Mr. Wes Roberts, P.Eng., a member of the technical committee of the Company, is the “qualified person” under NI 43-101 who reviewed and approved the technical information included on the website.
The Company, through its indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary Sigma Mineração S.A., is developing, with an environmental sustainably ESG focused strategy, the largest hard rock lithium deposits in the Americas, located in its wholly-owned Grota do Cirilo Project in Brazil (the ”Project”) with the goal of participating in the rapidly expanding global supply chain of electric vehicles (“EVs”).
Based on the Feasibility Study Report, the Company plans to produce 270,000 tonnes annually of battery grade lithium concentrate lithium (37,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (“LCE”)) in Production Phase 1 and expects to be amongst the world’s lowest-cost producers. Adding Production Phase 2 and 3 production will be increased to 766,000 tonnes (104,000 tonnes of LCE) annually.
The Company is currently commissioning of our environmentally friendly, fully automated, dense media separator (“DMS”) production plant that applies proprietary algorithms to digitally control the dense media (the “Production Plant”). The Production Plant will be vertically integrated into the Company´s mining operations, exclusively utilizing as feedstock the high purity spodumene ore with exceptional mineralogy from the Project. The Production Plant will process the spodumene ore into a high purity 5.5% battery-grade lithium concentrate engineered to the specifications of its customers in the lithium-ion battery supply chain for EVs.
The first phase of the production (“Production Phase 1”) will utilize as feedstock spodumene from the Project’s Xuxa deposit. The next production phase of the Project (“Production Phase 2”) would be increased production including feedstock from the Project’s Barreiro deposit.
Since 2018, the Company has been producing low carbon high purity lithium concentrate at an on-site demonstration plant with the objective to ship samples to potential customers for product certification and testing. This demonstration production has been an important part of the successful commercial strategy of the Company for its low carbon high purity lithium.
The Company plans to achieve net-zero targets by 2024, partly as a result of its strategic decision to pursue generation of carbon credits through “in-setting” carbon credits (preserving and developing the agroforestry systems within its regional ecosystem).
In order to secure a leading position supplying the clean mobility and green energy storage value chains, the Company has adhered consistently to the highest standards of environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) practices, which were established as part of its core purpose at inception in 2012. Its production process will be powered by clean energy and the Company will use state-of-the-art water recirculation circuits in its processing combined with dry stacking tailings management. The DMS process of the Production Plant does not utilize hazardous chemicals, as a result, its tailings are 100% recyclable into ancillary industries, such as ceramics.
The Company is currently undergoing an independent assessment of its net carbon footprint, conducting an independent ISO 14000 compliant audit of its life cycle analysis together with an independent expert validation of its carbon credits generated by its internal preservation, reforestation, and compensation forestry programs. The Company expects to complete this workstream in the second half of 2021.
The Project comprises four properties owned by SMSA and is divided into the Northern Complex (the Grota do Cirilo, Genipapo and Santa Clara properties) and the Southern Complex (the São José property). The Project consists of 27 mineral rights (which include mining concessions, applications for mining concessions, exploration authorizations, and applications for mineral exploration authorizations) spread over 191 km2. The Project area includes nine past-producing lithium mines and 11 first-priority exploration targets. Granted mining concessions are in good standing with the Brazilian authorities. The Project is located in Northeastern Minas Gerais State, in the municipalities of Araçuaí́ and Itinga, approximately 25 km east of the town of Araçuaí́ and 600 km northeast of Belo Horizonte.
Our mission is to enable electric vehicle industry growth by becoming one of the largest, lowest cost and lowest carbon producers of environmentally sustainable lithium products in the world.
Our goal is to reach net-zero by 2024.
Board & Management
Ana Cabral Gardner Co-Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer
Ana is a co-founder and Managing Partner at A10 Investimentos, in addition to having an executive and board position at Sigma. She has over twenty-four years of experience as a senior banker at global investment banks in New York, London and São Paulo. Ana is a former Head of Latin America Capital Markets at Goldman Sachs in New York and a former Managing Director at the firm. She has been involved in a large number of transactions over her career, totalling more than US$100 billion, five of which won the prestigious IFR “Deal of the Year” award, including the privatization of Vale in 1996 and the acquisition of Inco by Vale in 2006. Ana has an MBA degree from Columbia Business School and a Master in Finance degree from London Business School. She serves on the Advisory Board of Columbia University Global Centres and is a board member of The American School of São Paulo.
Rodrigo Menck Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Menck has roughly 30 years of experience in finance and capital markets. He has spent the last 15 years leading finance functions for large corporations, including most recently with Nexa Resources, the mining company of the Votorantim group in Brazil, where he served from 2019 to 2022 as CFO. Prior to his corporate experience, Mr. Menck spent close to 15 years in global financial institutions such as BankBoston, Itaú, WestLB, Citi and BNP Paribas. He holds an MBA in Economics from the University of São Paulo, is a Certified CFO by the Brazilian Institute of Financial Executives, and a certified board member by the Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance.
