Key issues Impacting Critical Mineral Supply Chains Dec 2020

Welcome to NY SME's first virtual Thought Leaders in Mining event Strengthening Critical Minerals Supply Chains in North America - Key Role of Quebec released in December 2020. Below are links to its on-demand videos. It was attended by more than 440 senior industry and official industry experts and others interested investment, financial and technical stakeholders - and many others since its first release.

NY SME also welcomes you to view our 3rd virtual Thought Leaders in Mining event Looking Forward - How to Best Manage Risks Impacting Mineral, Energy and Mining Supply Chains released on Tuesday January 10, 2023. Join us! Contact us at

Also join us in New York in-person for NY SME's 8th Current Trends in Mining Finance Conference (CTMF 2023) on May 8-11, 2023. View the website for details and updates. 

Are you interested to expand or look to invest in, or sell or acquire mining assets? What is the proper amount of disclosure? Which jurisdictions are best to operate in? What are project managers, advisors and investors looking for and doing? These are some of the questions the many experts discuss in the first NY SME virtual event shown below.

Attendees included officers of private and public mining and exploration companies, bankers, financiers, advisers and investors and government officials supporting, advising and or investing in mining, exploration and infrastructure projects world wide.

NY SME thanks the sponsors of this event: Government of Québec; Shearman & Sterling LLP; HATCH; and SRK Consulting and support from our media partners: Mining.comCanadian Mining JournalMiners News, Mining Journal, Mining RecordGlobal Business Reports, Northern Miner, Prospector NewsSME's Mining Engineering Magazine

NY SME welcomes you to join us for our future events. Contact us at NY SME will next reconvene its Current Trends in Mining Finance (CTMF) Conference in-person on May 8 - 12, 2023 in New York City. Send us your expressions of interest to speak, participate and become a sponsor! Save the dates and look for updates here.

You may also like to view on-demand our 2nd Thought Leaders in Mining event Sustainably Funding Global Mineral Supply Chains. These events seek to answer key questions and address topics industry leaders, miners, board members, investors and financiers want to know about financing global mining supply chains.

Below is NY SME's first Thought Leaders in Mining event
Strengthening Critical Minerals Supply Chains in North America - Key Role of Quebec - released in December 2020.
Thank you to all of our speakers and sponsors.
We hope you find it interesting and of value. 

Click here to view NY SME's Welcome Letter

NY SME: Tim Alch, Executive Director
NY SME: Alan Oshiki, Chairman, and Abernathy MacGregor: Executive Vice President  

Tim Alch is Executive Director (2016-20) and Executive Committee Member (2008-16) of NY SME, Managing Partner of TAA Advisory and Mining & Development Services. Since 2012, Tim has chaired more than 25 expert panel discussions and was co-chair of NY SME’s annual Current Trends in Mining Finance (CTMF) Conferences. His work spans equity, management and investment analysis focused on metals, mining and energy, and executive placement. He is a Senior Associate and was a Managing Director of Behre Dolbear; SVP of Anderson & Schwab; Equity Analyst at Paine Webber, Prudential Securities, and Dean Witter Reynolds and Senior Industry Analyst at CRU International (London), World Steel Dynamics (New York) and Resource Strategies (Philadelphia). He is an Honors Geology graduate, and John Mason Clarke fellow of Amherst College; studied Mineral & Energy Economics at Penn State; and member of SME, AEMA, PDAC and NCUSCR and SME Finance Strategic Committee member (2017-20).

