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Rick Findlay has been consulting in the environment and recycling sectors for over 25 years across Canada and internationally. This has included strategy, organization design, processing design, technology development, and financial management. From 2012 to 2014 he was Director of Oversight and Operations for the Province of Ontario’s waste diversion programs ($450M budget), including batteries.
Rick is currently CEO of LINCit, a firm that focusses on scaling up clean technology ventures. He has previously started a few other firms, two being in environmental management and medical technology. He also co-founded and built an international consulting firm, PSTG Consulting, advising small to global companies across a variety of sectors, and local to national governments.
For over 20 years Rick has been coaching entrepreneurs and start-ups, and he is an advisor for the Waterloo Accelerator Centre, Earth Tech Program at CSI (Toronto), Ryerson University’s Social Venture Zone, and a volunteer advisor at MaRS.
Rick is a Certified Management Consultant, with a Bachelor in Industrial Engineering and a Master of Business Administration.
Brian Menell has over 25 years of experience in owning, developing and operating natural resources and mining projects across 18 sub-Saharan countries, the CIS and Canada. Brian worked for the De Beers Group for eight years, and has been a partner in the Venetia Mine, South Africa’s largest diamond mine. He has developed a number of diamond exploration, mining and trading enterprises across Africa and Canada. Since 2010, Brian is assigned as the CEO of the Kemet Group, an investment and management mining of natural resources.
In 2017, Brian founded and continues to serve as Chairman and CEO of TechMet Ltd, an investment vehicle for a portfolio of technology metal projects. TechMet acquires and manages projects that produce, process and recycle the key strategic technology metals that go into batteries, electric vehicles and robotics – cobalt, lithium, nickel, tin, tungsten, rare earth metals, vanadium and graphite.
Brian graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with honours in Political Science & Economics
Dr. Yuan Gao is Vice-Chairman of the board of directors of Qinghai Taifeng Pulead Lithium-Energy Technology Co. Ltd. (Pulead) one of China’s leading lithium-ion battery cathode producers and a key player in the lithium-ion battery supply chain. Dr. Gao was previously President and Chief Executive Officer of Pulead and prior to joining Pulead in 2014, Dr. Gao held senior positions with Molycorp Inc. and FMC Corp.’s lithium division.
Dr. Gao originally obtained his BSc from the University of Science and Technology of China, and his PhD in Physics from the University of British Columbia
Ethan Callender is an HSEQ professional with a 15-year portfolio of success driving health & safety, environment, and quality functions, programs, and initiatives across multiple industries including construction, oil & gas, manufacturing, and energy. During his career he has held various positions as Global: Safety & Quality Manager, Safety Consultant and Quality Engineer. In 2012 he led a team that won the prestigious BSI Canada Award of Excellence. The award recognizes companies that excel in the implementation of international business standards.
Ethan attended the University of Toronto, is a certified ISO lead auditor, Certified National Safety Officer and is currently completing his MBA.
Mr. Tse has over 25 years of corporate private and public company experience in numerous high-growth industries such as technology, media and telecoms, as well as resource & commodities. This has predominantly been in senior management, corporate finance, capital markets and M&A roles across Greater China and the Asia Pacific region. His previous senior roles include various positions in News Corporation’s STAR TV, the Deputy General Manager of TOM Online, Director of Corporate Development at Hutchison Whampoa’s TOM Group, President of China Entertainment Television (a joint venture between TOM and Time Warner), and CEO of CSN Corp.
He is currently Executive Director of Galaxy Resources Limited, a leading ASX-listed lithium producer, with diversified assets across three continents in Australia, Argentina and Canada, serving key customers in China, Japan and Korea. He joined the Board of Directors at Galaxy Resources in 2010 and from Jun 2013 to July 2019, served as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer during the corporate turnaround and growth stage during the corporate turnaround and growth stage of the company, which involved restructuring of over A$500 million of debt restructuring and refinancing, as well as asset divestments. The corporate turnaround, along with the restart of production and cash flow from its Australian mining operations, allowed the company to see its market capitalization increased from A$30 million to over A$1.7 billion during the growth stage of the lithium sector in recent years.
