price and data collection and assessment of lithium, graphite and cobalt for the battery supply chain. Benchmark is unique in its data collection methods – first hand from active industry participants throughout the global supply chain. Caspar, a qualified geologist, joined Benchmark from a role as a precious metals broker at BGC Partners (part of Cantor Fitzgerald) where he traded a wide variety of financial products including vanilla and exotic options, swaps as well as heading up the COMEX and NYMEX trading of precious metals for BGC. Here he gained a first hand, deep understanding of the economic factors that drive commodity markets and how these markets react to change.  

Casper's previous role was as an exploration geologist for Rio Tinto, where he was a senior member of the team responsible for the drilling program of up to 27 drill rigs, which proved up an untapped resource of over 2 billion tonnes at the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea, West Africa. He also ran the drill program for Sundance Resources on the Mbalam-Nabeba Iron Ore Project in the Republic of the Congo. Caspar’s blend of geology, mining and financial markets is now being deployed in Benchmark’s coverage of the cobalt market with a focus of collecting and assessing market prices for battery grade chemical products. Caspar has a MSc in Water Resource and Technology Management and a BSc in Geology with Physical Geography from the University of Birmingham, UK.

Michael Schmidt from the German Mineral Resources Agency (DERA) will speak about how Germany is securing supply chains for the battery capacity expansions expected to take place there in the coming years.  Michael Schmidt is a research associate at the German Mineral Resources Agency (DERA) based in Berlin, which is part of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR). He is a geologist with practical experience in exploration, global market analysis and consultancy. Between 2009 and 2012, Michael worked for the Martin Luther University Halle – Wittenberg where he worked on CCS technology. He also worked for different Junior Mining Companies (mostly Silver and Gold but also Antimony). Since October 2012 he works in risk analysis for different commodities including Antimony, PGMs and Lithium. In this position he is also consultant to the German Industry in commodity related issues. 

Patrick Highsmith, CEO and Director of Pure Energy Minerals is a seasoned resource company professional with over 25 years’ experience in exploration, operations, business development, and executive roles for various companies, including: Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Newmont, and Lithium One. Mr. Highsmith has evaluated and worked on more than 250 projects around the world. His project management experience includes leading diverse teams through major engineering and development milestones, including delineating several mineral resources, a successful PEA on the Sal de Vida lithium brine project. Patrick has BSc and MSc degrees from the Colorado School of Mines in Geological Engineering and Economic Geology (Geochemistry).

Michael Tamlin is Chief Operating Officer of Neometals Ltd. Mr Tamlin has more than 25 years’ experience in the mining and smelting industry with significant expertise in lithium, tantalum, vanadium, industrial minerals and chemicals. His lithium experience covers the development of the China chemical market and global technical spodumene markets for the Greenbushes Mine, the Zhangjiagang Lithium Carbonate Project and the Rincon Brine Project. He has a strong track record in maximising commercial performance, developing and implementing strategy and brings experience in the development of both hard rock and brine lithium projects, lithium supply negotiation, lithium markets and management at executive level.

Dr. Salustio Guzman, is President at 4M Advisors an independent advisory to the Natural Resources Industry and Corporate & Institutional Investors. Salustio has more than 30 years’ experience with multinational companies with businesses in the "Natural Resources Value Chain", possesses demonstrated expertise and insight for defining business strategies, technology transfer, the practice of state of the art technologies for mineral resource development, new mining & metallurgical projects and operating facilities in mining, extraction, processing, fabrication of materials, process design and problem solving in mining, extractive metallurgy, energy, resource recovery, recycle and environmental conservation including, supply/ demand/ prices, market trends and outlook of industrial minerals/ metals/alloys/semi-fabricated and fabricated materials. Prior, Dr. Guzman was Vice President Marketing and Technology at Titanium Corporation Inc., Director of Process Research & Environmental Research at Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium Inc., Manager of Process Research at Quebec Iron & Titanium Inc. and a Project Leader/Research Scientist at Alcan International Ltd. Doctor Guzman has been associated with the Academia as a Lecturer, given conferences and workshops on Technology, Materials, Energy and Environment at Columbia University in New York- USA, McGill University in Montreal-Canada and at the Mining and Metallurgical Faculties in Bolivia.   

