Rob McLeod, Chair
Ascot ResourcesRead Bio
Originally from the mining town of Stewart, BC, Rob McLeod, P.Geo., is a successful exploration geologist and third generation miner. He has over twenty years of industry experience from grassroots to feasibility‐stage projects, with numerous discoveries to his credit. From field geologist to CEO, Rob has extensive experience in British Columbia, Alaska, Yukon, Nunavut and Nevada for companies including: Lac Minerals, Inco, Miramar Mining, Homestake Resources and multiple successful junior companies.
As founder and VP Exploration of Underworld Resources, Rob and his exploration team’s White Gold discovery started the largest staking rush in Yukon since the Klondike Gold Rush.
Previously, Rob was the President and CEO of IDM Mining, which was acquired by Ascot Resources in March 2019 where he is now an Advisor and Consultant. Rob focused on developing a high‐grade, underground gold deposit east of his hometown of Stewart. Rob is active in the BC mining community, as a Director for the Britannia Mine Museum, and has served as Vice‐Chair of AME’s Editorial Board for Mineral Exploration magazine and Transboundary Relations Committee.
Tara Hassan, Vice Chair
Tara Hassan has been a mining equity research analyst focused on small to mid-capital explorers, developers and producers in the precious metals space for more than 10 years. She currently works at VRIFY and previously was an analyst at Raymond James and has worked at a range of investment dealers from boutique to large banks, with her research being disseminated to global institutional investors. Before entering the financial services industry, Tara worked as a mining engineer for Inco (now Vale) and Placer Dome (now Barrick Gold). At these companies, she held operating, engineering and project-focused roles, working at eight different mines and gaining experience in a wide variety of underground and open-pit mining situations. Tara is a Professional Engineer (Ontario) and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Jill Tsolinas, Vice Chair
Jill Tsolinas has a wide breadth of experience having represented exploration, development and operating mines throughout her career. She is versed in executive oversite, organizational management, corporate governance and stakeholder communications. Jill desires to see the continual development and incorporation of innovative best-fit practices to sustain the mineral exploration and mining sector.
Jill is the vice chair of the board of AME, acting as chair of the ad hoc governance committee (2018) and vice-chair of Roundup (2015) along with being a member of the finance committee and ISR committee.
She has been an advisory council member for the Centre of Training Excellence in Mining (CTEM) since 2015. Jill has additional corporate governance experience acting as corporate secretary for a private consulting company and overseeing the establishment of a private junior aggregate company. Jill is
executive director of CTEM where she uses her project management and partner engagement skills to facilitate collaborative and innovative training for mining in BC. Jill is passionate about discovering strategic partnerships to strengthen collaboration.
Jill is receiving her MBA from Arden University, United Kingdom in 2019. She has a B.A. in geography and a concentration in sociology with additional certificates in leadership and mining studies.
Takom Exploration LtdRead Bio
Dr. Diana Benz has worked in the mineral exploration industry, from field to lab to office, for over 20 years. Prince George-based, BC-born and raised, her career has taken her from Osoyoos to Atlin and Whitehorse to Dawson City as well as beyond into the Northwest Territories, Ontario and Greenland. She has also worked remotely on projects based in South America, Africa, Eurasia and Australia.
Diana’s graduate work at the University of Northern British Columbia (BC) and the University of Windsor (ON) focused on enhancing mineral exploration techniques through the use of publicly available data (BC) or by re-analyzing samples with highly-sensitive technology (ON). Diana also has an undergraduate degree in Biology (UBC), is an active prospector in BC and is currently the President of Takom Exploration Ltd., a small geological and environmental consulting firm focused on metal exploration in BC and the Yukon.
Throughout her career, Diana has experienced the challenges associated with working in the mineral exploration industry regarding prospecting, safety, operational transparency and social responsibility. To further advocate for social responsibility, Diana became a Director of Women Geoscientists in Canada last year where she has helped set up their mentoring program and is currently working on an inclusive conference initiative.
Don Bragg has been an active prospector since 1956, working for both major and junior mining companies and has been a self-employed prospector, contractor, and camp manager since 1964. Don has been affiliated with AME since 1962 and has been very active, having served on many committees and the Board of Directors. Don was first elected to the Board in 1976.
Don continues to advocate for the prospectors as their access to land continues to be limited through regulation and prohibitions and the decommissioning of existing access roads. Don also advocates for more prospecting schools for prospective prospectors who do not have high school graduation. Further, Don recognizes the need for more options to help fund grassroots exploration work and strongly supports the important work of educating the public about the value of mining and mineral exploration to their daily lives and to the economy of British Columbia. Don is currently serving on the Land Access & Use, Membership, and Communications & Marketing Committees in addition to the Board of Directors.
