Principals & Executives of Discovery Group
As an award-winning prospector with 35 years experience in professional geology, John is a steward of the junior mining industry and the co-founder and principal Discovery Group. His entrepreneurship has created over $2.6 billion in M&A activity and generated over $1 billion in direct and indirect mineral expenditures.
He was involved in several monumental discoveries including the Yukon’s 5 million oz Coffee Gold deposit, Ontario’s Great Bear Project, the Three Bluffs gold deposit in the Committee Bay greenstone belt, and the Aviat/Churchill diamond districts of Nunavut.
John holds many leadership positions in the industry, including Executive Chairman of K2 Gold, Chairman of Fireweed Metals, a Director at Elemental Altus Royalties and Gold Basin Resources, and acts as a Strategic Advisor to Kodiak Copper, Prospector Metals, and ValOre Metals.
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 and a 200% increase in mineral resources at its Angilak uranium 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 Great Bear Royalties, K2 Gold, and Gold Basin Resources, and acts as a Strategic Advisor to Kodiak Copper and Prospector Metals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mr. Smith 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.
Mr. Smith 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.
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.