Chris Biederman is a Senior Process Engineer with 12 years of experience in the mining industry. His expertise includes process engineering design for greenfield and brownfield sites; bench-scale and pilot-scale testing plant; plant performance assessments, in-plant troubleshooting and optimization; and modeling.
Chris is also a skilled project manager with a strong history delivering successful projects and leading multi-disciplinary engineering teams. He has extensive experience managing scoping and feasibility studies, as well as detailed design and execution projects. he has worked on large and small EPCM projects in the mining industry and has acted as Lead Process Engineer for numerous conceptual and feasibility studies.
Chris is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Chemical Engineering program and is a registered engineer with the Professional Engineers of Ontario (P.Eng).
Ala brings 8+ years of experience from Enbridge, where she worked predominantly in the natural gas sector. During those years, she worked in the Project Management Office where she helped to implement project management governance for Operations, the Engineering group where she rolled out various technical policies and procedures for use company-wide, and the Major Projects group, where she managed the design, construction, and commissioning phases of complex pipeline and station projects. Most recently, she was managing Enbridge’s renewable natural gas portfolio, which was a brand-new initiative for the company.
Ala obtained her Bachelor’s of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto. Since then, she has obtained her Professional Engineering license and also has her Project Management Professional designation.
Mark Wellings is a finance professional with over 30 years international experience in both the mining industry and mining finance sector. Mark initially worked in the mining industry both in Canada and Australia in exploration, development and production capacities. He then joined the investment dealer GMP Securities L.P. where he co-founded the firm’s corporate finance mining practice. During over 18 years at GMP, Mark was responsible for, and advised on, some of the Canadian mining industry’s largest transactions, both in equity financing and M&A. Since then he has been appointed to several public and private Board of Director’s and has spent the last few years at Infor Financial Inc. advising and raising capital for several companies.
Mr. Wellings is a Professional Engineer and holds a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Geological Engineering.
Adonis Pouroulis is an entrepreneur whose expertise lies in the discovery, exploration and development of mineral resources including diamonds, precious / base metals, coal and oil and gas, and bringing these assets into production.
Adonis is the founder of Pella Resources Limited, an African focused natural resource and energy group with a strong track record in exploration and mine development across the continent. Pella Resources generate early stage private companies with the aim to develop them into individual private / public companies. Examples of companies that form part of the Pella Resources Group are Toro Gold, Alufer Mining and Piran Resources.
Adonis qualified as a mining engineer from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in 1991 and subsequently spent some time working in the South African gold mines before heading to the Former Soviet Union where he established the Koronia metal trading company in Moscow. In 1994, having returned to South Africa, Adonis founded Blue Diamond Mines that developed a diamond mining operation in Port Nolloth and brought it into full production. Seeing an opportunity to create a larger, international diamond company focused in Africa, he founded Petra Diamonds and in 1997 it became the first diamond company to be listed on London’s AIM market. He has since overseen Petra’s development from an exploration base into one of the largest independent diamond producers in Africa today. Petra stepped up from AIM to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in December 2011 and entered the FTSE 250 Index in March 2012.
Adonis has been influential in the founding, development and listing of a number of other natural resources companies including Chariot Oil & Gas that floated on AIM in May 2008 (having raised US$90 million and subsequently raised a further $140m to further the exploration programme), Chromex Mining, Mukuba Resources and most recently Rainbow Rare Earths that listed on the London Stock Exchange in January 2017.
Tim Johnston has over 10 years of experience as Hatch’s specialist in project management and transactional analysis for their global lithium business. During his time with Hatch, he managed the development of projects across the lithium-ion battery value chain. Tim also evaluated hundreds of lithium projects and managed the development of lithium projects around the world for SQM, Rockwood Lithium (Albemarle), Bacanora Minerals, AMG-NV, Rio Tinto, Galaxy Resources and other key developers. His consulting experience ranges broadly over the metals, industrial minerals, and large infrastructure assets. Tim has co-authored 7 technical publications with a focus on project execution in the lithium sector.