Alan Oshiki is the Executive Vice President of Abernathy MacGregor (New York), one of the world’s top corporate, strategic and financial communications consultancies. Alan advises on event-driven stakeholder engagement for initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, crises, activist shareholder defense, litigation, bankruptcy and financial restructuring, as well as innovative, high-impact approaches to ongoing communications with business audiences. Alan helps management teams and boards of directors engage their investors, customers, employees and other important stakeholders to attract capital and deal flow, generate revenue, and build loyalty and support. He works with some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market companies, start-ups, private equity sponsors, professional services firms and industry associations. Alan has over ten years of direct mining industry experience in engineering, management and finance with BHP/Magma Copper. His mining industry clients have included Alpha Natural Resources, Hecla Mining Company, Coeur Mining Inc., and Joy Global Inc. He holds an MBA from the University of Arizona and a BS in Mining Engineering from the University of Idaho. A published author as well as a frequent speaker and workshop leader, Alan is also Chairman and Treasurer of the New York Section of the SME


Below are the links to the Presentations

#1: Setting the Stage: Why are Critical Minerals Supply Chains Important to All of Us? 

Listen to prominent critical minerals supply chain experts engage in a lively discussion about why these minerals in the 21st Century are so vital to North America. What are key issues and trends all need to know and why relying on 'free market' forces may not be enough to ensure a reliable supply of these materials? What is fundamentally different about them? What can be done to support supply and what is the outlook for critical, battery mineral supply chains?

Mining and the processing of these minerals is not well understood, especially considering the long lead times involved to get a mineral resource discovery into production - that can often be as long as 10 to 15 years, sometimes longer. How are these issues considered and managed in an environment whereby among the first or most prominent issues owners and project sponsors must first answer and account for is how they will respect and comply with the requirements of gaining and sustaining the important issue of Social License within and outside the local community? 

Bloomberg New Energy Finance: Sharon Mustri, Metals & Mining Analyst
Hatch Advisory:
Siddarth Subramani, Principal 
House Mountain Partners
: Chris Berry, Founder and President - Moderator
Laurentian Bank Securities: Angelina Mehta, P. Eng, MBA, LLM, Director, Mining, Investment Banking


Sharon Mustri is an analyst at BloombergNEF in New York. Her research focus on the battery supply chain, sustainable industry and mining, and market trends in North and Latin America. Prior to joining BNEF, Sharon conducted research across energy and environmental topics more broadly. She holds BAs in Economics and in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, specializing in Energy and Resources.


Sid Subramani is a Principal in Hatch’s Advisory practice and leads the transactions service line globally. He has 15 years of diverse experience in finance and engineering and specialist expertise in equity capital markets, market analysis, valuation, and transaction advisory in the mining industry. Sid recently led a study for the Government of Canada focusing on Canada’s advantage within critical mineral supply chains.  Prior to joining Hatch, Sid was at Veritas Investment Research where he was an Equity Research Analyst covering North American mining equities. As part of an independent equity research firm, he advised institutional investors on gold and copper macro fundamentals, industry dynamics and provided ongoing research coverage and commentary to support their investments. Sid is an Electrical Engineer and has an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University.


Session Chair: Chris Berry has been an independent analyst since 2009 with a focus on Energy Metals supply chains including lithium, cobalt, graphite, nickel, copper, vanadium, and rare earths. His advisory work provides strategic insights to asset managers, banks, corporates and academia and has a specific focus on how strategic metals supply chains are evolving to create opportunities and threats. Before shifting focus to analysis of these trends, Chris gained twelve years of capital markets experience on both the buy side and sell side. He has visited and performed economic analysis of metals deposits on six continents and has been featured in multiple media outlets including the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, the South China Morning Post and CNN International. Chris holds a Master of Business Administration in finance with an international focus from Fordham University, and a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from The Virginia Military Institute. 

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

#2: How is Québec Planning a Path Forward? – a Case Study

A jurisdiction that has rich mineral resources and that is in close proximity to the major North American markets and that is home to many mining and exploration enterprises with a long history in the mining and mineral processing industries is the Province of Quebec. Please welcome and join in to hear Jonatan Julien, Québec's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources speak about key points about its policy to encourage investment and mining operations in Quebec as well as why it is so important to its people, industrial economy and those in and serving the global critical and battery minerals supply chains. The Minister will be introduced by Québec's New York Delegate General, Catherine Loubier.