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

Workshop II: Reliability of Mineral Resource Estimates for Exploration and Development of a Mining Project: What a Banker, Finance Expert and Analyst Should Know led by Abani R Samal, Ph. D., Principal, GeoGlobal LLC and Harry Parker Ph.D., Consulting Mining Geologist and Geo-Statistician, AMEC Foster Wheeler Sunday April 30th Noon - ~4:30 PM at Opia Restaurant

Typically a computer based model is developed as part of resource estimations for mineral exploration projects at various stages of exploration and studies leading up to construction and operation. Increases in tonnage of material at an economic cutoff grade and improvement of ‘confidence’ in these estimates are treated as indicators for success for the project. For an example, the estimation of mineral resources at the beginning of a pre-feasibility study (PFS) is expected to have much higher level of confidence compared to the estimations developed during preliminary economic analyses (PEA) or a conceptual study. As the project moves to completion of a PFS, analysts, bankers and investors expect improved confidence of the resource estimates and make sure that the analyses are robust enough that a certain percentage of the total resources are qualifying to be termed as a mineral reserve – per relevant industry standards.

During exploration and development of a mining project it is important to understand some of the key technical risks and opportunities in terms of possibilities of the range of values surrounding estimates of grade and tonnage – and other measures. This is important for financial decision making in developing a deposit. Such decisions provide guidance to the project development team to focus on achieving success in two different areas: i) improving confidence of the mineral resources and ii) increasing the amount of mineral resources that can be mineable in foreseeable future.

In this workshop Dr. Samal will discuss the complex nature of mineral deposits and style of mineralization in various types of deposits such as massive (iron ore/ porphyry type copper deposits, VMS multi-metallic deposit), vein hosted precious metals (gold-silver deposits) and manto type silver-zinc systems etc. The geology of a mineral deposit dictates the resource estimation techniques. This work shop will also discuss the use of higher level mathematical, computer-based modeling techniques in the assessment of risks and opportunities that are used and lead to targeting and prioritizing activities during exploration to improve the confidence in estimation of resources. Using real-life based anonymous examples, participants will have an opportunity to understand how other factors such as land access can pose a threat to the value of the deposits (in terms of total tons of metal) and how to come up with a feasible solution.

Dr. Parker will present the evolution of reporting codes and standards and will give examples of current practice in classifying Exploration Information, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. He will illustrate risk assessment using a score-card approach for several base metals projects. He will comment on responses to the SEC’s proposed replacement of Industry Guide 7.

Dr. Abani R Samal is owner and Principal of GeoGlobal LLC. Dr. Samal has been in the mining industry since 1996. He has worked worldwide on various projects. Dr. Samal is well recognized for his expertise in advanced geostatistics, mineral resource estimation, and strategic advice for mineral resource development. Currently he is providing consulting services to exploration and mining companies.

Dr. Samal holds a Master of Technology (M Tech) degree from the Indian School of Mines (India); a DIC & MS in Mineral Deposit Evaluation from Imperial College, London and PhD from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA. He has training and experience in mineral deposit evaluation. He is a Registered Member of SME and a Fellow of Society of Economic Geology (SEG) and a Certified Professional Geologist (CPG). He is an active contributing member of the committee that published the 2014 SME Guide for Reporting Exploration Results, Mineral Resources, and Mineral Reserves. He is an honorary representative of CRIRSCO in bringing India in as a member.







Dr. Harry Parker is Consulting Mining Geologist and Geo-statistician at AMEC Foster Wheeler Mining & Metals. Harry is a geologist and geo-statistician with a world-wide consulting practice involving due diligence, resource modelling, and service as a Competent Person.  He holds Bachelors’ and PhD degrees in Geology from Stanford University and Masters’ degrees in Geology and Statistics from Harvard and Stanford Universities.  He served as an exploration and staff geologist for The Hanna Mining Company (1969-75).  He was General Manager Geology and Geo-statistics for Fluor (1975-89). From 1989 he has served in various roles for MRDI, Simons and Amec Foster Wheeler.  He is currently Consulting Mining Geologist and Geo-statistician.  

 He is also Co-Chairman of the SME Resources and Reserves Committee and is Past Chairman of CRIRSCO, the Committee for Reserves International Reporting Standards.  Harry has served as a Qualified Person for Ivanhoe Mines’ Kamoa and Platreef project disclosures and Duluth Metals’ Maturi project disclosures; he has served as a Competent Person in connection with the privatization of the Zambian Copperbelt, privatization of CVRD’s mineral deposits, and privatization of Ashanti Gold Fields.







