Candidates for SEG Officers

Profiles and Vision Statements

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Candidate for President-Elect (2021)

Francisco (Chico) de Azevedo, Jr.

(SEG 1996 F)

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Francisco (Chico) is from the interior of São Paulo state, Brazil, an area where geology was not a common profession. However, a curiosity in the natural sciences culminated with a B.Sc. degree in geology from the University of Brasilia in 1982, followed by work with the South African mining house GENCOR. He worked in Brazil for 12 years, initially as a mine geologist and then in gold exploration in the Archean and Proterozoic terranes. This experience included extensive training and mentoring, plus visits to several gold mines around the world, all of which was fundamental to reinforcing his interest in exploration. In 1994 he joined an internal research unit in GENCOR, which was designed for company geologists to improve their knowledge about styles of gold deposits and gold camps that were of interest to the company. A two-year study of gold mineralization in Paleozoic terranes worldwide was completed to help in the assessment of Andean Paleozoic belts for their gold potential. Research included site visits to major gold provinces around the world, including the Victoria slate belt in Australia, the Carolina slate belt in the USA, the Tien Shan belt in Uzbekistan and Russia, including Muruntau and the Sukhoy Log deposits, as well as interaction with local researchers in scientific institutions working on precious metal deposits and regional geology. This experience provided the company with the geologic framework to conduct exploration for gold deposits of similar style and age in Latin America, as well as personal motivation to continue in the exploration industry, starting with a transfer to Argentina to begin evaluation of Paleozoic gold occurrences.

Following a corporate shift by GENCOR from regional and in-house exploration to acquisition of advanced projects, in 1997 Chico joined IAMGOLD Corporation as exploration manager in Argentina. Exploration started with Paleozoic gold occurrences in northern Argentina and then expanded to epithermal gold prospects in Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks of the Patagonian massif. A decade later Chico was invited to join Gold Fields of South Africa as the South America exploration manager, targeting gold and copper deposits. Between 2007 and 2011 his team was responsible for the development of the Chucapaca (now San Gabriel) polymetallic deposit in southern Peru, in a joint venture with Buenaventura, and the discovery of the Salares Norte gold-silver deposit in northern Chile. With reduced exploration efforts by the company, he focused on the development of Salares Norte, which was taken to prefeasibility in 2016.

In early 2017 Chico and some colleagues founded Turmalina Metals Corp., with the objective to identify and develop gold and copper projects in South America, where he is currently executive vice president for business development. Chico was SEG Regional Vice President for South America between 2009 and 2011, served as Councilor from 2013 to 2015, and is currently a member of the International Exchange Lecturer Subcommittee.

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Candidate for Vice President for Regional Affairs (2021-2023)

Mike Venter

(SEG 2013 F)

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Mike was born and raised in Zimbabwe and after completing his high schooling in Cape Town went on to the University of Cape Town, graduating with a B.Sc. (Hons) geology degree in 1993. Upon graduation he was immediately dispatched by his sponsor company (JCI) to work as an underground production geologist on the Witwatersrand Au mines.

After generating solid underground experience, Mike got the break into exploration and spent the next 10 years working on a variety of exploration environments and commodities, including Au, diamond, base metals, Fe, and platinum group minerals (PGMs). Over the next five years, Mike was involved in the exploration and development of Ni-Cu-PGM and U projects throughout southern Africa before joining the MSA Group as a consulting geologist in 2007, where he was involved primarily in the evaluation of U, Ni-Cu, and rare earth element (REE) projects throughout Africa.

In 2012, Mike was appointed general manager geology for Advanced Metallurgical Group (AMG), a vertically integrated critical metals (Ta, Nb, Sn, graphite, Li, REEs, and Sb) company. Here Mike was responsible for the management of the company’s mining and exploration projects globally, and this experience was instrumental in providing him with key exposure to the new technology/critical/battery metals industries. Since 2015, he has operated as an independent consulting geologist providing advisory and project management to private and listed clients operating in this emerging sector.