Québec’s Delegate General in New York: Catherine Loubier 
Québec’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region: Jonatan Julien   

Catherine Loubier was appointed Québec’s Delegate General in New York in February 2019. Previously, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Quebec Premier François Legault. Until 2018, she served as Alliance Communication Global Director for Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (Paris).  She spent close to 10 years in the federal government as Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and as Director of Communications to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

She also worked in the private sector advising business leaders. Ms. Loubier holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree in Political Science from Université du Québec à Montréal.

Jonatan Julien was elected to the National Assembly of Québec in the provincial election of October 1, 2018, representing the riding of Charlesbourg. He is currently Québec’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region. Mr. Julien is an accountant by profession, and a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec (CA, CPA). He has a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Laval University and a Master’s degree in public administration from ENAP.

In the last 15 years, he has worked in the areas of internal audit, risk management and governance for a number of large organizations including the following: SSQ Groupe financier; Desjardins; Office of the Auditor General of Québec and Ernst & Young. From 2011 to 2013, Mr. Julien was Secretary General of the Société immobilière du Québec, where he was responsible for major projects and corporate affairs. From 2013 to 2018, he was a municipal councillor in Québec City, representing the riding of Rivières. He was also Vice-President of the Québec City Executive Committee, with responsibility for finances, human resources, engineering, public works and infrastructure. In addition, Mr. Julien was President of the Center of Expert and Research of Urban Infrastructure (CERIU) from 2016 to 2018.

#3: How Do Industrial and Consumer Demand Drive the Need for More Critical Minerals? 

Listen to this roundtable discussion with key industrial and consumer-based company executives whose products use these minerals. This panel will discuss key business, economic issues and trends that support the exploration, development and expansion of critical battery minerals and related services supply chains.

Blue Solutions: Adrian Tylim, Business Development USA – Americas
General Motors Global Headquarters: Michael Maten, Manager, Energy, Environment, and Electrification Policy, Global Public Policy
McKinsey & Company: Ken Hoffman, Global Co-Leader EV Battery Materials Group – Moderator 
RhoMotion: Adam Panayi, Managing Director
The Lion Electric Co.: Patrick Gervais, VP Marketing and Communications

Adrian Tylim is responsible for leading North America business development efforts at Blue Solutions, a Bolloré company. He has broad experience with renewable energy technologies as an engineer, designer, project and business developer. He was part of NASA’s space station solar power module team, worked in various California wind energy projects, and was responsible for business development for a leading German solar engineering firm. As a sustainability champion, he designed a solution to eliminate landfills and economically produce renewable energy from waste. He also teaches MBA students Sustainable Business Strategies. He earned a MS in Energy Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona and a BS in Applied Physics from California State University.

A veteran of the automotive industry, Michael Maten is the Electric Vehicle Strategy expert for GM’s Public Policy Team.  He has worked in the Electric Propulsion space for over 10 years as part of GM’s Product Planning and Strategy group.  He led the advanced planning effort for GM’s next generation of battery electric vehicles, debuting in the next few years.  Before that, he spent several years at GM’s OnStar business unit.

Michael has worked all over the globe on electrification and strategy projects, focusing primarily in China and Europe, including a 3-year assignment in Frankfurt, Germany.  He is the architect of GM’s National Zero Emission Vehicle Program, which was unveiled in October 2018.

He is a member of the Massachusetts Zero Emission Vehicle Commission, and also sits on the advisory panel for Drive Change, Drive Electric, a public/private partnership between automakers and Northeast states to promote electric vehicle ownership.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.    