Teck Resources LimitedRead Bio
Michael Buchanan is Director Exploration – North America for Teck Resources Limited and has been serving as an elected Director AME for the last three years as well as serving on the Land Access & Use Committee while leading Teck’s high-quality exploration teams in grassroots and brownfields exploration.
Michael has over 20 years of precious and base metal Exploration experience throughout North and South America and holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Geology from UBC and M.Sc. in Econ. Geology from University of Tasmania.
Chad Norman Day
Tahltan Central GovernmentRead Bio
The Tahltan Nation has approximately 4000 members and Tahltan Territory is located in Northwest British Columbia and covers 11% of the province. Chad Norman Day is currently serving in his sixth year and third term as the elected President of the Tahltan Central Government (TCG) and the Spokesperson for the Tahltan Nation.
At the age of 27, Chad became the youngest elected leader in Tahltan history when he became President in the summer of 2014, shortly after graduating law school.
Chad lived and grew up between Smithers and Telegraph Creek in Northern British Columbia and worked seasonally in the mining industry throughout Tahltan Territory since he was a teenager. He attained a Bachelor of Arts in First Nation Studies and Political Science from the University of Alberta, as well as a Juris Doctorate in Law from the University of Victoria.
Chad has lead the Tahltan people through unprecedented growth with the nation’s capacity building, finances and governance. He has negotiated several historic agreements with Industry, the Province, neighbouring First Nations and internally with the other Tahltan governments. In his first five years as President, Chad heavily restructured the TCG, created several new departments, and increased the staff from four to thirty people.
Lastly, Chad takes great pride in inspiring and mentoring youth to live healthier lives, and is very proud to be the father to four children that are both Tahltan and Wet’suwet’en.
Lana EagleRead Bio
Lana Eagle is an Indigenous relations strategist and a social innovator advising companies on how to better engage and work with Indigenous communities and to find a pathway forward through a Reconciliation framework. Her background is in banking, economic development, wealth management and mineral exploration. Lana was a “pioneer” for Aboriginal women in being one of the first to Chair a junior mineral exploration company. She is also an avid volunteer.
Lana joined AME’s Aboriginal Relations Committee (now the Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation Committee) six years ago and has served as Chair since 2013. She is a Program Advisory Committee Member for Mining and Mineral Exploration at BCIT and a member of the Canadian Institute of Mining Diversity and Inclusion Program Advisory Committee. Lana also served as Moderator of the Aboriginal Forum at PDAC 2017. As well she sits on the Advisory Board of SEF Canada, that focuses on community entrepreneurial development in the extractive sector. Lana is a sought-out speaker and lecturer on the topic of “Indigenous Engagement and Reconciliation in Canada”.
Centerra GoldRead Bio
C. Paul Jago is Exploration Manager for British Columbia with Centerra Gold. He is based out of Prince George BC and often works from Mount Milligan mine. In past years, Paul was the Regional Geologist for the Northcentral and Northeast regions of BC with the Ministry of Energy & Mines. Paul is a UBC graduate where he completed studies with the Mineral Deposit Research Unit. Seasonal work for mineral exploration companies in Northcentral BC was followed by several years of near-mine exploration with Freeport-McMoRan in Southwestern U.S. A paper summarizing his Master’s thesis on the Mt. Milligan porphyry gold-copper deposit was published in 2014 by the Society of Economic Geologists. Paul has been with Centerra Gold since mid-2017.
Stephen de Jong
Stephen de Jong holds 10 years experience in the mining industry and is currently the Chairman of Integra Resources, Director of GFG Resources and Founder of VRIFY, a Vancouver based tech start-up focused on connecting mining companies to the modern-day investor.
Prior to VRify, in 2012 Stephen was appointed CEO of Integra Gold, a Quebec-focused junior exploration company, and proved to be instrumental in raising over $150 million while growing the business from a $10 million exploration company through to its $590 million sale to Eldorado Gold in July 2017.
Stephen’s influence and passion for helping shape the next generation of exploration and mining was demonstrated in his role as co-creator of Integra’s $1 Million Gold Rush Challenge held in 2016, and as co-host of #DisruptMining 2017, two events focused on accelerating innovation and the adoption of technology across the mining industry.
Stephen was born and raised in BC, has a commerce degree from Royal Roads University and currently lives in Vancouver with his wife and two young daughters.
