Economic Geology and the New Global Energy Economy

Critical Minerals Series

Series Moderator


Edith Newton Wilson

Rock Whisperer LLC

Edith, founder and owner of Rock Whisperer, consults on renewable energy and climate mitigation. She is a Fellow of SEG and the Geological Society of London, a member of the AGU, and serves on multiple community boards. Edith holds a BA from Dartmouth and a PhD from Johns Hopkins. She began her career with Anaconda Minerals then transitioned to energy exploration with Amoco, bp, Phillips, ConocoPhillips, Samson and TallGrass Energy. Edith has traveled throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa - where she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro - and is conversant in French, Italian and Portuguese.

Panelists for Theme 1


Lucy Crane

Senior Geologist at Cornish Lithium

Lucy is a strong advocate for the standardization of sustainable and responsible practices in mining, promoting these actions to the wider public, and is passionate about making the industry a more diverse place to work. She has been on the committee for Young Mining Professionals London since its inception and is heavily involved in Women in Mining UK. She did a 2019 TEDx talk on "Mining our way to a low carbon future" which has been well received. She holds a degree in Earth Sciences from Oxford University, and a master's in Mining Geology from the Camborne School of Mines.


Jesse Edmondson

Professional Geologist

Jesse is a professional geologist passionate about creating environmentally sustainable domestic supply chains of critical minerals in the United States to help secure and support the future of American green-energy technology in the 21st century. Jesse has worked in mineral exploration since 2011 on a number of projects, including: gold/silver, graphite, lithium, rare earths, quartz, and mine tailings repurposing. Additionally, Jesse has worked extensively in business development to build relationships with battery-material customers and in government relations at the local, state, and federal levels to help educate and build support for domestic critical mineral projects.


Andrew Miller

Product Director at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, Ltd

Jesse Andrew oversees Benchmark's supply chain research and analysis, from downstream assessments of anode, cathode and battery production to pricing and forecasting for the key lithium-ion battery raw materials - lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite. He delivers industry presentations and travels globally to mines and processing plants. Andrew has advised some of the world's leading institutional investors, auto OEMs, battery producers and mining companies. He also manages a portfolio of subscription services for market and price data. Prior to Benchmark, Andrew worked in metal and financial markets and graduated with a first-class honors degree in Economics from the University of East Anglia.

Panelists for Theme 2


Felipe Gallardo


Felipe is a restless and passionate 33-year-old professional who holds a BSc and a professional degree in Geology, and also an MSc in Geology, all from Universidad de Chile. He dedicated his first years of professional activity to the Tectonics and Structural Geology fields, from a more regional and academic perspective, and participated in the developments of an official Geological Map for the Chilean National Geological and Mining Service. He also loves teaching and, as so, has worked as an Assistant Professor for another Chilean university (Universidad Mayor). After spending a year in Germany on a working-holiday program, he finally arrived at the lithium sector and started working for SQM in 2017, first as an Exploration Geologist and soon after as Project Hydrogeologist. Since then, during the last 4 years he has had the chance of studying the Salar de Atacama to a great extent and participate in projects related to both exploration and extraction of high-Li brines, and to analysing the Salar's "big picture" through the development of the conceptual hydrogeological model of the basin. During 2021 he will finish a degree course on Groundwater Hydrology.

Last but absolutely not least, hydrogeology is what lets him do what he loves the most: practicing sports. He is an amateur runner, road-cyclist and triathlete, and also loves playing tennis and hiking.


Murray Hitzman


Murray holds an SFI Professorship in the School of Earth Sciences at University College Dublin and is also the Director of the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG). He served as Associate Director for Energy and Minerals at the U.S. Geological Survey (2016-2017) and was the Charles Fogarty Professor of Economic Geology at Colorado School of Mines from 1996 to 2016 where a primary research focus was the geology of the Central African Copperbelt (Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia). Dr. Hitzman served in Washington, D.C. as a policy analyst in both the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1994-1996) during the Clinton Administration and the U.S. Senate (1993-1994) for Senator Joseph Lieberman (CT). He worked in the petroleum and minerals industries from 1976 to 1993 primarily conducting mineral exploration worldwide and was largely responsible for Chevron Corporation’s Lisheen Zn-Pb-Ag deposit discovery in Ireland (1990). Hitzman has B.A. degrees in geology and anthropology from Dartmouth College (1976), an M.S. in geology from University of Washington (1978), and a Ph.D. in geology from Stanford University (1983). He has previously served on the boards of a number of mineral exploration and mining companies and currently serves as technical advisor for the private company KoBold, focused on utilizing machine learning for cobalt exploration. He has received a number of awards, including the Chevron Chairman’s award for the Lisheen discovery (1992), the Society of Economic Geologists Silver Medal (1999), the Daniel C. Jackling Award by the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, and the Des Pretorius Award by the Geological Society of South Africa (both 2015), and the Haddon Forrester King Medal by the Australian Academy of Sciences (2016).


