Ross Beaty needs little introduction to anyone involved in mining. Currently the chairman of Pan American Silver and Executive chairman of Alteria Power Corporation, Ross has created 14 successful businesses over four decades, creating more than $4 billion in shareholder value in the process. It’s not without reason that Ross is renowned for his impeccable timing, to the extent that he is regularly referred to as “the broken slot machine”. These days, you’re just as likely to find Ross championing clean energy or one of the environmental or philanthropic causes he supports. I spoke with him on the fringes of a mining conference in his home city of Vancouver. I have always been impressed by Ross’s willingness to share his knowledge. His colourful and direct way of talking made for a very illuminating conversation.
Mark is one of the youngest interviewees in this interview series, but his achievements are just as impressive. He has launched and sold several companies since 2011, including Fronteer Gold and, most recently, True Gold Mining, which was acquired by Endeavour Mining late in 2016. Fiercely intelligent, he has a PhD in geology amongst his many honorifics. When I met him for coffee in Denver, Colorado, I noticed a few pages of notes on the table in front of us; although he barely referred to them throughout our conversation, I was struck by his level of thought that has gone into the topic of what makes a good leader. I found Mark to be very personable and excellent company. He was considered, thoughtful and full of energy and enthusiasm.
With more than three decades of experience working at the most senior levels in mining, few people can rival Ian Pearce's level of insight and experience. Ian famously worked with Sir Mick Davis at Xstrata plc, helping to create a culture where young talent was encouraged, given responsibility and rewarded exceptionally well for good performance. I knew long before I met Ian that providing mentorship to future leaders was a core part of his personal philosophy, making him an ideal person to interview for this series of blogs.
Rick Rule is renowned as someone who works relentlessly in identifying and bringing mining companies to market. Over the years many people, particularly those in the junior space, have told me about times when he backed them when no one else was willing to take a risk. I found Rick to be charming company and extremely gracious with his time. He is a natural storyteller and he could – and should – fill a book with his anecdotes from a lifetime in mining. It’s not without reason that he is one of the most in-demand speakers at mining events and conferences and he is always an articulate and compelling voice for the industry.
I met Catherine McLeod Seltzer in London, during one of her UK transits to far-flung mining sites. With a track record stretching back 20 years, and with no signs of slowing down any time soon, Catherine is a seriously impressive figure. A serial entrepreneur, Catherine lends her talents as a director to several organisations in the sector. She’s also received several awards and accolades, including Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 and famously The Northern Miner’s Mining Man of the Year for 1999. I found her serious, focused and thoughtful. Like all the interviewees, she was gracious and generous with her time.
I was fortunate to be introduced to Hugh Morgan by a friend and associate, Matthew Grainger at Altus Strategies, the co-founders of Resource IQ. I hope Hugh will pardon me for describing him as one of the great elder statesmen in mining. A former CEO of the Western Mining Corporation, Hugh also served on the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, as a government appointee, and the Business Council of Australia. I spoke with Hugh in Australia and found him as actively interested in and enthused by the mining industry as anyone else I interviewed. I was disarmed by Hugh’s often brutal honesty and he struck me as a man who was reflecting on his time in the industry from a position of ultimate success, but not without difficulties on the way. Not that Hugh is ready to withdraw into quiet retirement just yet; he remains active in pharmaceuticals and private equity, and has a continuing interest in mining.
Lukas Lundin is part of the legendary Swedish Lundin dynasty and son to Adolf Lundin, who originally established Lundin Mining in 1994. One might assume that being born into a family of such achievement might dull the appetite for hard work and the pursuit of business growth, but the opposite is true in Lukas Lundin’s case. His drive has led to Lundin Mining’s ongoing growth and diversification into one of the leading mining businesses in the world.