Mike is a Qualified/Competent Person for U, REEs, graphite, and Li/Ta/Nb and is also member of the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA) and a science committee member of the Cape Town Science Centre (CTSC).

For the SEG, Mike has been Regional Vice President for Africa (2015-2020) and during this term has guided the planning of the SEG Centenary Africa field trip (to be held in 2021) and the establishment of three new SEG Student Chapters in South Africa, Namibia, and Ghana, as well expanding the scope of the only Africa-focused SEG fund, the Timothy Nutt Fund.

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Candidate for Vice President for Student Affairs (2021-2023)

Simon Jowitt

(SEG 2014 FL)

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Simon Jowitt is an economic geologist who is currently an assistant professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). Originally from Yorkshire, he has a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in geology from the University of Edinburgh, an M.Sc. degree in mining geology from the Camborne School of Mines, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Leicester, all in the UK. Prior to joining UNLV in 2016, Simon spent eight years at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, initially as a postdoctoral research fellow focusing on magmatic sulfide systems in a project funded by Anglo American. His research interests are broad but are focused on critical metal resources and the security of supply of the critical elements and the use of geochemistry to unravel geologic processes in a variety of settings, with direct application to mineralizing systems, igneous petrology, mineral exploration, global tectonics, and the links between magmatism and metallogeny. He has extensive expertise in mineral economics, metal criticality, and the "economic" side of economic geology and has several recent publications on global Cu, Ni, Co, Pb-Zn, platinum group element, rare earth element, and indium resources. Simon is currently the chief editor of Applied Earth Science, an associate editor of Economic Geology and Ore Geology Reviews, on the editorial boards of Results in Geochemistry, Lithosphere, Frontiers in Economic Geology, Resources, and SN Applied Sciences, and vice president of the IAVCEI Large Igneous Provinces Commission, and he has published more than 75 scientific papers to date. He was awarded the SEG Lindgren Award in 2014.

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Candidate for Councilor (2021-2023)

José R. (Pepo) Arce

(SEG 2014 F)

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José R. (Pepo) Arce earned his B.S. degree in geology and geophysics from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1991. He then received an M.S. degree in geophysical engineering from the University of Arizona in 1993. After completing his studies, José returned to his home country, Perú, and has worked in Arce Geofísicos ever since, completing 945 geophysical surveys to date and working as a consultant throughout Latin America and in Canada. He specializes in potential field methods, as well as electrical, electromagnetic, and seismic applications. José actively engages in developing methods, software techniques, and new geophysical applications for mining, groundwater, and geotechnical surveys.

José joined the SEG in 2007. His commitment to the Society includes service in several positions—as Regional Vice President for South America and on the Committee for Comittees. He is currently active on the Fellowship Admissions Committee.

In addition to his volunteer service to SEG, José has been an active member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists since 1988, in which he held positions as chair of the Mining Committee as well as for the Near-Surface Technical Section (NSTS). He has been part of the council representing district 6 (Latin America) and currently, the NSTS. He will chair the Meetings and Review Planning Committee (MRPC) beginning in October 2020. José presided over the Latin American Geological Congress in 2008, and the Peruvian Geological Society.

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Candidate for Councilor (2021-2023)

Sarah Dare

(SEG 2018 F)

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Sarah Dare is an associate professor at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC) in Canada where she holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Geochemistry Applied to Ore Deposits and teaches geochemistry and igneous petrology in French. Her research interests focus on magmatic ore deposits (sulfide and oxide systems) and their host intrusions. She uses trace elements in the ore minerals (sulfides, Fe oxides, chromite, apatite), analyzed by laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, to unravel ore-forming processes. Sarah is also involved in developing magnetite, apatite, and sulfide chemistry as indicator minerals for exploration. She supervises a diverse research team of national and international students.

