Board of Directors

A highly experienced team focused on delivering a world-class Helium Project

Ian Stalker

Non-executive Chairman

Has over 40 years’ experience in development and mining projects across multiple jurisdictions in Africa, Europe, South America, and Australia. He has significant experience in the corporate arena and has been involved with numerous M&A transactions across a wide range of companies.  He has also raised over US$700 million for mineral resource projects, with a proven track record of delivering significant shareholder returns for investors.

He has held board positions on a number of companies, including CEO of K92 Mining, purchased from Barrick for $2million in 2014, now in 2021 a C$2 billion market cap Canadian company, and is President & CEO of LSC Lithium.

He holds a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

David Minchin

Chief Executive Officer

A geologist with over 15 years’ experience in mineral exploration and production as well as significant expertise in corporate finance.

Previously an Executive Director of ScandiVanadium Ltd, a multi-commodity exploration company projects in Australia and Europe, and Director of Geology for AMED Funds focussing on projects in Africa.  At AMED he was responsible for the investment of approximately US$450 million in various projects from the exploration to feasibility stages. He has previously worked in various geology roles for Rio Tinto, the British Geological Survey and Cleveland Potash Limited/ICL-Boulby.

He holds a Master’s degree in Geology from University of Southampton.

Robin Birchall

Non-Executive Director

Has over 18 years’ experience working at natural resource and financial companies, where he has effected numerous high-profile transactions for resource companies.

He is currently an executive and board member of Giyani Metals, a listed manganese development company in Botswana. Previous positions held include CEO of a private O&G company, Non-Executive Director and Executive Chairman of Silver Bear Resources, V.P. Investment and Corporate banking with BMO Capital, and V.P. Corporate Finance at Canaccord Adams Ltd.

He holds an MBA from the University of Cape Town and a Masters’ degree in European Politics from the University of Edinburgh.

Sarah Cope

Non-executive Director

Has over 20 years’ experience as an investment banker in London, advising small and mid-sized companies on corporate governance, strategy, amalgamations and disposals, capital markets and regulatory compliance. Predominantly has advised AIM listed companies in the Oil and Gas sector as both Nominated Advisor and Broker, assisting publicly traded companies to raise finance for their exploration, development and production projects around the world. Accordingly, has an expert understanding of AIM regulations and compliance.

Previously co-led and successfully developed the oil and gas franchise at Cantor Fitzgerald and also held similar roles prior to that at RFC Ambrian, finnCap and RBC Capital Markets. 

James Smith

Non-executive Director

Has over 30 years’ in the oil and gas industry and is a “proven oil finder” with extensive exploration, appraisal and development skills, which have contributed to building value in small, entrepreneurial companies.

He has previously held senior executive positions for Chevron Corporation, PanOcean Energy and Orca Exploration, and was a Non-executive Director at African Petroleum, Canoro Resources, PetroGrand AB, PetroAsia. Has also been a senior level adviser to many other companies.

He is currently a Non-executive Director to Prospex Oil and Gas Ltd and is also advising Gulf Energy International.

He holds a BSc in Geology/Geophysics and an MSc in Petroleum Geology from Imperial College.

Russel Swarts

Financial Director

Has extensive financial and corporate experience having qualified as a Chartered Accountant serving articles with Price Waterhouse in Johannesburg, before leaving the profession in 1991.

He has also held senior financial roles with Dorbyl, Barlow’s and Premier Group and was also CEO of Radiospoor Group, having initially joined in a financial role, before merging the group with its largest competitor.  He was also been involved with a specialist communications group and was finance director of a BEE private equity investment group involved in energy and mining natural resources, before consulting to the $2.5bn takeover of UraMin by Areva NC.  Post this he was CEO at London Listed URU Metals for five years.

His expertise stretches from large multinational to medium sized corporations. More recently he has been a consultant utilising his expertise of local (JSE) and overseas listed reporting (LSE, ASX and TSX) rules and regulations, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, specialist financing, strategic planning and group reporting planning and structuring.

Nigel Friend

Non-executive Director

Has over 35 years working in oil and gas industry and corporate finance. Nigel, over his career has developed extensive expertise in successfully growing companies through a clear focus on cash generation. As CFO and latterly CEO of Orca Energy Nigel was an integral part of the executive management team that developed and operated the Songo Songo gas to power project in Tanzania where his focus on gas monetization led to a significant increase in the market capitalization of the company.

Nigel also has extensive experience of leading financial and commercial teams with responsibility for financial reporting, fund raising, contract negotiations, investor and government relations, acquisitions, disposals and restructurings. Nigel is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a BSc (Hons) in Industrial Economics from Nottingham University.