Norman Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering (UBC)Read Bio
Mr. Himmelright has over 25 years of experience in environmental management and developing a social license for natural resource projects. He’s a graduate of Simon Fraser University (B.Sc.) and the University of British Columbia (M. Eng.) and is a Registered Professional Biologist in BC. Mr. Himmelright previously served as Vice President responsible for sustainability matters for several publicly listed companies and has also worked as a consultant to Indigenous communities on mining proposals within their Territories and with non-profit organizations. He’s a former
Board member of the Yukon Mine Training Association and the Autism Society of BC and is currently an associate instructor at the Norman Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering (UBC) on the topic of Indigenous peoples and mining in Canada.
Smithers Exploration GroupRead Bio
Christine Ogryzlo works to bring local communities and the minerals industry closer together. She has decades of experience as a journalist and business researcher. She was a producer with CBC Radio; founded her own business research company; and helped establish the Northwest Community College School of Exploration & Mining in Smithers. Christine is President of Smithers Exploration Group, which represents the northwest minerals industry. She has been an AME director since 2015 and is also a director with Geoscience BC. Christine lives in Topley Landing, BC.
Coast Mountain College School of Exploration and MiningRead Bio
Jill Pardoe is a Professional Geologist with extensive mining background, encompassing more than 30 years working for industry and the Provincial government.
Initially starting as a cook and field technician in 1981, she was inspired to pursue a geology career. On completion of her B.Sc. at the University of Saskatchewan, Jill moved to Smithers. Working domestically and abroad, she’s engaged in a full spectrum of mining activities: from grassroots exploration, through early and late stage property evaluation, to expansion of ore reserves at surface and underground mines.
In 1995, Jill joined the Ministry of Energy and Mines and worked extensively on Land Use Planning. In 2005, she became the Senior Permitting Inspector. As a mine inspector, Jill has been a strong advocate for industry, seeking to improve permitting processes and client communications. Jill left government in 2014, to return to consulting and occasional teaching at the Northwest Community College School of Exploration and Mining in Smithers.
SGDS / Below BCRead Bio
Andy is a professional geologist living in Vancouver who is tailoring his career to bring change to the minerals exploration industry. Since 2014, he has established his consulting business, SGDS Hive, which takes on graduate geoscientists and mentors them through a variety of exploration projects to help engage and educate the next generation of geologists. He also started a non-profit society, Below BC, to provide outreach to the public around Earth Science topics, which now serves several thousand people in British Columbia each year. Andy was awarded the Bedford Young Mining Leaders Award from the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum in 2016 for his ongoing contributions to the industry.
He gained his bachelors degree in Environmental Geoscience from the University of Cardiff (Wales). Outside of his own businesses, Andy also sits on the Mentoring Committee for Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia and the Geological Society Committee for the Canadian Institute of Mining, Mining and Petroleum and has several other community volunteer roles beyond the exploration industry.
Sun MetalsRead Bio
Steve Robertson has nearly three decades experience in exploration and mine operations in British Columbia. In November 2017 Steve joined Sun Metals as President & CEO, from Imperial Metals where he spent the previous 24 years. Steve earned his BSc in geology from University of Alberta in 1989 and the bulk of his career has been spent in exploration.
Steve has always been actively engaged in the mining community. He previously served as director for AME, sat on the Geoscience BC Technical Advisory Committee and was a founding director of the BC Aboriginal Mine Training Association. In 2016 Steve was awarded the E.A. Scholz Award for Excellence in Mine Development for his leadership in development of the Red Chris mine.
Skeena Resources LtdRead Bio
Colin Russell is a professional geologist involved with mining and geology for the past 40 years. He began his career as a mine labourer in Yukon in 1978 and then moved on to obtain his B.Sc. in Geology at the University of British Columbia. Since graduation he has worked for junior and major exploration companies on projects ranging from grassroots through to feasibility. Colin has worked throughout Canada and overseas, including Guyana, China, the Republic of Cyprus and Namibia, but has returned to his early roots working in the northwest corner of BC as Exploration Manager for Skeena Resources Limited.
Seabrige GoldRead Bio
Bruce Scott is Vice President, Corporate Affairs of Seabridge Gold Inc. since 2012 and counsel to Seabridge. For Seabridge, he provides legal services relating to corporate finance and mining matters and works extensively on the KSM Project on relationships with aboriginal groups, mineral tenure matters and support for permitting efforts, including its environmental assessment applications. Bruce played a central role in the negotiation of Seabridge’s agreements with the Nisga’a Nation and the Gitanyow First Nation and is working towards agreements with other aboriginal groups. Formerly, from 1998 to 2011, Bruce was a partner at DuMoulin Black LLP.
Bruce has been a Director of AME since 2016 and is a member of AME’s Transboundary Relations Committee and Nenqay Deni Accord Task Force.