Sarah is from the East Coast of England and knew from an early age that she wanted to be a geologist. She graduated with a B.A. degree in natural sciences, followed by an M.Sci. degree in geological sciences from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, in 2003. She received her Ph.D. degree from Cardiff University, UK, in 2008, where she worked on geochemical fingerprinting of chromite in the mantle section of the Oman ophiolite under the supervision of Prof. Julian Pearce and in collaboration with the British Geological Survey. In 2008, she moved to Quebec, Canada, to carry out postdoctoral work at UQAC on magmatic Ni-Cu sulfide deposits with Prof. Sarah-Jane Barnes and in collaboration with Vale mining company in Canada. Her worked first focused on the distribution of platinum group elements (PGEs) and chalcophile elements among the base metal sulfides and platinum group minerals from Sudbury Ni-Cu-PGE deposits. Still at UQAC, she worked on a number of projects developing Fe oxide chemistry as an indicator mineral for the petrogenesis and exploration of Ni-Cu-PGE deposits and Fe-Ti-V-P deposits, in collaboration with Prof. Georges Beaudoin (Université Laval), the Geological Survey of Canada, and Vale. In 2014, Sarah was an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa before returning to UQAC in 2018.

Sarah has authored or coauthored 13 journal papers and numerous conference papers in the field of economic geology. She was awarded the W.H. Gross Award (young scientist award) from the Mineral Deposits Division of the Geological Association of Canada in 2016 and the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) Young Scientist Award in 2017. She is a Fellow of the SEG, Chair of the SEG Graduate Student Fellowship Committee (since 2018), and academic sponsor for the SEG Student Chapter at UQAC. She is the mother of two boys under the age of five, who already have started their own mineral and fossil collections!

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Candidate for Councilor (2021-2023)

Richard Herrington

(SEG 2004 F)

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Following summer holidays spent fossicking on mine dumps in Cornwall, Richard realized that he had a passion for geology and mineral deposits, so he enrolled as an undergraduate at the Royal School of Mines (aka Imperial College, London) to study mining geology, graduating in 1980. Richard then went straight to work as an exploration geologist, very briefly for Falconbridge and then for Cominco for seven years, spending time on exploration programs, largely in Europe—the UK, France, Italy, and latterly Turkey, where Cominco opened up a successful period of exploration discovery in that country. Exploration in what might be considered as vacation destinations brought with it a range of significant but quite different challenges from those encountered when exploring in more remote places. More specifically, Richard was able to see, as an early career, junior geologist, the importance of respectful engagement with local communities and how important it is to develop both respect and mutual interests for all parties right from the start.

Richard's quest for understanding how mineral deposits formed drew him back to undertake a Ph.D. degree in London, spending time unraveling the processes of gold formation in Zimbabwe. This was supported by a bursary from Rio Tinto and involving much time underground mapping the faces of a deep, hot, and narrow gold mine, at the same time developing enormous respect for the production side of the minerals business. Deciding that research had now become a passion, he moved down the road to the Natural History Museum (NHM) in 1991 and since then has remained there to build a mineral deposit research program for the NHM centered around the large ore collection that at the time had no curator and not much active applied research. Between 1991 and 2013, he developed the ore deposit research program at the NHM that has grown to become the currently successful home of the LODE and CERCAMS research groups. Richard's research has always been focused toward the minerals industry, with work funded through a mixture of academic and industry sources, building projects very much around the integration of strong academic output matched by practical outcomes for both industry and society. Richard has more than 90 publications in international journals, continues to teach the ore deposit module at Imperial College (RSM), where he is visiting professor, and has an adjunct role at the rival Camborne School of Mines, Cornwall. During his career, he has supervised many successful M.Sci. and Ph.D. students, with successful placement of many of those into leading industry and academic roles in economic geology.

Since 2013 Richard has been head of earth sciences at the NHM, still managing to keep an active research and undergraduate teaching portfolio. More recently, he spent time as the museum's acting director of science, helping to craft its new strategy and work on the new science plan.

Richard has been an SEG member since 1992 and has served on the Lindgren Award Committee from 2007 to 2010, as Regional Vice President for Europe 2012 to 2014, and as Chair of the Committee on Committees in 2015. He is also a former council member of the Geological Society of London and has served as a regional vice president for the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) between 2005 and 2009. Richard has also had roles with the EU Raw Materials Programme from 2012 to 2017.

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