Session Chair: Ken Hoffman is Global Co Leader EV Battery Materials, McKinsey & Company. Ken is a Senior Expert for McKinsey’s Basic Materials Institute (BMI). Ken is a thought leader on future trends for base and precious metals as well as iron ore and EV materials. He has for many years been a leading watcher of Chinese trends. He also Co- leads the Firm’s global EV battery material research group, and is a member of the Firm’s global future mobility practice. He has co-written articles on the future of EV materials, especially papers on nickel, cobalt and lithium. Prior to McKinsey, Ken was the global head of metals and mining research for Bloomberg Intelligence. Mr. Hoffman began his career at Prudential Securities, covering base and precious metals as well as the global steel industry, and headed Prudential’s global steel research team for five years. Mr. Hoffman has been widely sought after for his engaging talks about industry trends, speaking at the MB EV battery materials conference, Lithium Supply Conference, China Mining Congress for the past 4 years, Natural Resources Forum. He is a regular speaker on Bloomberg TV, Kitco, and BNN Canada. A CFA charter holder, Mr. Hoffman holds a BS in finance from Syracuse University and an MBA from Duke University.

Adam Panayi is the Managing Director of Rho Motion, a specialist EV and battery research and consultancy business established in 2018. He has significant experience in automotive and lithium-ion battery research as the Head of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence's consultancy business, as well as leading the Environment and Emissions research team for Integer Research (now part of Argus Media). He has worked with governments, financial institutions, raw material suppliers, battery and component manufacturers and OEMs on emissions and EV technology issues since 2012.

Patrick Gervais joined Lion Electric after nearly 25 years in the agency world. He previously worked as Senior Vice President, Growth for the Ogilvy group. He was also in turn, President of GPI Communication, President and Partner at Cap Communication, then Vice-President and Partner at Brad. Patrick has always been able to grow the companies for which he has worked.  At Lion Electric Patrick is part of the management team and has the mandate to market the brand and its various products, across North America in addition he manages government relations, assisting the sales and business development teams.  Entrepreneur at heart, Patrick is results oriented, he stands out for his ability to identify promising opportunities. Over the years, he has developed a strong knowledge in the effective operation of media, public relations and government relations.  He also had the opportunity to put his skills to good use with clients such as Peterbuilt, or even Isuzu, Volvo (Novabus, Prévost Car) General Motors (GM) Sweepsters, Workhorse Chassis, Lego which he accompanied in the achievement of their business objectives.

#4: New Initiatives to Promote Good Relationships with Local Communities and Indigenous Communities in the Development of Mineral Investments

The role and involvement of local communities and indigenous communities and all stakeholders' interests in mining include owners, financiers and investors in mining as well as exploration has become a prominent and often first-asked question of executives and project owners and sponsors regarding the long-term prospects and future success by investors today. Join us today in this panel discussion to hear representatives from Quebec in an engaging roundtable panel discussion about initiatives to foster good local relationship in critical and strategic mineral rich areas in Quebec.

Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources: Marie-Hélène Léger, Public Participation Advisor
Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources: Céline Létourneau, Indigenous Affairs Advisor
Québec Mineral Exploration Association: Joanie Caron, Ph.D., Certification Project Manager
Société du Plan Nord: Jocelyn Douhéret, Director, Business Development Office - Moderator

Marie-Hélène Léger holds a Bachelor's degree in biology with a specialization in ecology. She is a public participation advisor at the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MERN). Between 2010 and 2013, she participated in the making of the MERN’s Strategic Environmental Assessment Program on Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration and Development in marine environments as a science communication and environment consultant. Following this mandate, she carried out environmental impact assessments for consulting firms. In 2016, she joined the Quebec Association for Impact Assessments as the coordinator and General Director until December 2018, when she came back officially to the MERN. She now contributes to mandates related to public participation and social acceptability.

Céline Létourneau is trained in political science and public affairs. She has several years of experience as an Indigenous affairs advisor, first at the Ministry of Health and Social Services, then at the Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones, then in the mines sector of the ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles (MERN). In addition to advising the mining sector on indigenous consultations, she coordinates work aimed at the interministerial coordination of indigenous consultations for mining activities that are not subject to the environmental impact assessment and review process in Southern Quebec.

