Moira Smith

Candidate for President-Elect (2020)

Moira Smith

(SEG 2000 F)

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Moira got her start in geology at age six on a family road trip throughout the American Southwest, where she purchased a box of mineral specimens for a dollar and was hooked for life. As a teen growing up in Seattle, Washington, she spent most of her free time climbing and skiing and marveling at the diversity of rocks and landscapes. She attended Pomona College, California, discovered a passion for mapping on weekend camping trips to the Mojave, and envisioned a career where she could do just that. But recession loomed when she graduated in 1983, and she sought the shelter of graduate school at Western Washington University, where she found herself in the company of radical tectonicists at a time when the concept of far-traveled terranes was just being recognized. Her advisor, Ned Brown, convinced her to pursue a Ph.D. degree, and she ended up at University of Arizona (U of A) under the advisement of George Gehrels. At U of A, she studied the mid-Paleozoic on-shelf to off-shelf transition in British Columbia, Washington, and Nevada through mapping and structural studies, as well as detrital zircon geochronology, in one of the first laboratories in the country that was equipped to do it. At this juncture, economic geologists were still the mysterious guys in the basement of the geology building who spent half their time away earning a living and joked about powdering cerussite and blowing it under the door of the clean lab.

Facing yet another recession at the end of her graduate career in 1990, Moira managed to secure employment with the British Columbia Geological Survey, where she could indulge her love of mountains, climbing, and mapping in the wilds of the northern Coast Range and Saint Elias Range, learning about ore deposits by mapping their geologic and tectonic setting.

Finally, after 10 years of academic training and four years working in government, Moira joined Teck in the Kamloops, British Columbia, office in 1995. A number of fantastic opportunities, combined with an inability to say no, landed this economic geology greenhorn on a steep learning curve, managing a large drill program in the jungle in Panama at the Petaquilla copper porphyry deposit, followed in short order by another large project, the high-grade Pogo intrusion-related gold project in Alaska. She found her sweet spot in the large project environment, working with geologists, engineers, and metallurgists making rocks into economic deposits. Moira spent several more years with Teck, with the highlights including a stint at the El Limon gold skarn deposit in southern Mexico and work throughout the Americas. While not in the field, Moira indulged her love of travel and mountaineering, visiting all seven continents and scaling six of the "seven summits."

The experience gained working with geologists and engineers on great projects at a major mining company gave Moira the confidence to step off into the junior exploration sector in 2008, joining Fronteer Gold shortly after they purchased a large property portfolio in Nevada. One of the properties in the portfolio, Long Canyon, proved to be a company maker. Moira and the team recognized the influence of underlying ductile deformation on the architecture and plumbing of this off-trend Carlin-type gold system, quickly defining a high-grade gold oxide system worthy of attention from a major mining company. Fronteer was purchased by Newmont for $2.3 billion in 2011. Many of the Fronteer employees united to form Liberty Gold in 2011, defining several Au-Cu porphyry and Au-Ag high-sulfidation deposits in Turkey and off-trend Carlin-style deposits in the Great Basin.

Moira is currently the vice president of exploration for Liberty Gold, managing teams at the Goldstrike and Black Pine Carlin-style gold oxide deposits in Utah and Idaho. She contributes to other companies in the Oxygen Capital Corp. family, recently joining the board of directors of Discovery Metals. She resides in Spring Creek, Nevada, with her partner, Dan, three cats, a big yard and a bigger view of the mountains, and wonders if she could ever live in a big city again.

Moira has participated in a large number of economic geology organizations over the years, as a board member of the Mineral Deposits Research Unit at University of British Columbia, a board member of the British Columbia Yukon Chamber of Mines (now AMEBC) and Round-up organizing committee, chair of the Mineral Deposits Division of the Geological Association of Canada, executive of the Vancouver Mineral Exploration Group, president of the Kamloops Exploration Group, chapter president of the Geological Society of Nevada, and technical co-chair of the GSN 2015 Symposium. She is a P.Geo. registered in the province of British Columbia and a qualified person under Canadian NI 43–101.

Moira has been a member of SEG since 2000 and a Fellow since 2004. She was an SEG Councilor from 2011 to 2013. She has participated in a number of SEG committees, including the Nominating Committee (2012) and Awards Committee (2013), and chaired the notorious Committee on Committees (2004). She led an SEG field trip to visit major mines in Nevada (2013) and co-organized an SEG short course on the diversity of Carlin deposits in 2015. She has published a number of papers in Economic Geology, the SEG Newsletter, and other SEG publications, presented at numerous conferences, and reviewed a number of manuscripts for publication.

