BOARD OF DIRECTORS
RICK VAN NIEUWENHUYSE
Rick has more than 40 years of experience in the natural resource sector and currently the CEO of Contango Ore. Before joining Contango Ore, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Trilogy Metals, currently developing the high-grade Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects located in the Ambler Mining District of Alaska. Trilogy is a company which was created in 2012 as a spin-out from NOVAGOLD, a well-known company he founded over 20 years ago. NOVAGOLD is currently finalizing permits for the 40-million-ounce Donlin Gold Project in Southwest Alaska with partner Barrick Gold, the world’s largest gold company. Previous to his role as Founder, President, and CEO of NOVAGOLD, he held the position of Vice President of Exploration for Placer Dome Inc. from 1990 to 1997. Rick has managed projects from grassroots discovery through to advanced feasibility, production and closure. Rick has played a key role in setting up several other corporate entities including: Alexco – where he was a Director until its sale to Hecla Mining; Tintina Resource (now Sandfire Resources America) which discovered and is now completing a feasibility and permitting the high grade Black Butte copper project in Montana; and SolidusGold (now Valhalla Metals) where he was Chairman. Rick holds a Candidature degree in Science from the Université de Louvain, Belgium, and a Master of Science degree in Geology from the University of Arizona. He received the Thayer Lindsley award in 2009 for his role in the Donlin Gold discovery and the Colin Spence Award in 2015 for his role in the Bornite Discovery.
PRESIDENT, CEO & DIRECTOR
Sorin is a professional geologist with over 25 years of experience in natural resources exploration and development. Sorin has worked for major to junior resource companies throughout USA, Canada and Europe, including Petrom, NovaGold Resources, Sierra Geothermal and Brixton Metals. Sorin was instrumental in a series of geothermal resource discoveries in Nevada with Sierra Geothermal Power which was later acquired by Ram Power. Sorin served as Vice President of Exploration for Brixton Metals from 2012 to 2020 where, during his tenure he was instrumental in leading a series of discoveries at the Thorn Cu-Au-Ag project in B.C., Canada. Sorin was the founder of a precious metals royalties private company which later was acquired by a publicly listed royalties company. Sorin has extensive experience in M&A and strong background in corporate and project valuation. He has served on multiple boards as Director for both private and publicly traded resource development companies. Sorin is a registered Professional Geologist with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, Canada.
Mr. Piekenbrock brings over 35 years of experience in the mining exploration and development industry, during which he has managed all aspects of exploration from grassroots discovery through feasibility. From 2003 to 2011, he served as Vice President of Exploration for NovaGold Resources, and more recently served as Senior Vice President of Exploration for NovaCopper (now Trilogy Metals). He gained extensive experience throughout Latin America while working for Placer Dome, and was one of the founding members of Brett Resources. Earlier in his career, he was a member of the Cominco Alaska exploration team responsible for the discovery of the Whistler Cu deposit, the Sleitat Sn deposit, the Shotgun Au deposit, and the giant Pebble Cu-Au deposit. After joining the Nova group companies in 2003, he was instrumental in leading a series of major discoveries including the Donlin Creek Au and the Bornite Cu deposits in Alaska, and the Galore Creek Cu-Au porphyry deposit in British Columbia. He was awarded the Thayer Lindsley medal for International Discovery in 2009 for his role in the discovery of the Donlin Creek deposit, and the Colin Spence award for International Discovery in 2015 for his contributions to the discovery of the South Reef deposit at Bornite. Mr. Piekenbrock holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geology from the University of Colorado, and a Master of Science degree in Economic Geology from the University of Arizona.
Raj has over 35 years of experience in the capital markets. He is the Founder and President of Futura Capital Ltd., a private venture capital company that has been involved in the venture capital business since 1981 and raises funds for various venture capital projects around the world. He is the former director of Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. and founding director and President of Camphor Ventures Inc. Raj is currently Director, Officer, and Chairman of several public and private companies trading on global stock exchanges, including the TSX Venture Exchange.