Joanie Caron holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance, a Master's degree in Sustainable Development and a Doctoral degree in Indigenous Studies. She specializes in the integration of the Indigenous workforce in the mining sector and teaches Natural Resources Management at the University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT). She participated in all stages of the project "Sustainable Development Certification" initiated by the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association (QMEA) in 2012, first as the person responsible for the development of the standard at UQAT, then as the certification project manager at QMEA.

Session Chair: Jocelyn Douhéret joined Société du Plan Nord in April 2016 as Director of the Business Development Office. Previously Mr. Douhéret was for 10 years Director and VP of Business Development in the services and equipment mining sector. From 1998 to 2006, he worked for Québec firms on industrial development projects in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Canada, focused in the natural resources, energy and environmental sectors. He began his career as a scientific attaché at the French Embassy in Slovakia in 1996. He holds a master’s degree in science from Laval University in Quebec and an engineering degree from the National School of Agricultural Engineers of Dijon (France).

#5: Traceability, Enabling Transparency, Accountability, and Circularity - a Battery Case Study 

There is an increasing need to understand material provenance in the Li-ion battery supply chain. Environmental and social impact awareness as well as political issues and resource scarcity requires all to evaluate investments, optimize production and reduce losses. Until now, industry has responded to these emerging concerns by establishing new standards about responsible sourcing and ESG issues. This panel will discuss how traceability and innovative technology are successfully used in other industries and how they can help increase the reliability in supply chains and visibility for better asset and performance management and how recycling value chains can create economic value, sustainably.

Lithion Recycling: Yves Noël, VP & CBDO
Nouveau Monde Graphite: Eric Desaulniers MSc., Geo. President and CEO
Optel Group: Florent Bouguin Eng, M.Sc., Vice President, Chief Technology Officer
Propulsion Quebec: Simon Thibault, Director - Moderator
World Economic Forum: Mathy Stanislaus, Interim Director of Global Battery Alliance

Yves Noel is Vice-President and Chief Business Development Officer of Lithion Recycling. Mr. Noel is a chemical engineer who also earns an MBA degree. He has been successful as a business development executive in the value added specialized additives related to the high technology applications and also in general management for over 25 years. His entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen allows him to seek mutually beneficial solutions with partners and stakeholders.

Eric Desaulniers is a professional geologist (OGQ #935) with a specialization in geophysics and the founder and CEO of Nouveau Monde Graphite. He holds a bachelor’s degree in geology and a master in geophysics from Laval University in Quebec City. Previously, as a project manager for the world-leading geophysical corporation Sander Geophysics, he managed numerous international large scale interpretation and data acquisition projects in the Middle East, in Central and North African countries, and in North America for major clients like the British Geological Survey, Saudi Aramco, the Moroccan government, BRGM (France) and Shell.

Florent Bouguin is Vice President, Chief Technology Officer for OPTEL Group. After graduating from Polytechnique (Orleans, France) and completing graduate studies in Laval University (Quebec, Canada), Florent worked as a system engineer for ABB in the space industry. Holding several technical and management roles for 15 years, he contributed to develop spaceborne analysers for greenhouse gas observation, weather forecast prediction and ozone measurement. He joined Optel group, a B-Corp certified organization in 2016 as vice president engineering and operations, where he participated in the growth of the business. Currently Chief Technology Officer, Florent drives the technology direction of Optel group.

