Board of Directors

Mr. La Salle, FCPA, FCA, has 17 years of experience in the development and operation of mining projects in West Africa. In 1995, he founded Canadian based SEMAFO Inc. (TSX, OMX: SMF), a successful gold producer in West Africa. In October 2012, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of The Canadian Council on Africa. In 1980, Mr. La Salle founded Grou,  La Salle and Associates Inc., Chartered Accountants. He has served on the boards of several public companies and is the former Chairman of the Board of Plan International Canada, one of the world’s largest non-governmental organizations. Mr. La Salle is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, a member of the Quebec Order of Chartered Accountants and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Mr. La Salle holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration degree from IMEDE, Switzerland.

Dr. Audet has over 30 years of geological experience in Base Metals exploration and development, including international nickel sulphide and laterite exploration and development with major mining companies such as Xstrata Nickel and Falconbridge. During his career, he specialized in Project Management in foreign countries as well as in Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve estimations and reporting.  He has been actively involved in exploration projects for Falconbridge/Xstrata Nickel in Canada, Africa, South America and in Caribbean.  

In addition to having discovered the Samapleu Ni-Cu-PGE suite of deposits in Côte d’Ivoire and the Lola Graphite deposit in Guinea, his project experience includes the New Caledonia’s Koniambo nickel cobalt laterite project, the Falcondo nickel laterite operation in Dominican Republic, the discovery of Serra do Tapas and Vale dos Sonhos nickel cobalt-scandium deposits in Brazil and more recently the discovery of the Gogota nickel cobalt-scandium laterite in Guinea. Dr. Audet was the Manager of Resource Estimations and Mine Development, and the Exploration Manager for Falconbridge in New Caledonia. In the 90s, he was the Director of Operations for Falconbridge International Investments Limited in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa.

Mr. Quesnel served for over 5 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines of Montreal. He has over 32 years of senior mine management and engineering experience at large gold, copper, nickel and iron ore mining properties in Canada and the Western USA. He has successfully developed, commissioned, operated and expanded mining operations, both open pit and underground. Since 1979, he has also worked as a mine manager or mining engineer of several mining companies including Ledcor CMI Limited, JS Redpath Limited, Les Mines McWatters, Barrick Goldstrike, Quebec Cartier Mining and Placer Dome. Mr. Quesnel is also a director of Colt Resources Inc. He is a Professional Mining Engineer in Quebec and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from McGill University.
Mr. Aubut has been a corporate lawyer for more than 30 years. Renowned for his involvement in professional hockey, Mr. Aubut was President, CEO and co-owner of the Québec Nordiques. Mr. Aubut was President of the Canadian Olympic Committee until 2015. He is the founding President of Québec Metro High Tech Park. Mr. Aubut has been involved with numerous companies and boards including, among others, Atomic Energy of Canada, Olymel L.P. (Olybro), Æterna Zentaris Inc., Boralex Power Income Fund, Whole Foods Market Canada, Hydro-Québec (Executive Committee), Purolator Courier Ltd., Tremblant Resort, Cinar Inc., Investors Group Inc., Transforce Inc., Intra Continental Insurers Ltd., Boréal Assurances Agricoles Inc., Entreprises Premier CDN Ltée, Les Industries Amisco Ltée, Donohue Matane Inc., Innovatech Québec, Textile Dionne. Mr. Aubut is also Chairman of the Board and a director of Century Iron Mines Corporation. He has also presided over the establishment of numerous industrial projects in the greater region of Québec City. Mr. Aubut received the Medal of the National Assembly of Québec in 1981 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1986. In the same year, he became a Member of the Order of Canada and was elevated to the rank of Officer in 1993. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Mr. Eric Finlayson is a geologist with thirty-five years of global multi-commodity experience. Graduating in 1982 with a degree in Applied Geology from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, he commenced his career as an exploration geologist in Ireland and Turkey with NL Petroleum Services before becoming a field geochemist in Malawi with the British Civil Uranium Procurement Organisation. In 1984, he joined the Geological Survey of Papua New Guinea as a regional geological mapper and then moved to Rio Tinto in 1989 as project geologist responsible for copper and gold exploration in the Papua New Guinea highlands based out of Sydney. In 1993, he was transferred to Vancouver as regional exploration manager for Canada and then to London in 2000 as the personal assistant to the Head of Exploration. In January 2002, he moved to Perth to assume the role of Rio Tinto’s Director of Exploration for Australasia and in January of 2007 was appointed Global Head of Exploration for Rio Tinto based in London. In July 2011, he was appointed CEO of Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique following Rio Tinto’s takeover of Riversdale Mining. After two years in Mozambique, he departed Rio Tinto in July 2013 and joined High Power Exploration (HPX) as a Senior Adviser based in Perth. In December 2015, he was appointed President of HPX based in Vancouver. Mr Finlayson is a director of Cordoba Minerals (TSX-V: CDB), Kaizen Discovery (TSX-V: KZD) and Clean TeQ Holdings (ASX/TSX: CLQ).
As a Diplomat with the Senegal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Paye was assigned successively in Republic of Germany, Austria and in Canada as Ambassador until May 2017. Prior to his appointment to Canada, Ambassador Paye exercised from 2002 to 2015 the charges of Special Adviser to the secretary general of La Francophonie. In this capacity, he has ensured the coordination of the political and diplomatic actions of the international organization. Ambassador Paye served as Minister of Youth and Sports as well as Special-Counsellor for Senegal. He acted as Special Envoy for United Nations in various crises in Africa. Ambassador Paye has received several decorations, among others, Commander of the Order of the Pleiades de la Francophonie, Officer of the National Order of the Lion du Senegal and Officer of the Legion of honour of France.