Board of directors
Appointed 6th April 2021
Dr Michael Anderson has extensive management and technical experience built up over a 30-year career in Africa and Australia. Michael recently joined Firefinch from Taurus Funds Management where he helped to lead the fund’s investment into numerous West African gold producers. Previously, as Managing Director of Exco Resources, he led the Company to a number of major achievements. These included successful development of the White Dam Gold Mine, advancement of resource development, feasibility studies and approvals for the Cloncurry Copper Project ahead of its ultimate sale to Xstrata for A$175M, and numerous funding arrangements, all of which led to a significant share price re-rating and a five-fold increase in market capitalisation. Dr Anderson holds a BSc. (1st Class Honours in Mining Geology) and a PhD in Mining Geology, both from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, University of London.
Appointed 19th February 2019
Dr Cowden has spent 40 years as a mining executive, director and geologist in the mining industry in Australia, Africa, Asia and Europe. He has founded eight public companies including Altona Mining, of which he was Managing Director. Altona financed built and sold the Kylylahti copper-gold mine in Finland in 2014 and owned the Eva Copper project in Queensland prior to its $250 million merger with TSX listed Copper Mountain Mining Corporation, a major copper-gold producer in Canada.
Dr Cowden has been part of the discovery, financing and development of many mines including the Kanowna Belle and Sunrise Dam gold mines in Western Australia, the Hartley Platinum mine in Zimbabwe, the Kylylahti copper-gold mine in Finland, the Nimbus silver mine in Western Australia and the Eva Copper Project in Queensland. Dr Cowden has extensive experience across the mining industry including mergers, acquisitions and financing.
Dr Cowden holds an honours degree in Geology (Edinburgh University), a PhD in Geology (University of London), and is a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, The Australian Institute of Geoscientists and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dr Cowden as Managing Director accepted the Diggers and Dealers Junior Explorer of the Year for Archaean Gold in 1995, received the Queensland Explorer of the Year for Altona in 2012 and Altona was awarded the Mining Journal Outstanding Achievement Award 2014, Small and mid-cap deal of the year at Mines and Money London.
Appointed 15th November 2018
Mr Hepburn is a Corporate and Financial Markets Executive with over 28 years’ experience in a range of management and board positions for Institutional Stockbroking and Derivatives Trading desks for Major Financial Institutions. His career has included roles with Deutsche Bank and Macquarie Bank where he managed global derivatives distribution sales teams. Additionally, Mr Hepburn has worked as an Executive Director of a leading Perth stockbroking firm during which time he was involved in numerous fund-raising transactions for ASX listed industrial and resource companies. He has also worked as the corporate development executive for ASX listed mining company Doray Minerals (DRM).
Mr Hepburn was also Managing Director of his own Corporate Advisory firm which specialised in executing corporate and equity transactions for ASX listed resource companies.
Mr Hepburn holds a Bachelor of Economics (University of Western Australia), and has been a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) since 2008.
Independent, Appointed 12th November 2020
Brett is an experienced ASX company director, currently holding a position as Director of central-west African iron ore company, Sundance Resources Limited. Brett’s deep knowledge (acquired over his 30 years’ corporate finance experience) will be a great asset to the Company, particularly regarding business acquisitions, business strategy and restructuring, and corporate governance. Brett is a Fellow of CPA Australia, a Fellow of Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and a Graduate Diploma in Finance (SIA).
Independent, Appointed 15th November 2018
Mr Borg is a consultant geologist who has specialised in the “battery materials” sector including lithium, graphite and cobalt mineralisation, participating in numerous successful projects, in an investment and/or operational capacity.
Mr Borg has more than 20 years’ experience gained working in management, operational and project development roles in the Exploration and Mining industries, with companies including Rio Tinto Iron Ore, Magnis Resources Limited, IronClad Mining Limited, Lithex Resources Limited and Sibelco Australia Limited. Brendan is currently the Managing Director of Celsius Resources Ltd (ASX:CLA) and a Non-Executive Director of Tempus Resources Limited (ASX:TMR). He is also a Director of geological consultancy Borg Geoscience Pty Ltd.
Mr Borg holds a Master of Science in Hydrogeology and Groundwater Management (University of Technology Sydney), a Bachelor of Science in Geology/Environmental Science (Monash University) and is a member of AusIMM and IAH.
Independent, Appointed 1st April 2021
Mr Gordon is a seasoned resource industry executive with 30 years’ experience in the gold, copper and mineral sands industries.
Mr Gordon has significant African experience, particularly as CEO of Acacia Mining. Mr Gordon grew LSE listed Acacia Mining’s market capitalisation from approximately £450 million to £2.5 billion (A$800 million to A$4.5 billion), transforming the business into a significant cash generating operation.