Mathy Stanislaus is the Interim Director of the Global Battery Alliance (World Economic Forum), which consists of senior leaders from companies, NGOs and governments pursuing a vision that by 2030 the GHG emissions of the transport and power is reduced 30%, eliminating human rights abuses – in particular child labor in cobalt sourcing– and closing the clean energy access gap,  while creating additional jobs and economic value.    Mr. Stanislaus served as a senior political official for the Obama Administration at the USEPA after his nomination by President Barack Obama and confirmation by the U.S. Senate.   In that role, he led land restoration, materials management, chemical plant safety and emergency response programs.  He represented the United States at the G-7 negotiations to establish public-private partnership to advance resource efficiency and sustainable materials management in the supply chain as a strategy to address climate change.  Mr. Stanislaus is a Chemical Engineer and Environmental Lawyer.  He has more than 15 years’ experience institutionalizing solutions that advance sustainability by integrating environmental, economic and social outcomes in the private, government and not-for-profits sectors. 

Session Chair: Simon Thibault: Following almost a decade as a consultant in environmental and social responsibility (ESR) in the mining industry, Simon Thibault joined Nemaska Lithium in 2015 as Director of Environmental and Social Responsibility. His mandate included implementation of the environmental and social management systems, permitting, government affairs, and community relations. Nowadays, he is the Director Battery Value Chain for Propulsion Quebec, an industrial cluster dedicated to electrification of transportation; his present mandate includes coordinating with government agencies and industrials to develop the battery value chain in Quebec in the context of the electrification of transportation and the clean transition of our economy.

#6: How Mining Chains are Advancing the Development of Responsible Nickel Mining  

Often heard today are concerns about the battery material supply chain. An often neglected component in past years, the importance and role of Nickel and Cobalt supply worldwide has battery makers and consumers scrambling to source stable, reliable and responsible supplies of this metal. Join this engaging panel discussion about several key trends involving producers and consumers from the industrial side, led by key market experts who will engage all in a lively discussion about the technology involved in mining and processing of nickel, recent business trends impacting the nickel market and the outlook for an industry in need of capital investment to produce stable, sustainable, responsible nickel.

CRU Consulting: Alex Laugharne, Principal - Moderator
Dumont Nickel: Johnna Muinonen P.Eng., President
Evercore Group: Andrew Frame, Managing Director, Global Advisory, Strategic Advisory, Mergers and Acquisitions

Session Chair: Alex Laugharne is a Principal Consultant based in CRU's New York office. Alex relocated to New York in 2015 after eight years working for CRU Consulting in London. Alex now works across a broad range of commodities supporting predominately North American customers, whilst also providing important contributions to consulting projects related to his commodity specialties. Over the last three years Alex has predominately focused on working in the battery metals space, as lead author and editor of CRU’s Lithium Market Outlook and Lithium Chemical Cost Service, and having completed several projects looking in detail at the implications of battery demand for nickel for major players in the space.

Johnna Muinonen, P.Eng. is the President – Dumont Nickel, Magneto Investments LP. Prior to moving over to Magneto with Waterton’s purchase of 100% of Dumont from Karora Resources in July 2020, she was President, Dumont Nickel for Karora (previously Royal Nickel Corporation). Johnna was with Royal Nickel from 2010-2020 and led the Dumont Project through pre-feasibility, feasibility and post-feasibility studies. Prior to joining RNC, Johnna was employed by Vale (formerly Inco) for 9 years. While with Vale, she spent 5 years in Thompson, Manitoba working in the concentrator in various positions of increasing responsibility which culminated in an appointment to Mill Manager from 2005-2007. Johnna graduated from Queen’s Mining Engineering in 1998 and is a Professional Engineer in Ontario.

Andrew Frame is a member of Evercore’s global Metals, Materials & Mining practice. The Evercore team specializes in advising on the structuring and execution of complex mergers & acquisitions, equity and debt financings both in public and private markets. Prior to joining Evercore, Andrew spent 9 years at Credit Suisse and 4 years at RFC Ambrian, covering Metals & Mining clients in Australia, Europe and the Americas. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Laws with Honors from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

#7: Financing Critical Minerals

Join this panel discussion on financing the critical mineral supply chain from mining through processing up to end use. This group of experts with representatives from the corporate, commercial bank and private equity worlds will discuss the key challenges of investing in the critical minerals sector.  They will discuss what makes investing in critical minerals different from investing in more tradition commodities (such as gold and copper), the kinds of debt investments seen to date in the sector and those most likely in the near term.  In particular, they will explore the role of ESG-linked investment instruments in funding development of the sector.  The panel will also explore what roles end users and governments might play in supporting development of the sector.  This panel will highlight these complex issues in a world in which the need for these minerals is expected to see exponential growth and in which there will be a very public focus on responsibly sourcing these critical minerals.

