Chair, AMERead Bio
Jill Tsolinas has a wide breadth of experience having represented exploration, development and operating mines throughout her career. She is versed in executive oversight, 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 has been a director on the AME Board since 2013 and chair since January 2021. She was acting chair of the ad hoc governance committee in 2018 and vice-chair of the Roundup committee in 2015.
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 the 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 received 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.
Vice Chair, AMERead Bio
Tara Hassan is a Mining Engineer with extensive experience in capital markets as well as mine operations and mining technology. She was a mining equity research analyst focused on small to mid-cap explorers, developers and producers in the precious metals space for more than 13 years. She is currently VP Corporate Development at SilverCrest Metals and a Director of Maverix Metals. Previously she worked at VRIFY Technology as a Director, Mining Content and Strategy. Tara worked as a mining engineer for Inco (now Vale) and Placer Dome (now Barrick Gold) holding operating, engineering and project-focused roles and working at eight different mines. She is a Professional Engineer (Ontario) and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
I am passionate about helping exploration and development companies evolve their discoveries in a socially responsible way. A key element to achieving this goal is access to capital. With global experience in mining and finance, as a director of AME I believe I could continue to leverage this experience to help advocate for policies and regimes that would help to attract increased capital for investment in mineral exploration in BC.
Vice Chair, AMERead Bio
Mr. Himmelright has over 25 years of experience in mineral exploration, environmental management and developing social licence 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 exploration and mining companies and has also worked as a consultant to industry and Indigenous communities on mine development proposals. He’s a former Board member of the Yukon Mine Training Association, a current Board member of the Mining Association of BC and an associate instructor at the Norman Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering (UBC) on the topic of Indigenous peoples and mining in Canada.
Executive Director, President & CEO, AMERead Bio
Keerit is the President and CEO of the Association for Mineral Exploration BC (“AME”). He is a lawyer with a decade of experience in the natural resource sector, working with and acting for both mining companies and First Nations. Keerit is passionate about responsible natural resource development and brings with him a depth of knowledge and a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing the entire spectrum of mineral exploration and development.
Prior to joining AME, Keerit spent two years with the BC provincial government at the Environmental Assessment Office and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, where he focused on promoting permit efficiency for mineral exploration projects and operationalizing the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, striving to build permitting certainty to both companies and First Nations.
Keerit has also practiced regulatory and Aboriginal law across a variety of industries, including oil and gas, oil sands, pipelines, LNG and mining. Over his career, he has assisted companies and First Nations to develop impact benefit agreements and negotiate joint venture deals and equity investment for First Nations in the natural resource sector.
Keerit holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Arts in political science from the University of Windsor. He completed a Master of Business Administration and Juris Doctor at the University of Alberta, with an applied focus on natural resources and Aboriginal law.
VP, Policy and Advocacy, AMERead Bio
As VP, Policy and Advocacy, Jonathan is responsible for advancing policy initiatives that impact mineral exploration and development. These initiatives are wide-ranging and include permitting, reconciliation, land access and use, geoscience, and financial incentives among many other topics. Jonathan also helps to drive AME’s three-year strategic work plan by ensuring the annual work plans are completed and members are kept informed.
Jonathan joined AME in 2005. Jonathan grew up in the mining town of Elliot Lake, Ontario, and first moved to BC to study at the University of British Columbia, graduating with a B.A. in Geography. In addition to a background in communications for the mineral exploration and mining sector, Jonathan has studied, lived, and worked in Japan, and is the author of Inside the Torii Gate: The Journal of an Exchange Student in Japan.
He served as 2015-2016 Chair of the BC Technical & Research Committee on Reclamation, on which he represents AME and is a member of the Health & Safety Committee of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada. He has received the Advanced Communicator Gold award from Toastmasters International, and is an active member of Vancore Toastmasters.
Treasurer, AMERead Bio
Enoch Kong is the Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of Kenorland Minerals Ltd. He has 12 years of extensive experience in controllership and financial reporting in the oil and gas and junior exploration sectors listed in Canada and United States. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and he is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA, CA).
Executive Director, AMERead Bio
Paul Jago is Chief Geologist for Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. and a Professional Geologist with Engineers and Geoscientists BC. He is based in Prince George, British Columbia. Prior to joining Pacific Ridge, Paul was Exploration Manager with Centerra Gold Services Inc. (to June 2022) and BC Regional Geologist for the Northcentral-Northeast regions with Ministry of Energy & Mines (to June 2017).
He is a UBC graduate where he completed studies with the Mineral Deposit Research Unit. In his career, Paul has worked mainly in BC and Southwestern USA, with several years of field and office work for mineral exploration companies in northcentral BC followed by additional years of near-mine exploration with Freeport-McMoRan in Arizona and Colorado before returning to BC.
A paper summarizing his M.Sc. thesis on the Mt. Milligan porphyry gold-copper deposit was published in 2014 by in Economic Geology.
Paul has managed a range of exploration programs with a strong focus on team building and collaboration. As Chief Geologist with Pacific Ridge, Paul has returned to several of the projects he followed previously as BC Regional Geologist and is bringing new ideas in exploration of these.
Jessica Van Den Akker
Executive Director, AMERead Bio
Jessica Van Den Akker is a Chartered Professional Accountant, CA, with over 17 years experience in the junior resource space. She has a degree in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and completed her Chartered Accountant designation in 2008 on the honour roll.
Her career began with Davidson & Company Chartered Accountants working with numerous junior exploration issuers for almost 10 years, working to ensure regulatory compliance, reporting and navigating various transactions; she then went on to work for industry serving as CFO for several junior issuers, including GoldX Mining Corp, KORE Mining Ltd, Fiore Exploration Ltd, Rusoro Mining Ltd and Klondike Gold Corp. In addition to serving as AME’s treasurer for the past four years, she is also currently serving as director and audit committee chair for Kenorland Minerals Ltd, TriStar Gold Inc and Blackwolf Copper and Gold Ltd.
Past Chair, AMERead 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. He has since taken on the role of President and CEO of Heatherdale Resources. 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.