Two Post-Conference Workshops - Wednesday May 3rd, 2017 at Shearman & Sterling 599 Lexington Ave, corner of 53rd Street
Breakfast at 7:45 AM; Workshops start at 8:30 AM; Break at 9:45 AM; End at 11:45 AM for Lunch
Workshop III: Where Do Things Go Wrong in Mining Project Development? Red Flags to Watch Out For and Mitigants 
by Graham Clow, Chairman, Principal Mining Engineer and Jason Cox, EVP & Principal Mining Engineer Roscoe Postle Associates and Chris Ryan, Partner and Jonathan L. Greeblatt, Partner of Shearman & Sterling LLP

Developing and operating a mine is difficult at the best of times and is becoming more difficult as projects get more complex from both technical and commercial, and legal perspectives. This workshop will focus on what to look for in assessing the risks and opportunities in factors that contribute to project success and highlight methods of identifying and mitigating disputes. Whether disputes arise in the exploration, construction, or operational phase of the project, they are an almost-inevitable part of a mining project. This workshop will include real-world examples.

Through the course of its work as Independent Engineer and general due diligence advisory, Roscoe Postle Associates (RPA) has observed that besides properly defining an array of technical issues including resources, ground conditions, and metallurgy, capital and operating cost estimation and project execution has become increasingly challenging. RPA has identified a number of common threads in both successful and unsuccessful projects and will discuss key areas including resource estimation, matching production rate to the deposit, metallurgical testing, and capital design/estimation man hours.

Shearman & Sterling observes there is a high likelihood that the owners, operators and various parties involved with a mining project will be forced to resort to some form of dispute resolution process to settle problems. It will speak about these and a number of steps that can be taken over the course of a project to lessen the risks associated with such disputes and to best protect a party’s investment and or commercial interests. These steps start from the moment the deal is first conceptualized by ensuring that it is structured in a way that allows a mining company to take advantage of the most advantageous legal protections available, including protections provided by international investment law.  Beyond that, it is important to ensure that the various key agreements that arise during the project contain provisions that help protect a mining company’s interests in the event a dispute arises. It will also speak about steps that can be taken by a mining company while the project is under construction and, ultimately, operational, that will help mitigate legal and commercial risks in the event a dispute arises.

Graham G. Clow, P. Eng., is Chairman and Principal Mining Engineer of RPA.  He is a senior mining executive with more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of mine exploration, feasibility, finance, development, construction, operations, and closure.  His experience ranges from the high arctic to the tropics, in base and precious metals, diamonds, and industrial minerals.  Within RPA, Mr. Clow developed and led the practice in advising public companies on technical disclosure and controls for listed companies through IPO’s, listing documents, financings, and other interactions with regulators.  As part of this practice he has advised most of the major institutions involved in debt and equity financings for the mining industry.  

Graham is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum and Past Chairman of the Metal Mining Division.  He was a Member of the Committee on Ore Reserve Definitions that established the requirements for Canadian Regulatory Standard NI43-101 for mining companies.  For a number of years, Mr. Clow was an Adjunct Professor at the Lassonde Mineral Institute, University of Toronto, where he lectured in resource and reserve estimation. He is a director of Barrick Gold and Dominion Diamond Corporation.  In 2016, he was awarded the Vale Medal for Meritorious Contributions to the Industry.

Jason Cox, P. Eng, is Executive Vice President of Mine Engineering and a Principal Mining Engineer of RPA specializing in project management, mine design, cost estimation, and cash flow forecasting.  Mr. Cox has over 20 years of experience in all stages of mine development; resource and reserve estimation, engineering studies, construction, operation, and closure. 

Mr. Cox leads project teams in engineering studies, with responsibility for base metal, gold, nickel, PGM, rare earths, uranium, and other commodities in a variety of environments across Canada, as well as the USA, Latin America, Africa, Australia, Europe, and Asia.  Prior to his work as a consultant, Mr. Cox held progressively senior positions with a major Canadian mining company. Where he was in charge of the engineering department at a remote lead/zinc mine located in the high Arctic and helped lead the construction of a lead/zinc mine in the U.S., which was put into production on schedule and under budget. 