Maria Jose Salum Chief Sustainability Officer
Maria is a prominent environmental & social responsibility professional in Brazil. She has held a number of roles during her 40-year remarkable technical career in public service and in the private sector. In public service, her roles included Director of Sustainable Development in Mining at the Ministry of Mines and Energy and Senior Representative for the Ministry at the National Council for the Environment (CONAMA). She was also the second woman in 60 years to serve as Deputy Minister of Mining and Mineral Transformation at the Ministry of Mines and Energy. Maria has had an active academic career, holding several senior roles at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), a centre of excellence for mining and metallurgy research in Brazil, including Head of Department for Mining Engineering. She has a PhD in mineral technology. Since retiring from public service in 2018, Maria has worked as a consultant, advising some of the largest global mining companies on environmental matters in Brazil.
Marcelo Paiva Corporate Director and Director of Corporate Finance
Marcelo is a co-founder and Managing Partner at A10 Investimentos. He has over twenty years of experience in asset management and investment banking at leading institutions in New York, London and Sao Paulo. Before founding A10 Investimentos, Marcelo was Portfolio Manager at the Mittal Family Office in Sao Paulo, working with private equity, equity and fixed income investments; and Vice President at the UK asset manager Millennium Global in London, also in the management of private equity, equity and fixed income investments, but for the various portfolios managed by the firm, with combined assets under management of over US$15 billion. Prior to that, Marcelo worked in the investment banking divisions of Credit Suisse in London and of UBS in New York, gaining M&A experience in Europe and in the Americas. Marcelo has a Master’s in Business Administration degree from INSEAD, in France, BA in Economics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and is a CFA Charterholder.
Wes Roberts Co-Chairman of Technical Committee
Wes Roberts, M.Sc., P.Eng., MBA is a professional mining engineer with over 35 years of experience specializing in the economic evaluation and development of mineral deposits. Mr. Roberts is a Director of Empress Royalty, Sparton Resources, Golden Share and Canadian Gold Miner. Over his career, Mr. Roberts has gained extensive experience in mineral exploration, mining operations, Project engineering and management as well as diverse mining engineering experience that includes precious metals, base metals, iron ore and industrial minerals. Mr. Roberts has held numerous positions in the mining industry, which include Canada Talc Limited, Derry Michener Booth & Wahl, Davey International, Bharti Engineering, GMP Securities, Inco Ltd, Breakwater Resources Ltd (VP Corporate Development) and VP Mining to the Canadian law firm Heenan Blaikie LLP. Since then, Mr. Roberts has held positions as Mineral Engineering Consultant with the American law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Mineral Engineer for Gravitas Mining Corp and most recently as Mining Engineer at Principle Capital Partners.. Mr. Roberts holds a B.Sc. (Mining Engineering) and M.Sc. (Mining Engineering) from Queen’s University, and an M.B.A. (Finance) from the Schulich School of Business (York University).
Vicente Lobo Co-Chairman of Technical Committee
Vicente Lobo is trained as a mining engineer and has over 30 years of experience in executive roles at major Brazilian natural resource companies, including as COO of Bunge Fertilizantes and COO of Vale Fertilizantes. He also served as Secretary of Geology, Mining and Mineral Transformation at Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy, where he was responsible for the program that included the creation of Brazil’s current mining regulator Agência Nacional de Mineração (ANM) and for updating the national mining code, which was a landmark event for the development of the Brazilian mining industry. He is currently Managing Partner at the mining consultancy firm Lobo Engenharia.
Calvyn Gardner Corporate Director
Before founding Sigma, Calvyn spent over twenty years holding executive positions at junior and major global mining companies. He was co-founder and managing partner of Hardac Investments, a private equity firm focused on investing in junior mining companies in Africa. Hardac’s major co-investors included Lazare Kaplan International in New York (one of DeBeers’ largest customers in the US) and Mvelaphanda Holdings (South Africa’s largest Black Economic Empowerment Group) in Johannesburg. Calvyn was also General Manager of Operations at Highveld Steel and the CEO of Trans Hex Group. He has an MBA from the University of South Africa and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Frederico Marques Corporate Director (Independent)
Frederico is a Brazilian lawyer and the head of the Canadian operations of the Brazilian law firm Cescon, Barrieu, Flesch & Barreto Advogados in Toronto. Previously, he was partner and foreign consultant at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, also in Toronto. He has acted as in-house counsel at Vale S/A, Brasil Telecom S/A and Odebrecht S/A. He obtained his LL.B. from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica of Rio de Janeiro in 1996, his LL.M. from the Universidade Federal of Rio de Janeiro in 2000 and his Ph.D. from the Universidade Federal of Rio Grande do Sul in 2004. Frederico is a former chairman of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce, a member of its executive board and the head of its mining committee.
Gary Litwack Non-Executive Co-Chairperson
Gary is a Canadian lawyer and Counsel at McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Toronto, Canada. He received his LL.B. from the University of Ottawa, his LL.M. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992, and was called to the Ontario state bar in 1990. Mr. Litwack is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Ontario. Gary is also an Adjunct Professor of Advanced Securities Law at Osgoode Hall Law School.
Dana Perlman Corporate Director (Independent)
Dana M. Perlman currently sits on the Board of Directors at O’Reilly Automotive and chairs its Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee. Most recently, she was Chief Strategy Officer and Treasurer at PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH), and before that, Dana held several positions at Barclays Capital, including Director of the Retail Investment Banking Department, as well as at Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse First Boston.
In 2018, Dana was recognized by WomenInc. on the Most Influential Corporate Board Directors list and by Equilar on the list of 50 Youngest U.S. Public Company Board members alongside Chelsea Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg.
She is a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business with 20+ years of experience in the area.