Chairman, CEO and Director
Mr. Milewski has spent his career in various aspects of the mining industry, including as a company director, advisor, founder and investor. In particular, he has been active in the battery metals industry including investing in cobalt and actively trading physical cobalt. In 2016, one of the industry’s leading publications, “The Mining Journal,” named him as a Future Mining Leader.
Mr. Milewski has managed numerous mining investments at various stages of development, including exploration, development, production and turnaround situations, and across a broad range of commodities. He has served as a director of both public and private companies and has been seconded as interim CEO on multiple occasions. Mr. Milewski is a member of the investment team at Pala Investments Limited. Prior to joining Pala Investments, he worked at Firebird Management LLC.
Mr. Milewski previously worked at Renaissance Capital and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Moscow, where he focused on advisory and transactional work in metals & mining and oil & gas sectors. He has lived and worked in Africa and Russia, including a year as a Fulbright scholar, and has spent considerable time in Central Asia.
Mr. Milewski holds a B.A. in Russian history from Brigham Young University, an M.A. in Russian and Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington, and a J.D. from the University of Washington. He holds an LLM from the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Mr. Estergaard is a CPA, CA and a retired partner of KPMG. As an audit partner with KPMG, he provided audit services to clients in a wide range of industries, including mineral exploration and high technology. He also served on the firm’s Management Committee and Partnership Board.
Since retirement from KPMG, Mr. Estergaard has provided financial consulting services through Frannan Enterprises Ltd. and has served as CFO for several companies, including Rackforce Networks Ltd. (a private company) and for Metalex Ventures Ltd. (a public company). He has also served as a Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee for QHR Technologies Inc. and Fission Energy Inc.
Mr. Estergaard is currently a Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee for Fission Uranium Corp. and Fission 3.0 Corp. and serves on their Corporate Governance Committees.
Mr. French graduated from Cambridge University in 1975 with an M.A. in Geography (Economic) before spending 22 years with London based trader Wogen Resources Ltd. during which time he rose from trainee to Managing Director and was at the trading desk when the price of cobalt rose from US$5/lb to US$50/lb during an eight-month period during 1978. During the following years, Mr. French was on the cobalt front line as the market developed new directions based upon the opening up of China as it turned from net exporter to net importer and the collapse of the Iron Curtain including the sell-off of the Soviet stockpiles.
In 1999 he became the CEO of SFP Metals Ltd., a creative cobalt specialist trading house. While at SFP Metals, he structured finance deals with African producers, a joint venture with China’s largest producer and various long term contracts with the world’s largest producers and consumers. As such, SFP Metals was well placed when the cobalt price ran up to over US$50/lb again in 2008. With SFP Metals as one of the most active global cobalt traders, the “SFP Weekly Cobalt News” publication was for more than a decade distributed to over 350 members of the global cobalt community.
In 2015, Mr. French stepped back to form his own cobalt consultancy, Metal Investment Consultants, and has spent the last two years advising various parties on the structure and potential of the cobalt market with occasional articles published in the industrial press and conference presentations.
Dr. Hykawy was trained as an experimental physicist and worked at some of the most prestigious laboratories in North America, including the Chalk River Laboratories of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited as well as the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. He, along with the rest of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Collaboration, was awarded the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. He also earned a MBA degree from Queen’s University, after which he began working in the financial industry in Toronto. Dr. Hykawy has been an equities analyst on Bay Street since 2000, covering technologies such as batteries and fuel cells, and the critical materials used to manufacture these technologies, including lithium, cobalt and the rare earths.
In particular, Dr. Hykawy has made cobalt and other battery materials a key part of his research focus since 2009, when he helped found Byron Capital Markets, a boutique brokerage operation that specialized in researching the industry and companies involved in various critical material sectors. His current business, Stormcrow Capital Limited, consults with various clients, including private equity investors, large multinational corporations and junior mining companies, who are involved in critical materials. Stormcrow’s work includes analysis of supply and demand within a commodity sector, as well as future pricing projections.
Dr. Hykawy is widely quoted on battery materials such as cobalt, and is an invited speaker at such conferences as the 1-2-1 Mining Summit series, the Mines and Money series, the Lithium Supply and Markets series, the Roskill Rare Earths Conferences, the Argus Metals Week and Rare Earth Conferences, and various other events held around the world.
Mr. Kanellitsas has been involved in the battery materials industry since 2009 and is currently the President and Vice Chairman of Lithium Americas Corp. He has over 25 years of corporate finance and investment management experience. He was a co-founder of Geologic Resource Partners, LLC and served as its Chief Operating Officer from 2004 until 2014, and was previously employed by Sun Valley Gold, LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York and San Francisco, and General Electric.
Mr. Kanellitsas has an MBA from the University of California at Los Angeles and a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University.