Our executive management team has been drawn from a combination of financial services, legal and business backgrounds and is supported by an Argentine geological team combining over 70 years’ experience of successful exploration and resource development within Argentina, especially the Deseado Massif.
Our independent directors bring to the board a wealth of experience derived from their successful track records in the development of substantial gold operations.
Executive Management and Board
(* denotes member of the Board; ^ denotes member of the Audit committee; + denotes member of the Compensation committee)
Charles Koppel – Executive Chairman and CEO *
Charles Koppel has over 16 years of international experience in company acquisitions, management and restructuring in highly regulated environments resulting from 20 years as an entrepreneur and founder of various businesses across diverse industries including media and telecoms, sport and entertainment, oil and gas and mining.
Mr. Koppel is the co-founder and director of Samco Resources Limited (“SRL”) established in 2006 to identify, acquire and develop mining properties in South America, principally exploration and development properties in Argentina, Chile and Peru. Mr Koppel was responsible for the development of the group’s activities in Argentina resulting in the acquisition of the properties that comprise the Corporation’s asset portfolio.
Mr. Koppel is also a non-executive director of, or advisor to, numerous privately held mining and exploration companies in South America and Southern Africa.
Matthias Hauger – Chief Financial and Operations Officer
Matthias Hauger has extensive experience of operational management, business planning and company restructuring as a result of being a shareholder in and senior executive, as CEO, CFO and COO, of numerous international companies in diverse sectors.
He has worked with the Samco Resources Group since 2006 as consultant advisor, including as Director of Finance and Operations for the Chilean business from 2007 to 2009.
He has been President of a successful Quebec-based private property group for over 12 years. He was an investment banker with Schroders and Morgan Stanley for 10 years, working in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance on a regional and product basis.
Estanislao Auriemma – Director, President of Samco Gold S.A. & 5R S.A. *
Estanislao Auriemma has over 15 years experience in the mining and energy industries in Argentina. He was most recently the President of Grupo Minero Aconcagua S.A. (“GMA”), a company member of the Cámara Argentina de Empresarios Mineros (Argentine Chamber of Mines).
He has participated in the promotion of major Argentine mining and renewable energy projects including Agua Rica (Yamana Gold - copper), and San Jorge (Coro Mining - copper) Copahue (geothermal), Despoblados (geothermal) and Tuzgle / Tocomar (geothermal).
Dr. Ricardo Auriemma – Director *
Ricardo Auriemma has over 40 years as an exploration geologist in Argentina responsible for the promotion of some of Argentina’s most significant deposits including Agua Rica (Yamana Gold), San Jorge (Coro Mining) and Manantial Espejo (Pan American Silver).
Dr. Auriemma was the co-founder, Senior Vice President and Director of Northern Orion Explorations Ltd. and President of Argentina for all its subsidiaries: Recursos Americanos Argentinos S.A., Grupo Minero Aconcagua S.A., Minera San Jorge S.A. and Agua Rica S.A. between 1994 and 2003. Earlier in his career Dr. Auriemma served as a geologist to the Argentine Government Geological Survey and advisor to the government of Santa Cruz in relation to the establishment of Fomicruz S.E., a government owned mining company.
The board considers Dr. Auriemma to be independent.
Kevin Tomlinson – Director *, ^, +
A geologist by qualification, Kevin Tomlinson has held various corporate and investment banking roles in and around the mining and exploration industry over the past 25 years. Mr. Tomlinson recently retired as a Managing Director in Mining Investment Banking at Stifel Nicolaus Weisel having previously held similar roles at Thomas Weisel Partners and Westwind Partners. While at Stifel and its predecessors, Mr. Tomlinson led multiple financing and acquisition transactions, including the IPO of the Company in 2011.
Previously, he was a Director of Natural Resources at Williams de Broe Plc, a Head of Research at Hartleys Limited and a Managing Director at Austminex NL. Mr. Tomlinson served as Chairman of ASX listed Medusa Mining (ASX: MML) between 2005 and 2010.
Mr. Tomlinson brings to the Board his strong conceptual and analytical capabilities and a thorough understanding of the market and corporate issues that affect growing companies.
The board considers Mr. Tomlinson to be independent. Mr. Tomlinson chairs the Audit and Compensation Committees.
Michel Marier – Director *, ^, +
A seasoned investment professional, Michel Marier is a senior fund manager at the Sentient Group and led the Sentient investment into Samco Gold on IPO. Mr. Marier joined Sentient from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) Private Equity division in 2009 where he had worked since 2001.
Mr. Marier is also a director of Geodynamics, a geothermal company developing an EGS project in Australia, and brings to the Board his significant experience in working with companies in the development of mineral projects, both in Argentina and elsewhere in the world.
The board considers Mr. Marier to be independent.
John W. Hick - Director *, ^, +
Mr. Hick is a corporate director and President & CEO of his own consulting firm, John W. W. Hick Consultants Inc. Mr Hick has over 30 years of experience in the mining industry in both senior management positions and as an independent director. He has, in the past, held senior management positions in a number of mining companies, including President & CEO of Medoro Resources Ltd, CEO of Rio Narcea Gold Mines Ltd, President & CEO of Geomaque Exploration Inc./Defiance Mining Corp, and President of TXV Gold Inc. He is currently an independent director of a number of TSX (or TSXV) listed mining companies including Algold Resources Ltd., Carpathian Gold Inc., Eurotin Inc., Hudson Resources Inc. Marengo Mining Limited. and St Andrew Goldfields Ltd. Mr. Hick is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, although not currently practicing law.
The board considers Mr. Hick to be independent.
Paul Fornazzari –Secretary
Mr. Fornazzari has been a partner at the law firm of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP in Toronto since 2004 where he advises public companies, including mining companies, on securities, mergers and acquisitions and corporate law matters.
Mr. Fornazzari has served as a director and Corporate Secretary of Latin American Minerals Inc. (a mineral exploration company listed on the Exchange with its principal project in Paraguay) since May 2005, Chairman of Lithium Americas Corp. (a mining company developing a lithium salt lake in Argentina listed on the TSX) from July 2009 to February 2010, and a director of AlphaNorth General Partner Inc., the general partner of AlphaNorth 2010 Flow-Through Limited Partnership (a public flow-through fund) since January 2010.
Other Key Employees
Eduardo Falloni – Senior Geologist
Mr. Falloni is an independent exploration geologist with over 30 years experience in directing mineral exploration programs. From 1994 to 2003, he was a senior member of the professional staff of Grupo Minero Aconcagua S.A., an Argentine subsidiary Northern Orion Explorations Ltd. where Mr. Falloni led the exploration of mining projects in Patagonia (Provinces of Santa Cruz and Chubut), including joint ventures with Mincorp, Triton Mining and Peñoles in relation to mining projects in the Deseado Massif including Mantantial Espejo.
Mr. Falloni was the liaison on behalf of Grupo Minero Aconcagua S.A. with Aur Resources in relation to the El Dorado-Montserrat joint venture between 2004 and 2008.
Mr. Falloni is a Member of the Consejo Superior Profesional de Geología of Argentina
Facundo Auriemma – Exploration Manager
Mr. Facundo Auriemma is an exploration geologist with 15 years experience in Argentina. Since 1996, Mr. F. Auriemma has been responsible for the technical management of more than 200,000 metres of exploration drilling in multiple mining projects, including the direction and management of a local drilling company.