Neville Joseph Power (Chair) is a highly experienced Executive and Company Director with extensive CEO and Board experience across engineering, construction, mining, energy, agriculture and aviation.
In the height of the global pandemic in 2020 Mr. Power was appointed by the Australian Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison, to lead the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC). Mr. Power is also the Chairman of Perth Airport, the Foundation for the WA Museum, the Royal Flying Doctor Service Federation Board, the Deputy Chairman of Strike Energy Ltd, Director of APM Human Services International Ltd and Genesis Minerals Ltd. He assumed the role of Chairman of Metals Acquisition Corp in August 2022.
From 2011 to 2018, Mr. Power was Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. During his tenure, Fortescue more than quadrupled its production to over 170 million tonnes per annum and positioned itself as the lowest cost supplier of seaborne iron ore to China. During a period of plunging iron ore prices, Mr. Power was able to lead the business from a 55 million tonne miner with an operating cost of US$53/tonne in 2011, to a 170 million tonne vertically integrated producer with a cost of US$12/tonne in 2018. The performance metrics over his term are surpassed, only, by the immensely positive culture created within its 5,000 strong workforce. Today, with a current market capitalisation of A$63 billion, Fortescue is considered a leader in the mining industry for its ability to rapidly grow, relentlessly lower costs, and lead continuous innovation.
Before joining Fortescue, Mr. Power held Chief Executive positions at Thiess and the Smorgon Steel Group adding to his extensive background in the mining, steel and construction industries. Mr. Power’s early career was with Mt Isa Mines Ltd (“MIM”), starting as an apprentice fitter and turner and working his way through various areas of the company’s underground and open cut mining, minerals processing and smelting operations over his two decades with the company. During his time at MIM, Mr. Power completed his B.Eng (Mech) at the DDIAE (now University of Southern Queensland), starting his journey as an engineer and transforming his career. In addition, Mr. Power holds an MBA from University of Queensland.
In 2016, Mr. Power was named Western Australia’s Business Leader of the Year. He also has a long history in agribusiness and aviation, holding both fixed wing and rotary pilot licenses. Mr. Power is a passionate advocate for health and development of regional and Aboriginal communities. He owns and operates a cattle station in Queensland where he was born and raised. Mr. Power is an Honorary Fellow of both Engineers Australia and a Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy; a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
Patrice E. Merrin (Director) is a corporate director with broad experience in the resource sector, heavy industry and capital markets. Ms. Merrin is a frequent speaker and respected, independent voice on industry and governance matters. Since 2014, she has served as an independent non-executive director of Glencore plc, a global commodity trading and mining company based in Switzerland. She chairs the Ethics, Culture and Compliance Committee and serves on the Health, Safety, Environment and Communities and Investigations Committees. She is Glencore’s Engagement Director for North America. Representing a family member, she has served since 2018 on the Board of private steel business Samuel, Son & Co., Mississauga. In June 2019, Ms. Merrin was appointed Chair of the Board of Detour Gold, a role which concluded with the acquisition of Detour Gold by Kirkland Lake Gold in January 2020, a transaction valued at C$4.9 billion. She has served as a director of Arconic Inc. from May 2017 to December 2017, Stillwater Mining from May 2013 to May 2017, CML HealthCare Inc. from May 2008 to October 2013 (Chair 2011 to 2013), Novadaq Technologies Group from March 2015 to September 2017 and New Brunswick Power from 2007 to 2009. She was Lead Independent Director of Kew Media Group from March 2017 to December 2019 then Chair until February 2020 at which time the company entered into CCAA. She served as Chair of Metals Acquisition Corp from inception to August 2022.
Ms. Merrin has been a nominee on several activist files. Her executive roles in the resource sector have included President, CEO and Director of Luscar Ltd., Canada’s largest thermal coal producer, from 2004-2006, then owned equally by Sherritt International Corporation and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, prior to which she had been EVP and COO of Sherritt International, a Canadian diversified miner where she worked from 1994 to 2004. From 2009 to 2014, Ms. Merrin was a director of Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation, created to support Alberta’s initiatives on climate change and the reduction of emissions. She was a member of the National Advisory Panel on Sustainable Energy Science & Technology and Canada’s National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. She is a member of Women In Mining and in 2016 was cited as one of the 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining. Ms. Merrin served on the board of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and is a former co-chair of Perimeter’s Emmy Noether Circle, promoting women in physics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen’s University and completed the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD.
Rasmus Kristoffer Gerdeman (Director, Audit Chair) is a Managing Director at Ankura Consulting in the Office of the CFO practice since July 2021 and brings more than 20 years of experience in capital markets and corporate advisory with a particular focus on the Natural Resources and Industrial Sectors. Mr. Gerdeman provides corporate finance, corporate strategy, and strategic communications counsel to clients around transformational events impacting a corporations enterprise value and reputation. His expertise includes IPOs, strategic investor relations advisory, capital allocation strategies, working capital improvement analyses, mergers and acquisitions, activist defense, restructuring activities, and management transitions. Prior to his role at Ankura, Mr. Gerdeman was a Senior Advisor with FTI Consulting from October 2019 to July 2021. He also served as Chief Strategy and Investor Relations Officer for Livent Corporation a $2.4 bn market cap NYSE listed lithium producer from May 2018 to June 2019, during the company’s IPO and separation from FMC Corporation. Before his role at Livent Corporation, Mr. Gerdeman was a Managing Director at FTI Consulting in the Strategic Communications and Corporate Finance segments.
