Meet the Speakers

Over two days you will enjoy presentations from top Canadian companies as well as these esteemed industry leaders

Keynotes and Featured Speakers

Honourable Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Government of British Columbia

Bruce Ralston was first elected MLA for Surrey-Whalley in 2005. He was re-elected in 2009, 2013 and 2017. He is the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

Bruce served as the Official Opposition spokesperson for Natural Gas Development, Trade, Immigration, and Multiculturalism, and also served as Opposition critic for finance, agriculture, international trade, the Asia Pacific strategy, and intergovernmental relations. He served as chair of the Legislature’s Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts from 2009 to 2017, and as a member of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services from 2006 to 2013.

Bruce operated his own law firm in Surrey for many years, and continues to maintain his membership in the Law Society of British Columbia.

From 1995 to 2006, Bruce was elected to four consecutive terms as a member of the VanCity Savings Credit Union board of directors. He served as a chair of the board from 2001 to 2003. In 2003, BC Business magazine recognized Bruce as one of B.C.’s five leading board chairs. From 2003 until 2005, Bruce acted as the chair of the board of VanCity Enterprises, a VanCity subsidiary with a mandate to provide innovative housing solutions throughout the Lower Mainland.

Bruce also served as a councillor on Surrey City Council for 1988 to 1993, where he advocated for planned development for healthy neighbourhoods for Surrey families. He is a former member of the Boards of Directors of Surrey Memorial Hospital and the Surrey Public Library.

A former president of the B.C. NDP, Bruce was born in Victoria and grew up in Vancouver. He has degrees in history and law from the University of British Columbia and a degree in history from the University of Cambridge in England.

Bruce is married to Miriam Sobrino. They have three children who grew up in Whalley and attended public schools in Surrey and New Westminster. Their elder son attends graduate school in the U.S., while the other two are pursuing undergraduate post-secondary degrees in Canadian universities. The family is active in their communities through a number of community and sports organizations.

Kimberly Berman 

Director | Equity Research, Special Projects, BMO Capital Markets

Kimberly joined BMO Capital Markets Equity Research as a special projects analyst in 2017 to develop proprietary knowledge around battery chemistry, hydrogen and the overall power storage market. These  industries has significant demands from the extractive industries for specialty inputs to meet the growing demand for lithium ion batteries. In addition to the implications for the metals and mining sector, there is an opportunity to leverage this analysis for the auto parts, auto manufacturers, chemicals and oil and gas sectors. 

Kimberly is a seasoned research professional and a former sell-side biotech and healthcare analyst. She has an MA in international economics and finance, a B.Sc in applied chemistry and biology, and a BA in political economics focusing on sustainability.  

Kimberly is also the lead author of “The Lithium Ion Battery and the EV Market: The Science Behind What You Can’t See” and “Hydrogen Fuel Cells – The Clean Energy Answer to Heavy-Duty Applications”

Clint Cox 

Founder, The Anchor House

Clint Cox founded The Anchor House, Inc. in 1995 as an investment advisory firm specializing in unique situations. In 2005, Clint began researching the Rare Earth Element (REE) market. Since then, he has been to over 150 rare earth sites and facilities worldwide, spoken at over 40 industry events, provided research to consulting firms, investment firms, and a variety of clients throughout the REE supply chain. Clint is currently engaged in the rare earth industry in an advisory capacity. He graduated with a B.A. in English from Colgate University in 1993 (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa).

PRESENTATION: The Rare Earths and the Green Revolution: What does it all mean?

Adam Engdahl

Senior Manager, Community, NexGen Energy Ltd.

Adam Engdahl has over a decade of exploration and project development experience, including working with local communities and Indigenous groups across Canada.

Upon completing an undergraduate degree in Geology for the University of Saskatchewan, Mr. Engdahl began managing exploration programs for Search Minerals Inc. in Newfoundland and Labrador, where, in 2011, his team was awarded the Explorer/Prospector of the Year Award for Newfoundland and Labrador, by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Newfoundland and Labrador Branch.