Sage Resource Consultants Ltd.Read Bio
Leilah Tate is a graduate from UBC and a Professional Geoscientist who has worked in the mineral exploration and mining sector for over 20 years. Leilah’s career as a geologist began in a coal mine in northeast BC followed by exploring for diamonds and gold in the Northwest Territories and Yukon. For the past 13 years she has worked as an independent environmental mining consultant advancing the permitting of several mining projects in BC. Leilah also worked as the Director, Technical Services for AME, which included managing the delivery of Roundup. Leilah has served on numerous industry committees which have contributed to raising awareness of the importance of mineral exploration in BC. Leilah is very familiar with AME’s advocacy work and believes it plays a critical role in supporting mineral exploration and creating mineral investor certainty in BC.
Kendra Johnston, President and CEO
Kendra Johnston joined AME as President and CEO in June 2019 following several years of volunteer positions at AME including Director, Executive Director, Chair of the Board, Chair of the Roundup Committee and serving on numerous committees including the Finance Committee. Kendra is a Professional Geologist and mining executive with over 15 years of experience in various facets of the mineral exploration and mining industry primarily in BC and Yukon, and is a passionate industry advocate for responsible mineral exploration.
With a strong, inclusive and collaborative leadership style, Kendra provides AME with extensive, knowledge and experience in public geoscience, financial and capital markets, indigenous engagement, as well as the social and regulatory landscapes that affect mineral exploration. Ms. Johnston’s strong leadership and advocacy helps to promote British Columbia as one of the top global jurisdictions for responsible and inclusive mineral exploration and development and as a major international hub for industry that shares our core values.
Ms. Johnston, P.Geo. graduated from the University of Victoria with BSc in Earth Science and the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University with an MBA and a Certificate in Responsible Leadership. She was most recently the President of BC and Yukon explorer, Independence Gold Corp., with increasing levels of responsibility from Project Geologist to President.
604.630.3920 | [email protected]
Scottie Resources CorpRead Bio
Thomas is an exploration geologist specializing in magmatic mineral deposits and alpine geological mapping. He has extensive technical and project management experience in Au, REE, Cu-porphyry, and U deposits. He is a registered professional geologist with Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia (EGBC), and currently acts as the Vice President, Exploration for Scottie Resources Corp. He has served as a lecturer at Carleton University and British Columbia Institute of Technology. He holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from University of New Brunswick, and was awarded the Leopold Gélinas medal for the best M.Sc. thesis from the GAC Volcanology and Igneous Petrology division. He holds a Ph.D. from Carleton University focused on magmatic controls of the Nechalacho REE deposit in the NWT.
Integra Resources LtdRead Bio
Ms. St-Germain is the Chief Financial Officer of Integra Resources Ltd. She is an experienced mining finance executive with an extensive background in banking, mining finance and financial management. She began her career in investment banking for Dundee Capital Markets Inc. As an investment banker, Ms. St-Germain worked exclusively with mining companies on M&A advisory and financing. In 2013, Ms. St-Germain joined Golden Queen Mining Co. Ltd. as CFO. During her tenure at Golden Queen, she played an instrumental role in securing project finance and overseeing Golden Queen as it transitioned from development and construction to commercial production. She joined Integra Gold as CFO in early 2017 and helped oversee the sale to Eldorado Gold Corporation in July 2017 for C$590 million. Ms. St-Germain is currently a director of Barkerville Gold Mines and Ascot Resources Ltd.
Ms. St-Germain holds an MBA (honours) from the Schulich School of Business (York University). She is the recipient of the Young Mining Professional Eira Thomas Award (2019) and the BMO Celebrating Women 2019 Trailblazer Award (Vancouver).
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLPRead Bio
Kevin O’Callaghan is a partner with Fasken and the Leader of the firm’s Indigenous Law group. He is also the Regional Lead for the Corporate Social Responsibility Law group. Providing strategic advice on Indigenous, regulatory, environmental and other corporate social responsibility issues, Kevin advises clients throughout Western and Northern Canada, and around the world. Kevin provides strategic advice on managing projects through environmental assessment and consultation with Indigenous peoples, including advice on negotiations and agreements. However, if unavoidable conflicts arise during project development, Kevin appears before courts to assist his resource clients on challenges to licenses by local communities including injunctions.
Kevin was counsel for a coalition of businesses in two critical aboriginal cases at the Supreme Court of Canada: first on a leading case on Indigenous consultation and accommodation (Haida Nation v. British Columbia); and second, on the leading case on Indigenous title (Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia). His advice on environmental issues is sought-after by clients on a myriad of environmental matters including environmental assessment, off-site migration, ground water contamination, and regulatory offences.