Mr. Gerdeman joined FTI Consulting in 2013, after having spent more than 12 years as a buyside analyst at leading U.S. investment firms. He was twice awarded Institutional Investor Magazine’s prestigious “Best of the Buy-Side” for his unparalleled understanding of the industries that he covered. Mr. Gerdeman has served as a senior member of the research and investment teams at Neuberger Berman, Northern Trust Global Investors, and Zweig-Dimenna & Associates. He is also a guest lecturer and mentor to Cornell University MBA Cayuga Fund students focusing on basic materials and natural resources. Mr. Gerdeman holds a Bachelor of Science in finance from North Park University in Chicago, and a Master of Business Administration from S.C Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and Queen’s School of Business at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
The Honorable Charles D. McConnell (Director) is a global executive and technology Subject Matter Expert (SME) within energy and power, petrochemicals technology, and the investment-business development marketplace who has led the growth of multimillion-dollar businesses and new business units. Mr. McConnell has expertise in operations, sales, business, marketing, domestic/global management, and managing senior-level technology teams. Mr. McConnell is experienced in both domestic and international markets and was posted in Singapore for business in China, India, Indonesia, Korea, and Malaysia. Mr. McConnell has received worldwide recognition in his development of and advocacy for climate change and carbon policies, e.g., Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS), 45Q CCUS, and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) policy as well as advanced carbon management in methane conversion and chemicals production.
Mr. McConnell currently serves as Executive Director of Carbon Management and Energy Sustainability at the University of Houston since November 2018. A 40-year veteran of the energy industry, Mr. McConnell joined the Rice University Energy and Environmental Initiative in August 2013 after serving two years as the Assistant Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy from 2011 to 2013. At DOE, Mr. McConnell was responsible for the strategic policy leadership, budgets, project management, and research and development of the department's coal, oil and gas, and advanced technologies programs, as well as for the operations and management of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the National Energy Technologies Laboratories. Prior to joining DOE in 2011, Mr. McConnell served as Vice President of Carbon Management at Battelle Energy Technology in Columbus, Ohio and also spent 31 years with Praxair, Inc. now Linde.
Mr. McConnell is a global manager who guides multiple business units through change while communicating with diverse stakeholders, external clients, and investors to create sustainable and profitable growth. He captures new opportunities by assessing market trends, building, motivating and educating high-performing teams, and evaluating technology and business portfolio options. Mr. McConnell revitalizes operations and business models for the energy transition marketplace by leveraging strong strategic planning, tactical client execution, and relationship-building collaboration for growth in energy markets challenged by a lower carbon future. Mr. McConnell is also a technology Subject Matter Expert (SME) within energy and power, petrochemicals technology, and the investment-business development marketplace. He has been selected to testify in front of US Senate and House subcommittees on science, climate, technologies and policy .Mr. McConnell has been selected for leadership roles on the Board of the Energy and Environment Foundation North Dakota, the EPA Science Advisory Board, The Texas Carbon Neutral Coalition, Gasification Technologies Council and the Clean Carbon Technology Foundation of Texas. Mr. McConnell holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University (1977) and an MBA in finance from Cleveland State University (1984).
John Rhett Miles Bennett (Director) has more than 16 years of experience in the exploration, financing, development, and operation of Natural Resources projects globally. Mr. Bennett is the Founder and CEO of Black Mountain, a family of Natural Resources companies established in 2007 to create alpha throughout the value chain. Mr. Bennett currently serves as the CEO of Black Mountain Oil & Gas III, a position he has held since March 2019, and Black Mountain Metals, a position he has held since May 2018. Mr. Bennett is also the Founder and CEO of Black Mountain Sand, a position he has held since December 2016, creating the largest in-basin frac sand provider in the United States. Under Mr. Bennett’s leadership, the company grew from 1 employee to over 500 employees in two years. The company executed >US$700 million in capex projects during this time, and within the first two years of existence had contracted >US$360 million in annualized EBITDA.
In addition to Black Mountain Sand, Mr. Bennett has served as Founder & CEO of Black Mountain Oil & Gas I since April 2015, where he has overseen the deployment of US$115 million in equity acquiring oil & gas properties throughout southeast New Mexico. Within 16 months of founding the company, he led the company to a sale to Marathon Petroleum Corporation and other buyers for US$700 million, resulting in a 5.5x ROI and 298% internal rate of return.
Mr. Bennett has been the recipient of numerous awards in his career: Oil & Gas Investor — Forty under 40, The Oil & Gas Awards — Future Industry Leader, EY Entrepreneur of the Year — Energy Services & National Finalist, D CEO Magazine — Oilfield Services CEO of the Year, Fort Worth Inc. Magazine’s 2019 Entrepreneur of Excellence — Energy and University of Georgia’s Forty under 40. Mr. Bennett earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Georgia in 2003 and completed the Energy Executive Management Program at the University of Oklahoma Michael F. Price College Of Business in 2012.