In 2012 Mr. Engdahl transitioned back to his home in Saskatchewan where he took a position with Claude Resources Inc. and played an integral role in the initial expansion and delineation of the Santoy Gap gold deposit for what is now SSR Mining’s richest gold deposit in Saskatchewan.

In 2014 Mr. Engdahl co-founded Pioneer Exploration Consultants and Pioneer Ariel Surveys, where Mr. Engdahl and his partners developed the technology and implemented the world's first drone supported aeromagnetic survey, and lead the mining and exploration industry in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) based remote sensing. In 2016 Pioneer Aerial Surveys was purchased by the publicly traded company, Global UAV Technologies.

In 2015, Mr. Engdahl took a Project Manager role with NexGen Energy Ltd. and was an essential part of the team that developed the Arrow Uranium Deposit and discovered the Harpoon, Bow, Cannon and Arrow South Uranium discoveries at NexGen's Rook I property. In addition to the technical aspects of this role Mr. Engdahl led all community relations and their associated initiatives, and managed the public and Indigenous engagement for all the exploration programs to date. In 2018 Mr. Engdahl transitioned from the technical role of Senior Project Manager to Senior Manager of Community for NexGen Energy where he currently manages and supports the Community Relations Initiatives and the Indigenous and Public engagement for the Rook I Project and the Environmental Impact Statement for NexGen's Rook I Project.

PRESENTATION: Indigenous and Public Engagement: The importance of these strong relationships from early exploration through to project development.

Doug Engdahl

President & CEO, Axiom Group Ltd.

Mr. Engdahl is a professional geologist and the current President & CEO of Axiom Group. Doug received his B.Sc. from the University of Saskatchewan in Geological Sciences and a Citation Program in Applied Geostatistics with Clayton Deutsch from the University of Alberta. He is Professional Geoscientist registered with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS), Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia and Ordre des geologues du Quebec (OGQ).
Doug has over 20 years managing various companies with 13 years of geological experience in both junior and major exploration and mining sectors across North America and in Africa. His extensive mineral exploration experience has been focused on data compilation and interpretation, drill target generation and drill program management, as well as resource and mine modeling with focus on structural geology and resource calculations. Doug was also a certified practicing member of the Saskatchewan Mine Rescue program, outside of the geological world he is has 7 years as a Gold Seal Volunteer Firefighter and First Responder with Warman Fire Department.  

Matías Grum MA, MBA, CIM®

Portfolio Manager, BMO Nesbitt Burns
Matias Grum was born in Buenos Aires and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Master's Degree in International Relations from the UBA University in Argentina, and an MBA in Finance from the University of Calgary. He holds the highest industry credential in Portfolio Management, the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM®) designation. 
He has almost 20 years of experience in Wealth Management as a Discretionary Portfolio Manager, focusing on offering strategic advice to high net-worth local and international clientele, and has worked as an economist for Shell and for the Government of Argentina.   Matias also serves as as a Director for the Alberta Ballet and for the UofC Dino’s Tennis Society.  He is a former Board Member of the Valhalla Angels Diversified PE Fund, a former Board Director for the Calgary Opera and for the Canadian Council for the Americas (CCA).

Ty Magee

Senior Geologist, Axiom Exploration Group Ltd.

Ty obtained his B.Sc. Honours degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Saskatchewan in 2013 and his M.Sc. from the University of Saskatchewan in 2018.
Ty has worked within North America and Greenland on multiple projects from grassroots to brownfields exploration on various styles of deposits including Epithermal, Porphyry, VHMS, SEDEX, MVT, and Sediment-Hosted Au systems. His exploration experience has mainly been focussing on data compilation, QA/QC and sampling methods, geological mapping and prospecting, geochemical data interpretations/ modeling, project planning and targeting, and technical writing.

What is QAQC and why do we put such importance (or dread) in applying them into our exploration programs? The NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects requires “exploration and mining organizations with Canadian investors to report their QAQC program which must include a description of the quality of assurance program and quality control measures applied during the execution of the work being reported on”…. but what does that actually mean? Why should I care about QAQC in the early stages of exploration? What is acceptable QAQC? Am I using the appropriate standard for the project? Once I have my QAQC data back, what do I do with it? What specifies as a pass or a failure?