Bullfrog Gold Corporation: Maryse Belanger, CEO 
Orion Resource Partners: Jon Lamb, Portfolio Manager
Societe Generale: Lenaig Trenaux, Managing Director and Regional Head of Mining and Metals Finance Americas
Shearman & Sterling LLP:  Cynthia Urda Kassis, Head of Mining & Metals - Moderator

Maryse Bélanger has over 35 years of experience in the mining industry. Ms. Bélanger is the CEO and Director of Bullfrog Gold Corp. (an Augusta Group portfolio company). Previously, she was President, Americas for St Barbara Mining, joining them in July 2019 following St Barbara’s acquisition of Atlantic Gold Corporation, of which she was President, Chief Operating Officer and Director.  From 2014 to 2016, she was the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Mirabela Nickel Ltd., owner of the Santa Rita Nickel-Copper mine in Brazil. Ms. Bélanger has also held senior executive roles with Goldcorp, ultimately appointed as Senior Vice President, Technical Services and Kinross Gold Corporation as Director, Technical Services. Ms. Bélanger currently serves as a director on the boards of Equinox Gold Corp., Sherritt International, and Pure Gold Mining. Until September, she was Non-Executive Director and Vice Chairman of the Board of Sigma Lithium. 

Jon Lamb is a Portfolio Manager at Orion Resource Partners specializing in debt, equity and streaming investments for base and precious metals companies globally for Orion’s mine finance funds.  Prior to Orion, Mr. Lamb was an Investment Manager for a predecessor business of Orion, and prior to that, Mr. Lamb worked for five years in Deutsche Bank’s Metals & Mining Investment Banking group and has worked on a variety of debt and equity financing as well as M&A transactions for clients across the base metals, precious metals, coal and steel sectors.  Mr. Lamb graduated with a BA from the College of William and Mary majoring in Government and Finance.  Mr. Lamb is a Non Executive Director of Atalaya Mining Plc.

Lenaig Trenaux is a Managing Director and the Regional Head of Mining, Metals and Industries Finance Americas for Societe Generale.  Ms. Trenaux has more than 20 years of experience in the mine and commodity finance sector.  Prior to becoming Regional Head in the Americas in June 2017, Ms. Trenaux was Co-Head of Societe Generale’s Mining Finance Team in London beginning in 2006.  In addition to leading the Societe Generale mine finance efforts which cover a wide range of minerals and finance products, Ms. Trenaux has been instrumental in advancing their efforts to bring ESG-linked products to the mining sector and extend the group’s focus to the role played by metals and minerals in decarbonization initiatives.  

Session Chair: 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 Chambers, IFLR 1000 and Legal 500. Who’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).


#8: What is Ahead for the Critical Minerals Sector in North America

Join us for this forward-looking panel discussion about key issues and trends about what is ahead and what managers, owners, investors, officials should be thinking about. How to best navigate a way forward, manage risk, uncertainty, and insure certainty of low-cost supply of critical minerals in North America.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence: James Clark, Principal Consultant - Moderator
BlackRock Metals, Inc.: Sean Cleary, Chairman and CEO
Geomega Resources: Kiril Mugerman, CEO and President 
Northcott Capital: Richard G. Reeves, Managing Director 
SRK Consulting: John Pfahl, M.Eng., SME: Principal Consultant (Corporate Advisory)

Session Chair: James Clark has worked for Benchmark Minerals since 2018, advising clients, including OEMs, mining companies, Government entities and others on the battery and battery raw material markets. James is a geologist by training, from the Royal School of Mines (Imperial College London) and has been involved in the commodities markets since 2006. Beginning his career at CRU in London he was approached in 2011 to head up iron ore market analysis for Xstrata. In this role, and later with Glencore, James was responsible for various aspects of asset valuation, deal structuring, due diligence, acquisitions and other deals, in addition to market analysis and trade origination across the steel value chain. Following Glencore, James spent 4 years in project finance for Caterpillar Financial and in private debt funds. 