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Cesar Aguirre

Candidate for Councilor (2020-2022)

Cesar Aguirre

(SEG 2006 F)

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Cesar is currently working as a country manager in Peru for Teck Resources Limited. He graduated from the National Engineering University in Lima-Peru and received an M.Sc. degree in economic geology from CODES, University of Tasmania. He is a fellow member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), Fellow of the SEG, and president of the board of directors at Search and Rescue Control Center (SARCC), a nonprofit organization that is part of the Peruvian Mining Society and that provides training and assistance in the communication, safety, and security issues for the company members, who perform mining activities in Peru. He has served as president of the International Congress of Prospectors and Explorers (proEXPLO 2013), a member of the Consultive Committee of proEXPLO 2015 and 2017, and is a member of the Mining Engineering Institute of Peru (IIMP).

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Vanessa Lickfold

Candidate for Councilor (2020-2022)

Vanessa Lickfold

(SEG 1997 F)

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The first inkling Vanessa had that she’d found her passion for geology was at a school camp as a young teenager when one of the leaders asked her how she thought the rock formations they were walking on had formed. She went on to complete her B.Sc. degree, with Honors, at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa in 1991 and then commenced her professional career as an open-pit coal production geologist with Iscor Limited in South Africa. Still with Iscor, she moved into base metal exploration, working on MVT-style zinc-lead deposits, and then into heavy mineral sands exploration and development projects. While working in heavy minerals in 1998, she completed her M.Sc. degree in exploration geology at Rhodes University in South Africa, and it was there she saw an advertisement for a Ph.D. program at CODES in Australia. So it was off to Tasmania, where she completed her Ph.D. studies on the Northparkes porphyry copper-gold deposits in New South Wales. She headed back to South Africa in early 2002 to take up a position in mineral resource development and management with Kumba Resources, where she helped optimize the geologic function and was the key technical advisor for several potential base metals and iron ore opportunities in China, Guinea, Brazil, Indonesia, Mauritania, and Morocco. In 2006, Vanessa took on the role of head of geosciences for Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore. Still in South Africa, Vanessa then expanded her horizons by moving into business development, where from 2011 to 2013 she managed the development of a second iron ore footprint for the company in West and Central Africa. Vanessa then moved to London in late 2013 to take up the position of head of early studies for Anglo American’s group technical and sustainability function, where she led the analysis and evaluation of early-stage mining studies, including porphyry copper deposits in Chile, iron ore deposits in Brazil, and base metals deposits in Scandinavia. Hatch Associates appointed Vanessa as their metals and mining director for Europe in early 2017, where she assessed base metals and gold geometallurgy opportunities in Europe and Chile, respectively, and worked closely with their technology team to investigate strategies for getting our industry ready for digital transformation and real-time data decision making. Vanessa started in her current role of head of geoscience for BHP’s Western Australia Iron Ore in early 2018 in Perth, Australia.

Vanessa has authored or co-authored 11 journal and conference papers and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa, Geological Society of London, the SEG and AusIMM. Vanessa first got involved in SEG matters when she assisted with the coordination of the combined SEG-GSSA conference in Johannesburg in 2008. She then was on the SEG Fellowship Committee. She commenced mentoring young professionals in 2008 and recently joined the International Women in Resources Mentoring Programme. She has been an external examiner for M.Sc. theses (University of Johannesburg, University of the Witwatersrand, and the University of the Free State in South Africa) and peer reviewer for Economic Geology since 2010.

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Craig McEwan

Candidate for Councilor (2020-2022)

Craig McEwan

(SEG 1991 F)

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Craig is from Glasgow, Scotland, and graduated with a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in applied geology from Strathclyde University in 1983 followed by his Ph.D. degree from Aberdeen University in 1988. After graduation and a bit of part-time fieldwork with the British Geological Survey, Craig moved to La Paz to work for Charles "Scottie" Bruce, Johnny Delgado, and Stewart Redwood at MINTEC. Two years exploring mainly for epithermal precious metal systems in the Altiplano and Western Cordillera of Bolivia led to a job with the RTZ joint venture in Bolivia and on to work with RTZ exploring for porphyry copper systems in northern Chile based in Antofagasta. A brief return to Bolivia with RTZ to work on a high-sulfidation system was followed in 1996 by a move to Barrick Gold in Peru working on the recently discovered Pierina Au-Ag deposit. The next 17 years, with the exception of a two-year interlude in the United Kingdom and out of exploration, was spent with Barrick in Peru, Chile, Australia, and Papua New Guinea exploring for epithermal Au, porphyry Cu-Au, sediment- and greenstone-hosted Au, and IOCG deposits. Being part of the teams that discovered the Lagunas Norte deposit as well as new orebodies at the Pueblo Viejo mine were among the technical highlights of that time at Barrick, but just as important was the mentoring he was fortunate enough to receive and the experiences gained being part of a successful global exploration group. Since 2013, Craig has focused on exploration for porphyry Cu, sediment-hosted Cu, and IOCG deposits with Antofagasta Minerals in Australia and Peru.

Craig is a Fellow of the SEG and has served on the SEG Fellowship Admissions Committee and the SEGF Student Research Grants Committee.

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