None of these questions are explicitly discussed during school or when you begin your career as a junior geologist. Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) are the two major components of any quality management system and while there is no “one size fits all” QAQC program, there are things that can be done to make sure your program is successful. This talk will discuss about the main fundamentals to implement a QAQC program into any exploration project.

Hon. Sonya Savage

Minister of Energy and Deputy House Leader, Government of Alberta

Minister Savage was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta on April 16, 2019, as the MLA for Calgary-North West.

A life-long Albertan, Savage has been a strong voice championing pipelines for years. Earning a Master of Laws in Environment and Energy, she practiced law for 13 years before taking a job as an advocate for the oil and gas industry.  After working 9 years at Enbridge, she accepted a role as the Sr. Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA)  in 2015.  She has handled the pipeline industry’s large policy files, including regulatory reform, Indigenous reconciliation, legal, environment and climate change.

Sonya Savage was appointed as Alberta’s Energy Minister on April 30, 2019. Relying on her extensive background in the industry, and spending the last 12 years fighting for pipelines and the energy sector, Savage will continue her work to promote and develop Alberta’s oil and gas wealth and deliver on getting pipelines built.

Alfred (Alf) Stewart, B.SC. Geology, MBA, 

Chairman, Director, VP Corporate Development, Searchlight Resources

Alf Stewart, has a career spanning over 40 years in the resource and investment industries. Mr. Stewart’s career includes time spent as a geologist, stock exchange regulator, investment banker, analyst and investment advisor. 

Mr. Stewart has worked for such firms as Bank of Montreal, Esso Minerals, Erickson Gold Mining, Canaccord Capital, Haywood Securities, Golden Capital, and Raymond James. He has been involved in financing mining companies for over twenty-five years, including discoveries in the base and precious metals sectors.

Dr. Venkataraman Thangadurai, PhD, FRSC (UK), FIAAM, FECS

Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Calgary

Dr. Venkataraman Thangadurai is a professor of chemistry at the University of Calgary. After receiving his PhD in 1999 from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, he conducted his postdoctoral research at the University of Kiel, Germany, with a prestigious fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn. In 2004, he received the Habilitation degree from the University of Kiel.

Dr. Thangadurai has been tirelessly pushing scientific boundaries to advance the field of alternative energy generation and storage. His research focuses on the design, synthesis and characterization of novel solid-state electrolytes and electrodes for next generation solid-state batteries, solid oxide fuel cells, and gas sensors. He has 200+ publications (h-index 55), which have been cited over 13,000 times.

Amongst the many awards/honors earned by him, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), Keith Laidler Award (Canadian Society of Chemistry), Fellow of the Electrochemical Society (USA), Peak Scholar (UCalgary), and Parex Innovation Fellow (Faculty of Science, UCalgary) are most notable. He is a Co-founder and Scientific Advisor of Ion Storage Systems, Maryland, USA. He was recently appointed as a Scientist and Mentor at the Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies, a non-profit organization that offers programming to enhance the success of massively scalable, seed-stage science- and technology-based companies. And most recently he was awarded the Award for Research Excellence in Materials Chemistry in 2021.

PRESENTATION: Is Lithium a Modern Gold?
Lithium, the lightest metal of the periodic table, has attracted much heavier attention because of its wide range of applications in Li-ion battery, non-linear optics, ceramics, high temperature lubricants, and drugs. Li demand increases day-by-day. The current demand of Li2CO3 (Li ore) is ~160,000 tons per year and is found in the South America, Australia and China. The Li ore supply chain is very crucial for the sustainability of the booming industries like portable electronics, electric vehicles and large-scale energy storage. In this talk, overview of status of Li ion battery technology will presented together with some examples of current research in Author’s group at the University of Calgary. Furthermore, role of other metals on energy storage technology will be discussed. 

