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Principals & Executives of Discovery Group


John Robins, P.Geo.
Co-Founder and Principal of Discovery Group

John Robins is a professional geologist, prospector, and entrepreneur with over 35 years of experience in the mining industry. In 2022 he was the recipient of the AME's Murray Pezim Award for his significant contribution to the financing of exploration and development projects over the last 20 years. He was also awarded the Spud Huestis Award in 2008 for having made significant contributions to mineral exploration in British Columbia and Yukon. 

Mr. Robins has been involved in several notable discoveries, including the 5M oz Coffee Gold deposit in Yukon, the Three Bluffs gold deposit in the Committee Bay greenstone belt, the Aviat / Churchill diamond districts of Nunavut, and the Great Bear project in north-western Ontario. Through his entrepreneurship, John has been instrumental in over CDN$3B in M&A activity and has generated over $1B in direct and indirect mineral expenditures throughout Canada, Latin America, and Australia. Notable recent successes include the sales of Great Bear Resources Ltd. to Kinross Gold Corp. for $1.8B, Great Bear Royalties Corp. to Royal Gold Inc. for $200M, and Kaminak Gold Corp. to Goldcorp for $510M.

John’s outstanding strategic guidance, technical expertise, strong industry relationships, and steadfast adherence to ethical practices, underpin his status as a leading steward of the junior mining industry. He currently acts as Chairman of Fireweed Metals Corp. and K2 Gold Corp.  Mr. Robins is also a Director of Elemental Altus Royalties and a Strategic Advisor to Kodiak Copper Corp., ValOre Metals Corp., and Prospector Metals Corp. 

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Jim Paterson, BComm
Co-Founder and Principal of Discovery Group
Chairman & CEO, ValOre Metals Corp.

Jim is the co-founder and principal of Discovery Group and has 23 years of corporate development experience in the mining industry, including capital raises, acquisitions, joint-ventures, spin-outs, RTOs, and IPOs. He was a driving force behind $80 million in equity financing for ValOre Metals, which led to multiple discoveries at the Pedra Branca PGE project.

He was a long-standing and active director of Kaminak Gold Corp. (acquired by Goldcorp.) and founding director of Northern Empire Resources Corp. (acquired by Coeur Mining). He founded Corsa Capital in 2007, and a 2010 transaction created an industry-leading metallurgical coal producer with a C$250M market capitalization.

In addition to being the Chairman and CEO of ValOre Metals, Jim is a Director of K2 Gold and Gold Basin Resources, and acts as a Strategic Advisor to Kodiak Copper and Prospector Metals.

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Rita Bennett
Rita Bennett

Ms. Bennett brings over 20 years of professional and entrepreneurial experience in marketing, communications, and business administration. She has held senior positions such as Director and VP Marketing for marketing agencies and mining exploration companies, and specializes in content strategy and production.  Most recently, Ms. Bennett held the position of VP Corporate Communications for Great Bear Resources since 2017, until the Company’s acquisition by Kinross Gold for $1.8B in early 2022. As President, she currently oversees the marketing and communications functions for all the member companies of Discovery Group.

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Rita Bennett
Craig Taylor
CEO & Director, Defense Metals

Craig has been a Director and the CEO of Defense Metals Corp since 2018. and has helped advance the project from the exploration stage with the recently completed robust PEA. From 2007 until 2016, he was a director of Advantage Lithium Corp, a TSX-V listed junior exploration company. From April 2012 until April 2016, he was a director of Clear Mountain Resources Corp., a TSX-V listed company, now named Patriot One Technologies Inc. Mr. Taylor has served as director and officer of several other public companies engaged in mineral exploration and development throughout his career.

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Anthony Margarit, P.Geo.
President, CEO & Director, K2 Gold

Anthony holds a BSc. Geology from Lakehead University and has over twenty-five years of management and exploration experience working with both major mining, and junior exploration companies. Over the course of his career, he has explored for a variety of commodities, and deposit types, on projects ranging from greenfields prospecting and project generation to managing multi-drill programs, and advanced development projects. This experience has given him exposure to a variety of exploration methods, as well as business management styles and techniques.

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Claudia Tornquist
Claudia Tornquist, M.Eng., MBA
President, CEO & Director, Kodiak Copper

Claudia was formerly General Manager at Rio Tinto working extensively with Rio Tinto’s diamond operations in Canada and Australia. She also held the position of EVP Business Development for Sandstorm Gold, Director of Silver One Resources and former director of Kennady Diamonds, leading the $176m sale of the company to Mountain Province as chair of the special committee of the board.

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Frederick Bell
CEO & Director, Elemental Altus Royalties

Frederick co-founded Elemental Royalties in 2016 following his role as Managing Director of a listed gold exploration company, Goldcrest Resources plc, where he assembled a portfolio of gold licences in northeast Ghana to take to AIM. He has wide experience in the mining industry, including as General Manager of an ASX-listed uranium company from the age of 25. Frederick received the ‘Young Rising Star’ Award at Mines & Money 2018, read history at the University of Edinburgh and is on the Committee of Young Mining Professionals in London.

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Brandon Macdonald
Brandon Macdonald, MBA, P.Geo.

Brandon is a professional geologist with a diverse experience base including exploration geology worldwide and investment banking. In recent years he has focused his efforts in exploration and development as a principal of and consultant to various junior mining companies. In the past he was in the City of London where he worked in structuring financings and risk management at Macquarie Bank. Brandon has a long history of mining exploration work in Yukon, including zinc projects, and originally hails from Ross River, near Fireweed’s Macmillan Pass Project site.

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Colin Smith
CEO, Gold Basin Resources

Colin is a registered Professional Geologist (P.Geo.) in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories with over 17 years' experience advancing exploration and mining projects in North and South America, ranging from early-stage project generation and exploration, to M&A takeover.

He has garnered a technical expertise in epithermal and mesothermal gold, ultramafic associated platinum group metals, porphyry copper-gold, diamonds, unconformity-related uranium, and coal. Mr. Smith was appointed VP of Exploration for ValOre Metals Corporation in 2021, and continues in this role. Before joining ValOre, Mr. Smith was Senior Exploration Geologist at the Seabee Gold Operation (>1.5 Moz gold produced) for Claude Resources Inc. Claude was subsequently acquired by SSR Mining Inc. in 2016 for $337M CAD. Smith designed and implemented all Seabee-based exploration activities, resulting in multiple auriferous discoveries and resource delineation.

Colin holds a B.Sc. degree in Geology from the University of British Columbia, and an M.Sc. degree in Economic Geology from the University of Victoria.

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John Robins
Alex Heath, CFA
President, CEO, CFO, & Director Prospector Metals

Alex has 15 years of corporate finance, investment banking and capital markets experience focused on the mining industry. He has worked on numerous public and private equity offerings, valuations, fairness opinions, and M&A transactions. He graduated with a BCom (Honors) specializing in Finance and Marketing from the Sauder School of Business at UBC and is a CFA charter holder.

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