Roscoe Postle Associates (RPA 

Christopher Ryan is a partner in the International Arbitration Group at Shearman & Sterling. He has extensive experience in international arbitration and litigation, and has represented private and governmental clients in disputes before ICC, AAA, ICSID, UNCITRAL and ad hoc arbitral tribunals, NAFTA Chapter 19 dispute resolution panels, and U.S. federal courts. Mr. Ryan also has advised U.S. and foreign companies on various issues of public and private international law, investment and trade policy, and strategies for mitigating the risks associated with foreign investment. Mr. Ryan is a Lecturer at the University of Virginia, School of Law where he teaches a course on international investment law and investor-State disputes. Mr. Ryan also teaches a course on international commercial arbitration at The George Washington University Law School. In 2005, Mr. Ryan was a Visiting Scholar at Yale Law School, where he researched and wrote on the calculation of damages in international arbitration.

Jonathan Greenblatt is a partner in both the International Arbitration and Litigation Groups and has extensive experience in commercial and international litigation, including complex commercial arbitrations. He is the Co-Managing Partner of our firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Workshop IV:  Understanding the Importance of Using Hedging in a Volatile Price Environment by Miners and Developers of Resource Projects Sean Russo, Founder and Managing Director, Noah’s Rule Noah’s Rule Wednesday May 3rd at Shearman & Sterling 599 Lexington Avenue, at corner of 53rd Street Meet at 7:45 AM for Breakfast; Start at 8:30 AM; Break at 9:45 AM; End at ~11:45 AM Lunch Noon to 1 PM

The importance of having a proper price risk management program in place has been painfully highlighted over the past few years. Much like a mine safety program that protects a company’s human capital, sound risk management protects and preserves a company’s financial capital. However many companies do not have the processes or devote even one-tenth of the effort on protecting the livelihood of their employees that they spend on their health and safety.

Mining firms large and small have developed impressive, bespoke programs to actively manage many of the industry’s diverse risks, allowing them to produce metal safely, in an environmentally sustainable way, and at a low cost.  However, for a variety of reasons, there is one risk that many firms have opted to deemphasize, or simply ignore: their exposure to adverse price trends.  While all firms with superior safety programs preserve human capital, the firms that also engage in monitoring and managing price risk preserve financial capital; effectively protecting hard-working (and hard to replace) employees from layoffs in down markets and all other stakeholders.  Against a backdrop of volatile and declining prices over the past few years, firms that have addressed price risk have developed stronger balance sheets than the competition.  Their management has been able to seize opportunities and ride out lean markets while many peers were on their heels.  In short, understanding how to manage price risk deserves as much attention as other significant risks/threats constantly being reviewed and managed by mining companies.

The Noah’s Rule philosophy “predicting rain doesn’t count; building arks does” forms the core of our approach to market risk management and encapsulates our belief that protection is more important than prediction and that prudent risk management requires companies to work out from their corporate strategy, rather than in from a ‘market price view’.

Noah’s Rule has designed a workshop that provides participants with an understanding of hedging products and techniques, the benefits and risks of hedging and how to apply hedging to their overall risk management strategy. The course is designed to assist management answer the perennial hedging questions for their circumstance: When should we hedge? How much should we hedge?  Can I afford not to hedge??

Sean Russo: Founder and Managing Director of Noah’s Rule Sean is actively involved at Noah's Rule providing strategic Debt and Hedging Advisory services to CEO's, Company Boards and Senior Management with significant financial market and commodity market risks. He is a passionate advocate for companies developing a high degree of risk awareness and of the possibilities to harness market risk and not simply be a price taker, riding the price cycle for good or bad. Prior to forming Noah's Rule Pty Ltd in August 2004, Sean was the Managing Director of Treasury and a member of the Executive Committee of NM Rothschild and Sons (Australia) Limited. In over 20 years with the Rothschild Group, Sean gained extensive experience in the international bullion and financial markets working in their offices in Perth, Sydney, London and Singapore, in roles covering trading, sales and management. In all his positions Sean has taken a very active interest in the delivery of responsible and innovative 'needs based solutions' to producer, consumer and Central Bank clients.





All attendees must register. Register today on line (click here) or complete the registration form (click) here 

The Conference Schedule and Speakers' abstracts and bios are shown here 
A four page schedule of the events, panels and workshops is here

Space is becoming limited - Register Today

Revisit this website for updates about the agendadinner or a workshop 
Visit Why Attend and this link for the 2016 Flier with photos 

We hope to see you at the
6th Current Trends in Mining Finance Conference
Sunday, April 29th to Wednesday, May 2nd 2018

Save the dates