Corporate Presenters

Frank J. Basa, P. ENG., Chairman and CEO,
Canada Silver Cobalt Works Inc.

Mr. Basa is a distinguished metallurgist and milling expert who has over 35 years of global mining experience with expertise in project management, milling, gravity concentration, flotation, leaching and refining of precious and base metals. He is an expert in cobalt metallurgy, having worked in Ontario's Cobalt Camp early in his career, when he designed, with the support of Canada's National Research Council, a unique hydro-metallurgical process known as Re-2Ox for the recovery of multiple metals and elements from all feeds with varying chemistries. The process is environmentally compliant and undergoing optimization at SGS which is also designing and building a Re-2Ox pilot plant. He is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario and a graduate of McGill University. 

Geoff Best, CEO and Co-founder,
Simplex Legal

Geoff has spent the majority of his career in Commercial Finance. Over a 20-year span, he progressed from Account Manager to Senior Vice President of GE Capital, a multinational corporate and commercial lending enterprise. At the peak of this phase of his career, Geoff ran a seven figure division for this company providing senior debt to all major industries in Western Canada.
The training and experience gleaned during this phase was treasured, but even more invaluable was the unique insight into the brilliance and failing of thousands of companies in all stages of their development.

In 2009, Geoff left the corporate world behind to bring the proven management lessons learned over years into the growth and development of his own companies.

The primary business in this family is Simplex Legal Services.
At Simplex Legal, Geoff and his business partners have designed a legal services business uniquely – with every facet of the business built with the client in mind. Geoff acts as the ‘client in residence’ to bring the spirit of constant improvement, differentiation by conduct and rigorous fiscal controls to a business that is lauded by its clients for those very qualities.

Robert Cameron, P.Geo., President & CEO

Commander Resources Ltd.

Mr. Cameron, President and CEO of Commander resources is an economic geologist with over 35 years of international experience in the mining industry. Prior to Commander he held positions that include President and CEO of Valley High Ventures and Bearing Resources Ltd. as well as Vice-President and Manager of Exploration for Phelps Dodge Corporation of Canada Limited (a then subsidiary of Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc.). In addition, he has extensive market and finance experience including a term as mining analyst for Research Capital. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. He has been involved in the discovery of several mineral deposits including the QR gold deposit (with Dome Exploration), the Kasperske Hory gold deposit (with TVX) and the Cordero silver deposit (with Valley High Ventures).

Thomas Clarke, Vice President, Exploration, Hawkmoon Resources

Mr. Clarke is an entrepreneur and professionally registered geologist who holds a Master of Science degree from the University of the Witwatersrand while studying as an international student in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mr. Clarke has worked on gold, platinum group metals, copper and energy projects. When a Director of  Bonterra Resources (TSX.V:BTR), he coordinated all exploration which led to the definition of the first NI 43-101 compliant gold resource on the Gladiator deposit by Snowden. He has 16 years of experience as a successful geologist and has been a Director of public companies continually since May of 2010.

John Costigan, Managing Partner, ECMB Capital Partners

John’s role at ECMB brings together his decades of leadership experience in financial communications, raising capital, and corporate restructuring.

Following a successful career in specialty chemical sales, John became part of a team that raised $140M to launch Western Potash Corp. While head of Corporate Development at Western Potash, John honed his talent for raising capital, overseeing financial operations, and building growth strategies.
John has assisted numerous companies in partner identification, intellectual property management, recruitment, and public relations. He is adept at building relationships with stakeholders, clients, and partners, and is an accomplished investor relations expert, calling on his network of media, brokers, and investors to maximize clients’ exposure.

James B. Engdahl - CEO & Director
MAS Gold Corp.

A former Vice President of Barclays Bank of Canada, Mr. Enghdahl has been involved in leadership of different public companies, including Pacific & Western Trust, Shore Gold Inc., Claude Resources Inc. He was also the Regional Advisory Partner of the corporate finance arm of one of Western Canada's largest accounting firms. This position came as a result of the accounting firm's purchase of Cascadia Ventures Inc., a corporate financing and consulting group responsible for raising project financing in excess of $100 million of which he was Managing Partner.