Mr Gordon was CEO of Intrepid Mines for 5 years during which its market capitalisation increased to A$1.4 billion through a series of corporate deals with the value primarily driven by the discovery and development of the world-class Tujuh Bukit gold-copper-silver project in Indonesia.
Mr Gordon has deep operational and gold industry experience, both in large scale open pit mining and underground operations. He was CEO of Emperor Mines in Fiji and Managing Director of Placer Dome Asia Pacific.
He has supervised operations at mines such as Porgera in PNG, Kanowna Belle, Paddington and Kundana all in Western Australia. Mr Gordon holds a Mining Engineering degree from the Western Australia School of Mines (Curtin University) and an Executive MBA from INSEAD, France.
Chief Financial Officer
Tom is an experienced senior finance executive with a background in investment evaluation, corporate funding and M&A. During his career, Tom has worked on several significant and successful corporate debt and company transforming transactions. Tom joined Firefinch from ASX-listed global mineral sands producer Iluka Resources where as Treasurer, he was responsible for group corporate finance activities, financial risk management and treasury operations.
Since beginning his career with Arthur Andersen as a Chartered Accountant, Tom has held various corporate finance and investment banking positions with Macquarie Group, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Arthur Andersen Corporate Finance in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Tom holds an MBA from INSEAD, a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia.
Chief Operating Officer
Andrew is a qualified engineer, holds an MBA and has extensive executive leadership and operational experience with Rio Tinto and BGC Contracting. Andrew brings more than 25 years experience in the resources sector working in operations, major project development, studies and joint ventures. Andrew has worked extensively around the world including in Australia, Canada, USA and Africa. He is a past Chair of CMEWA WHS Committee. In particular his experience working in operations and projects in West Africa and his fluency in French will be an integral part of the ramp up the Morila operations.
General Manager of Geology and Exploration
Mr Oliver is a geologist with over 20 years of experience in the international resources industry working for both major and junior companies. He has spent recent years in the development of projects across Africa including being responsible for the identification, acquisition and development into production of the Konongo Gold Project in Ghana as the Managing Director of Signature Metals Ltd. Mr Oliver has an enviable track record in project evaluation and has been involved with a number of transactions involving assets across a range of commodities. He also has substantial experience in all aspects of exploration, in the design, evaluation and implementation of resource definition programmes as well as resource modelling and inputs into all levels of mining and feasibility studies. In addition, Mr Oliver has served as director of a number of ASX listed companies and is familiar with the requirements of the ASX Listing Rules and the JORC Code. He is a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgists and the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.
General Manager Morila SA
Mr. Arama started his mining career in the first Malian gold mine in Kalana in 1986. Mr. Arama has a Master of Science Degree in Metallurgy obtained at the University of Krivoi Rog – Ukraine in 1996 and an MBA at the Canadian University UQAM in Executive Management in 2016.
Mr. Arama joined Randgold Resources in 2000 at the Morila Mine as a Metallurgist, then moved through various sections of the plant during his career development. He became Plant Manager at the end of 2007 until August 2010. Then from September 2010 to February 2015, he was the Plant Manager at the Loulo-Gounkoto Gold Mine to develop the plant upgrade and production ramp up. From March 2015 he has been the Plant Manager at Morila Gold Mine.
Mr. Arama was appointed as Morila General Manager from 1st March 2017 successfully running a low-cost operation and transitioning from full operation to the TSF reclamation operation to ensure successful and responsible mine closure under Barrick Gold Corporation’s management. Mr. Arama continues as the General Manager Morila SA with Firefinch.
Mr. Seydou Semega is the Mali Country Manager for Firefinch Limited, with the principal role of serving as the Company’s main representative for institutional and operational matters in Mali. He has over 15 years of executive leadership, mining, management and diplomacy experience in Mali and West Africa.
Prior to joining the Company, Mr Semega served as Mali Country Manager for Digby Wells Environmental, in charge of country operations and business development in West-Africa.
Mr Semega’s previously worked for the US Agency for International Development for six years where he served as the representative for West-Africa and Chairman of the Foreign Service Nationals Advocacy Council, with a constituent based of over 5,000 employees. Mr Semega’s role with USAID in Mali involved with assisting programmatic activities geared towards poverty reduction and socioeconomic development.
Mr Semega is a recognized expert and his sustained excellence, in a variety of challenging positions of increasing responsibility, and has received countless rewards during his career.
Mr. Semega holds a Management and Business Administration degree from the University of Poitiers in France, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Batna in Algeria.