Board of Directors

Brian Menell



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Brian Menell is a British/South African industrialist and investor with natural resource and energy interests across both emerging and developed markets.


He is the Chairman and CEO of TechMet Limited, a private industrial company building a portfolio of world-class assets to secure supply of the metals critical to Electric Vehicles and Renewable Energy systems.  The company is focused on projects which produce, process or recycle these “Technology Metals”, and currently has operations in North America, South America, Europe and Africa.


Through the Kemet Group, which Brian founded in 2010 and served as its CEO, he has participated in mining and other natural resource projects across Africa, including bauxite, tin, tungsten, energy and sustainable forestry.  The Group also advised certain multinational corporations and African Governments on mining policy and M&A activity.


Brian serves as a Director of Trinity Metals Group, an integrated Tin and Tungsten producer in Rwanda. He is also a Director of US Vanadium, a vanadium speciality chemicals company in the US, and TechMet-Mercuria, a critical minerals trading and marketing company based in Switzerland.  Brian is a former Principal and Executive Director of Anglovaal Mining (AVMIN) with extensive base metal, precious metal and ferrous metal interests across Southern Africa, and a former Director of Anglovaal Ltd, a diversified industrial and mining holding company.  Prior to Anglovaal, Brian spent eight years with the De Beers Group
Mark Travers


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Mark Travers was the Executive Vice President, Vale S.A. and CEO of Base Metals up until the end of 2021. In this position Mark was responsible for Vale’s Base Metals business, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, consisting of nickel and copper operations in Canada, UK, Brazil, Indonesia and Japan. He led Vale’s efforts to transform Base Metals and helped prepare the business and its strategy for the global transition to a net zero economy.
Mark is passionate about sustainability and building a positive social, economic and environmental legacy in the communities where the businesses operated, through responsible mining practices. In his 20 years in the mining industry with Inco Limited and Vale, Mark held progressively senior roles in legal, institutional relations, communications and sustainability, including serving as General Counsel. Prior to joining Vale, Mark was a corporate and securities lawyer practicing in Toronto, Canada.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Western Ontario. As well, he holds both a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Master of Business Administration from York University.
Mike Oxley


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Mike is a chartered mining engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the mining industry and has extensive nickel laterite project development experience. He began his career with Billiton PLC, working on corporate planning and mine development projects. In 1999 Mike began working with European Nickel as its project manager completing concept studies for the application of heap leaching technology to the Albanian nickel laterite deposits.


Mike then led the Çaldağ Feasibility in Turkey which included the start-up of a profitable direct shipped ore mining operation and the successful completion of the Bankable Feasibility Study which helped secure US$ 360 million of debt and equity investment to build the project. He then oversaw initial construction activities at the project before leading the Acoje nickel laterite heap leach project pre-feasibility Study in the Philippines. This was completed in 2008 when he then became European Nickel’s Business Development Manager.


Following the merger of European Nickel with its joint venture partner at Acoje and the company’s decision to focus on the development of that project, Mike left to set up Alyssum Ventures to build a new company dedicated to nickel laterite heap leaching. In 2013 he founded Brazilian Nickel to further commercialise nickel laterite heap leaching.


Mike has visited and studied over 20 of the known nickel laterite projects in the world in Indonesia, the USA, Russia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Greece, Turkey, the Philippines, New Caledonia, Kazakhstan, and Poland. Mike has worked extensively in Latin and South America including projects in Surinam, Chile, and Mexico.
Mark Smith


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Mark is a registered civil, geotechnical and structural engineer and has been working in heap leaching, tailings management, geotechnical engineering and project/study management since 1979, and in nickel heap leaching since 2005. Mark is recognized as one of the leading geotechnical engineers in the heap leach industry. His nickel experience includes environmental consulting on traditional smelter projects in Guatemala and New Caledonia, peer review and tailings management on HPAL projects and developing heap leaching technology for nickel laterite ores on 17 projects worldwide. Mark has worked for a number of companies including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Vale, Xstrata, European Nickel, and the major EPCM firms. Mark has published dozens of papers in the field and has taught engineering short courses through universities in eight countries.


Mark was the founding principal and manager of Vector Engineering, Inc., building it from inception to a team of 500 people working in offices across the globe. Vector is a multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental consulting firm working for both local and multi-national clients.


Mark’s project experience in nickel laterites includes work with BHP Billiton in Colombia, Guatemala, Indonesia, New Caledonia, Australia and the Philippines, with European Nickel, also in the Philippines and Turkey, with Xstrata in New Caledonia and with Vale at Vermelho and Piauí.
John Croft


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John is a well-regarded Board Director with extensive experience of bringing Corporate Governance disciplines to Boards of public and private companies alike, having served also on numerous Board committees in a recent career which has focussed particularly on international companies in the Financial Services, Resources and TMT sectors.


He is currently Executive Chairman of Jade Road Investments Limited and a non-executive Director of Golden Rock Global PLC. both of which are companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.


Previously John held senior Director level positions at Racal Electronics and NCR Corporation following an early career in Banking with HSBC and Citibank.
Darryll Castle


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With a background in engineering, Darryll has over 30 years’ experience across company leadership, project/operational delivery and transformation, technical planning and implementation, fund management, business development and governance roles.


CEO of a number of mining and production companies including CEO of Trafigura mining, CEO PPC Cement, CEO of Anvil Mining (Listed in Toronto and Australia); as well as multiple board memberships of listed and private companies, Chief Operations Officer at Metorex Group Limited.


First hand operations and projects experience globally including in Cuba, Spain, Peru, and particularly on the African continent, having run projects and companies in the DRC, Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania.


B.Sc. Civil Engineering, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Bachelor of Commerce, University of South Africa; MBA, University of Cape Town; and is a past Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder.
Flávio Guimarães


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Flavio currently manages Gryps Investimentos, a family office based in Brazil
He has more than 30 years of experience in the financial markets, having worked in several institutions in Brazil
He previously worked as an entrepreneur in infrastructure businesses, including telephone towers, fiber optics and hydro-electric generation.

Developing low cost nickel and cobalt production in Brazil