He is also a former President, CEO & Director of Great Western Mineral Group Ltd. ("GWMG") as well as a former Director for Great Western Diamonds ("GWD"), both are publicly traded companies listed on the TSX. During his tenure, the companies were involved in advanced development of a Rare Earth deposit as well as exploration of a diamond bearing kimberlitic deposit in Saskatchewan. Subsequently GWD was sold in 2009 so the company could maintain focus on building one of the world's premiere Rare Earth companies.

During his 7 years at GWMG Jim was responsible for raising over $150,000,000 for the company as well as acquiring one of the highest-grade Rare Earth mines in the world via a creeping takeover. During this time, he was also responsible for the acquisition of one of the only Rare Earth alloy plants outside of China providing key magnet alloys to most of the Rare Earth magnet users of the world.

Paul Gill, Chief Executive Officer, 
Lomiko Metals

Paul Gill is involved in the strategy, planning and implementation of creating new businesses and restructuring organizations. He is currently the CEO of Lomiko Metals (TSXV: LMR), CEO of Lomiko Technologies, Director of Graphene ESD and Altair Ventures. 

Mr. Gill was instrumental in spearheading investment activities under Lomiko Technologies into Graphene 3D Lab (TSXV: GGG), a graphene and 3D printing company, Graphene ESD and Smart Home Devices Ltd, an electronics manufacturer and Promethieus Technologies Inc.

Until October 2006, Gill was heavily involved in the dynamic growth stage of Norsemont Mining, during which the company grew from a market capitalization of $1m to a buyout of $512m. During his tenure with Norsemont Mining, Gill was the vice-president of business development, as well as the director, president and CEO, chief financial officer, and corporate secretary. In 2011, Norsemont was bought by HudBay Minerals for $512 Million.

Christopher Grove, President, Director
Commerce Resources Corp.

Mr. Christopher Grove became President of Commerce Resources in September 2014. Previous to that he worked as Corporate Communications for the Company since 2004, and has significant contacts within the financial communities in North America and Europe. Mr. Grove joined the Commerce Resource board in 2012 and has been active in representing the company abroad.

Matt Halliday, P.Geo. President, Chief Operating Officer, VP Exploration,
Canada Silver Cobalt Works Inc.

Mr. Halliday graduated from Dalhousie University in 2007 where he majored in Earth Sciences. He then spent the next 15 years in exploration and as a resource geologist with Kirkland Lake Gold, First Cobalt and SGS Geostat. Matt is a member of the PGO and is a Qualified Person for Exploration and Resource Development. Matt is passionate about opportunities in the Cobalt Camp for the silver and battery metals space and is particularly excited to be leading CCW's exploration and development of its spectacular Castle East Robinson Zone silver-cobalt discovery which has the highest-grade silver resource in the world.

Branden Haynes, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, 
Hawkmoon Resources

As Company founder, Mr. Haynes has guided Hawkmoon Resources through the initial financing phases, project acquisitions, deployment of exploration programs and development financing. Branden has 20+ years of experience in finance and the junior markets. Additionally, he is a resource professional and entrepreneur active in the exploration and mining sector for over 10 years.

Matthew Schwab, P.Geo, Senior Vice President,
Axiom Exploration Group Ltd.

Mr. Schwab is a professional geologist with over 13 years of operational supervision, resource exploration and successful business management experience. Matthew obtained his B.Sc. Honours degree in Geological Sciences from the University of Saskatchewan and is a member in good standing with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS) and of Alberta (APEGA). His experience gained throughout North America and Africa is based in operational project management and supervision of diverse mineral exploration projects, the on-site and remote geological supervision of oil and gas well, and helium drilling activities, the direction of human resources, drill project planning and targeting, and mineral resource discovery and definition.

Matthew has a proven track record of successful program management and operational success in the energy and resources sectors where he was instrumental in the discovery of the Arrow uranium deposit in February of 2014. He has been actively involved with numerous conventional and unconventional upstream drilling programs throughout the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and has been engaged as an advisor and consulting geologist in the E&P sector of the Canadian petroleum industry through much of his career.