Sean Cleary is an international business executive with over 30 years of experience in strategic planning, finance, M&A, merchant banking and building companies. He is the co-founder of BlackRock Metals where he is Chairman & CEO. Previously he was co-founder and Chairman of People Corporation, Senior Vice-President with Quest Capital (now Sprott Resource Lending Group), President of Pangeo Pharma and co-founder and Chief Financial Officer of the Caratax Fund, a Canadian mining fund. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western University and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business.  Based in Canada, Mr. Cleary has spent the last 10 years developing the BlackRock Project into the leading vanadium project in partnership with the Quebec Government and involving global private equity, international vanadium companies and three Canadian First Nations groups. The BlackRock Project is fully permitted for construction, will produce three products (Vanadium, Titanium and Nodular Iron), and is expected to produce 5% of annual world vanadium leading environmentally friendly commercialized technology – the BlackRock Project has an initial mine life of 42 years.

Kiril Mugerman is a well-travelled young entrepreneur that grew up in 4 countries and speaks 5 languages. In 2001 he settled in Montreal, Quebec where he received a bachelor’s degree with Honors in Earth and Planetary Sciences and Geology from McGill University. In 2008, he joined Gold Fields, the 4th largest gold producer at the time, to work on advanced stage exploration projects internationally including West Africa, central Asia and Latin America.  In 2011, he returned to Montreal to join Industrial Alliance Securities as a mining analyst in the industrial minerals sector focusing on the rare earth elements, graphite and potash.  In 2014, Mr. Mugerman joined Geomega and in 2015, he was nominated President and CEO to transition towards a mining & technology company. In March 2017, as part of the restructuring process, Mr. Mugerman created Kintavar Exploration to conduct exploration activities for non-rare earth assets that were previously owned by Geomega. His team is now actively developing a base metals camp in central Quebec.  Currently, Mr. Mugerman leads both public companies and is advancing Geomega to build the first rare earths refining and recycling plant in Quebec in 2021.

Richard Reeves brings 32 years of experience in the mining sector, of which 22 years have been in banking and advisory together with 10 years of experience in mine management/engineering. Prior to joining Northcott Capital, Rick was with MUFG Union Bank leading its mining project finance business in the Americas. Previously, Rick worked for Deutsche Bank and Barclays BZW in project finance and advisory, and as an independent consultant. Rick’s experience includes: marketing, structuring and executing mining financings and advisory; mine valuation; mine feasibility studies and mine operations. Transactions include:  the privatization of British Coal, project financing of the Antamina copper/zinc mine in Peru, acquisition financings for US coal producers, and the recent financings on behalf of Antofagasta Minerals in Chile.  Rick has a B.Sc. in Mining Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.  He is a registered Professional Engineer and a certified Mine Manager/Foreman and Shotfirer.

John Pfahl is a Corporate Advisory Consultant with SRK. He holds a Master of Engineering (Engineer of Mines) degree from Colorado School of Mines. Mr. Pfahl provides investment support, business improvement and strategic guidance for mining industry clients. He has expertise in strategic planning, business improvement, investment analysis, risk analysis, capital markets and project valuation in the mining field. His background activities include project and investment management, strategic evaluations, technical and commercial due diligence, market studies, financial modeling, structuring and negotiating terms in mergers and acquisitions, mine planning and project finance for projects ranging from exploration through production and across a broad spectrum of commodities.