Tim is a mechanical engineer (chartered professional engineer, CPEng) and CFA charter holder.
Ajay Kochhar has deep technology and project development experience, gained through progressive roles with Hatch’s Industrial Clean Tech and Advisory practices. While working in the Industrial Clean Tech practice, Ajay gained in-depth engineering and project management experience through clean technology development in the lithium, cobalt, nickel, copper, gold, lead, zinc, molybdenum, and rare earth metals industries. His technical expertise spans the entire project lifecycle, from conceptual and pre-feasibility studies to construction and commissioning.
Following his work in the industrial clean tech engineering field, Ajay worked as a Management Consultant with Hatch’s Advisory practice. In this role, he led teams to deliver financial and technical reviews of multi-billion-dollar investment opportunities, including technologies and assets across the lithium-ion battery value chain. Ajay comes from entrepreneurial roots with family business experience gained from a young age.
Ajay graduated from the University of Toronto in Chemical Engineering with honours.
Chris Berry has been an independent analyst since 2009 with a focus on Energy Metals including lithium, cobalt, graphite, vanadium, and rare earths. His research provides strategic insights to institutional clients and has a specific focus on how disruptive trends in energy, strategic metals, and technology create opportunities. Before shifting focus to analysis of these trends, Chris gained 12 years of capital markets experience on both the buy side and sell side. He regularly speaks at conferences in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia and is frequently quoted in the press including the Financial Times providing insights around raw material supply chain dynamics. Chris has additional experience as the co-founder of a start-up for investors which dealt with “computing with words”.
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.
Ahmad Ghahreman has over 15 years of hydrometallurgical/wet chemistry experience. He has deep expertise in the advanced recovery of many of the constituents in lithium-ion batteries, gained in the context of primary resource mineral processing and hydrometallurgy.
Ahmad has a Bachelor degree and a Master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, and earned his Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. Upon completing his Ph.D., Ahmad joined the Technology Centre of Barrick Gold Corp. in Vancouver, as an NSERC Industrial Research & Development (IRDF) Postdoctoral Fellow. He joined The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University as an Assistant Professor in January 2014.
Alex Lowries is the co-founder of Telemark Capital LLP, a partnership focusing on capital advisory and asset management. Through its consulting subsidiary, Gunnerside Advisors, Alex is also involved in providing governance services as an independent investment committee member to a variety of advisory panels. Prior to this Alex worked for 13 years in investment banking. He was a director at Deutsche Bank and then RBS from 2004 to 2012, having started his banking career in 1998 at ABN AMRO. Through these positions, he has gained extensive market experience in primary and secondary equity offerings including bringing companies to market through IPOs (including structuring, marketing and distribution).
Alex graduated from Durham University with a BA (hons) in Combined Social Sciences, and has completed an executive MBA from Henley Business School.
Kunal Phalpher has extensive international experience in the lithium-ion battery and renewable energy sectors, with a focus primarily on strategy and business development. His recent experience includes working as a Director of Product Development at a residential solar company and Director of Business Development with a lithium-ion battery manufacturer in North America. Prior to those roles, Kunal spent a number of years in Germany working in the renewable energy and energy storage sectors.
Kunal earned his Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and holds a Master of Business Administration from the Rotman School of Management.
Bruce MacInnis has over thirty years of financial experience, primarily with raising capital for emerging technology companies, both publicly traded and privately held. He has held the position of Chief Financial Officer at multiple technology companies with in-depth experience in managing a variety of functions including accounting, legal/IP, human resources, IT, manufacturing and operations. During his career, Bruce has participated in numerous financing transactions generating more than $150 million of capital; successfully listed companies on the TSX and Nasdaq; and completed several cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions. He is experienced in establishing financial reporting and disclosure infrastructures required of public companies and in implementing sound internal controls and corporate governance procedures.
Bruce earned his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto and holds the Chartered Accountant and Chartered Professional Accountant designations.