Mitchell Smith, Founder, CEO and Director,
Global Energy Metals Corp.

Mitchell Smith is the Founder, CEO and Director of Global Energy Metals Corp. (TSXV:GEMC | OTC:GBLEF), a publicly listed company providing shareholders investment exposure to the battery metals supply chain through a growing portfolio of jurisdictionally safe exploration critical mineral projects in close proximity to end-use application. Mitchell is also the Chief Operating Officer and Director for London Stock Exchange listed Panther Metals PLC (LSE:PALM) and is an important stakeholder and board member for several private mining companies including U.S. Battery Metals, Element Minerals Australia, Fulcrum Metals, OnGold Invest Corp., and Power Metal Resources Canada.

Mitchell has over 15 years of executive leadership, entrepreneurship and capital markets experience at all stages of the junior mining lifecycle and through his network, knowledge and passion for the natural resource space is presently leveraging his unique skills to enable and strengthen awareness around the battery and energy metals sector.His experience and strong understanding of the battery supply chain has resulted in successfully identifying and negotiating the acquisition of multi-jurisdictional mining exploration and development projects in North America, Europe, and Australia. Through his network of strong international relationships, Mitchell was responsible for establishing off-take and EPC contracts with leading Chinese specialized lithium-ion battery cathode material companies that are suppliers to some of the world’s largest battery manufacturers. 

Mitchell has given keynote speeches on cobalt, battery metals, energy storage, renewable energy and critical mineral supply chain security issues at events hosted by CRU, Metal Bulletin, Fastmarkets, the Cobalt Institute and Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.  He is often invited to speak at other mining industry conferences including Mines and Money, Cambridge House and the PDAC. Mitchell has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Bloomberg, Reuters and other notable news sources where he provided insight to the critical role that cobalt and battery materials play in the global shift towards a lower-carbon economy.  

Mitchell was recently appointed as a member of the board of the Battery Metal Association of Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to building a strong and enduring battery metals industry in Canada. Mitchell ranked fourth globally in 2020 as the top ten most influential people and companies in the battery minerals sector on social media. In 1994 Mitchell won a Canadian scholarship and attended a semester abroad in Sendai, Japan at the esteemed Sendai Ikuei Gakuen Academy School. In 2020 he returned to Japan to speak to the importance of critical material supply chains between Canada and Japan at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo.

David Tupper, Vice President, Exploration, 
MAS Gold Corp.

Mr. Tupper has over 30 years work experience in the mineral exploration industry, having managed a range of projects from grassroots discoveries to surface and underground resource development work in a variety mineral deposit settings. He served for many years in Western Canada as well as in Mexico, South America and Asia. Mr. Tupper served as Vice President of Exploration at Valley High Ventures Ltd. since April 2010. Mr. Tupper served as Vice President of Exploration at Mega Precious Metals Inc. and Solomon Resources Ltd. for 8 years. Mr. Tupper is a Registered Member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. Mr. Tupper was a Senior Environmental Consultant for 5 years undertaking terrain mapping and contaminated sites work. He has been a Director of Venerable Ventures Ltd. since December 2016.

James Tworek, CEO, 
Element 79 Gold

Mr. Tworek has worked in Finance for the past 23 years, having started in commercial banking in 1998, and later working as a partner in a mortgage brokerage with an in-house mezzanine development fund for 7.5 years. During and since that time, James has operated a Corporate Finance Consulting firm working with Family Offices, Private Equity and Venture Capital. Mr. Tworek is a Director of Florence One Capital Corp (FONE.P), and a CoFounder, President and Director of Gaia Grow Corporation (CSE:GAIA). He sat as an Independent Director and Member of the Special Committee of Nabis Holdings Inc. (CSE:NAB) from September 2020 to January 2021, and sat as an Independent Director of Robix Environmental Technologies Inc. (CSE:RZX) from December 2018 to October 2020. James is always mindful to ensure open communication, honesty and integrity with all teammates and stakeholders.