Kirk EnvironmentalRead Bio
Jody Shimkus is an experienced leader in environmental policy and regulatory affairs with over 25 years of private and public sector experience. Jody has significant knowledge managing politically sensitive, complex projects that involved high levels of engagement with Indigenous groups, and stakeholders, and a solid understanding of Aboriginal treaty rights and interests.
As a Project Director with the BC Environmental Assessment Office, Jody led the provincial environmental assessment review of the Canada Line Rapid Transit project, the Port Mann/Hwy 1 expansion and the South Fraser Perimeter Road projects pursuant to the Environmental Assessment (EA) Act. Jody also led provincial reviews of major mine projects that triggered both the BC EA Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012).
Jody was an Assistant Deputy Minister with the Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Natural Resource Operations and the Ministry of Mines and has a deep and sophisticated understanding of environmentally sensitive projects in BC.
As the Vice President for HD Mining, Jody directed a team of environmental and engineering consultants in the review of the Murray River Coal project, which was certified under the BC EA Act
8 and CEAA 2012 and permitted under the BC Mines Act and Environmental Management Act. Jody has worked in the Yukon and BC and sits on the Board of the Mining Association of Canada and the Mining Association of BC. She has a BA in Political Science from the University of Winnipeg and MPA from the University of Manitoba.
FPX Nickel Corp.Read Bio
Martin Turenne is currently the President & CEO of FPX Nickel Corp., which is focused on the development of the large-scale, PEA-stage Decar Nickel District in central British Columbia.
Martin is a mining executive with extensive hands-on experience in company leadership, mine project development, debt and equity financing, investor relations and corporate governance. Martin is a CPA, CA with over 15 years of progressive and diverse experience in the resources industry, ranging from exploration and development-stage juniors to large multinational producers. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and earned his professional qualifications while working at KPMG Vancouver LLP.
Martin was born in Montreal, raised in the Lower Mainland and currently lives in Vancouver with his wife and two young children.
Mining Investment/Advisor/ExecutiveRead Bio
Mr. Zerb has over 30 years’ combined work experience in mining, mineral exploration/development, and capital markets. His technical experience includes senior positions in generative mineral exploration, development, and open pit and underground mining of base and precious metals. In capital markets, Mr. Zerb previously served as Director, Research Analyst, Metals and Mining (Canaccord Genuity Inc.), Vice President of Research and Institutional Sales, and President and CEO of a wholly-owned US subsidiary (PI Financial). Most recently, Mr. Zerb was President and CEO of Exeter Resource Corp. Exeter was successfully purchased by Goldcorp Inc. in June 2017. Mr. Zerb is a registered Professional Geologist with the Association of Professional Engineers, and
Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).
Gavin C. Dirom
Geoscience BCRead Bio
Gavin is well known as a trusted professional with an extensive business and government network and industry profile in Canada.
Gavin has over 25 years of experience in the Canadian mineral exploration and mining industry, with a focus on government and stakeholder relations, industry advocacy, not-for-profit association management and governance, public policy development, corporate affairs and project permitting, safety, environmental management and sustainability.
Gavin holds a M.Sc. degree in Environmental Management from Royal Roads University and a B.Sc. in Physical Geography and Environmental Science from the University of Victoria. He is also a registered Professional Agrologist (P.Ag.) in the Province of British Columbia. His M.Sc. thesis and hydrogeology-related research of the Lynx underground mine on Vancouver Island was undertaken with the Geological Survey of Canada.
By invitation of the BC and Canadian governments, Gavin has represented the mineral exploration and mining industry on a number of domestic and international trade and investment missions.
Gavin continues to serve on a number of academic, industry and government-related committees and boards.
Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC)Read Bio
Michael Goehring joined the Mining Association of British Columbia as President and CEO in 2019. Mr. Goehring brings more than 20 years’ experience providing public affairs and strategic communications counsel to many of Canada’s leading natural resource companies. He joined MABC following a successful career as a partner in the Vancouver office of Canada’s largest communications firm. Michael has built a strong reputation for advancing challenging public policy files and delivering successful advocacy and communications campaigns. He brings expertise in a number of communications disciplines, including reputation management, issues and crisis management, corporate relations, media relations, stakeholder and community relations, government relations, advocacy and regulatory affairs.
Michael is a member of the Public Affairs Association of Canada, serves as vice president of the board of the Vancouver Thunderbird Minor Hockey Association, and is past president of the board of directors of the Turning Point Recovery Society.
A native of British Columbia, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and pursued Graduate Studies in International Political Economy at Simon Fraser University.