Joel Hrominchuk


Joel is a passionate outdoorsman and explorationist. He is a registered Professional Geologist with 27 years experience in global exploration for a wide range of commodities, currently the Head of Geoscience for BHP Exploration. Previously, Joel served as General Manager of Exploration for Vale focused on Nickel and Copper in North America and other roles in Innovation and Technology and Greenfields exploration. Prior to Vale he worked in the Junior exploration market for several companies with a global focus. Joel started his career with Noranda and Falconbridge holding progressively more senior roles over 12 years. Working in Greenfields and Brownfields he shares in significant discoveries in Africa, South America, and North America.

A graduate of Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada with an HBSc. in Geology and BSc in Geomorphology, he also holds a Master's Degree in Economic Geology from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario Canada. Joel is an avid sportsman and enjoys skiing, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, climbing and travelling.


Andrew Scogings


Andrew is a geologist with close on 30 years' experience of industrial minerals exploration, resource estimation, product development and sales management. He has worked directly in the industry and also as a consultant, providing technical advice as a Competent Person for a diverse range of industrial minerals projects including bentonite, chromite, fluorite, graphite, kaolin, lithium, mineral sands, potash, silica sand, REE and vermiculite. Andrew is a Registered Professional Geoscientist (RP Geo. Industrial Minerals) with the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. He has published papers on reporting requirements of the JORC Code 2012 as it pertains to industrial minerals, with specific reference to Clauses 18 and 19 (Exploration Results), Clause 49 (product specifications) and JORC Table 1. In addition, he has written and co-authored articles about QA/QC, bulk density, drilling methods, petrography and geometallurgy with respect to industrial minerals exploration and Mineral Resource reporting. Andrew was senior author of two significant industrial mineral reviews: Drilling grade barite – Supply, Demand & Markets and Natural Graphite Report – strategic outlook to 2020 published in 2015 by Industrial Minerals Research (UK). He has co-authored several papers on lithium pegmatites including: Reporting Exploration Results and Mineral Resources for lithium mineralised pegmatites published during 2016 in the AIG Journal. Andrew and senior author Dr. Bill Shaw were awarded the AusIMM ‘Best paper prize’ in 2018 for a paper entitled ‘The importance of geometallurgical test work for industrial minerals projects’ presented at the Tenth International Mining Geology Conference in 2017.

Panelists for Theme 3


David Anonychuk


David is Global Vice President, Metallurgy and Consulting, at Société Générale de Surveillance SA (SGS). With over 25 years of international mining and metallurgical experience, he has worked in consulting, operational and marketing positions at major metals producers and mining consultancies, including Newmont, Noranda, and Glencore. Now David puts his Metallurgical Engineering and MBA degrees to work in expanding the global reach of services for SGS. He is always excited to connect with students and colleagues about the opportunities for technical professionals in the energy transition as we work together to build a more robust and sustainable battery supply chain.


Igor Barsukov


Igor, an Executive MBA with the University of Illinois and an Honorary Professor KNUTD, is American Energy Technologies Co.'s (AETC) Technology and Business Development Manager, as well as a company officer. Dr. Barsukov is a professional materials scientist and electrochemist. He is well known for his work with industrial graphite, carbons, and batteries. Within 1998-2009, Dr. Barsukov has developed and commercialized several grades of carbon, which presently directly benefit the US battery market, including Alkaline, Lead Acid, Lithium-Ion and Li primary batteries. New materials, developed under Dr. Barsukov's efforts complemented critical technological advancements in the following well-known consumer battery platforms: "Energizer® New Advanced Formula®", "Energizer® e2", "Rayovac Maximum Plus™", "Cegasa Super Alkaline", "Rayovac Infinity Gold®", Varta® High Energy, etc. As of 2009 he and the rest of AETC team have put on the market 8 new graphites, 2 dispersions, and 5 fully developed unique long calendar life Lithium primary battery systems for specialty applications with US DOD. AETC is a hi-tech secondary beneficiation facility located in Arlington Heights, IL. It has a fully functional laboratory, pilot plant and since recently, production operations that support domestic supply chains for batteries and value-added forms of graphite ( The company offers a number of year-round internship and employment opportunities for STEM and specialty disciplines such as geology.


Paige Johnson

Ten-Nine Technologies

Paige is a founder and visionary with a hungry mind and a commitment to new ideas. Her scientific endeavors were sparked by the gift of a microscope for her 11th birthday and led her to a master's degree in Chemistry and at least one patent granted at every place she ever worked. She founded Ten-Nine Technologies in 2014, with the realization that "I had been founding things my whole life, really, always taking a new approach or launching a new program." Paige's own principals of curiosity, generosity and authenticity are the basis for Ten-Nine's culture. In her spare time, she explores urban design - from the atomic gardens of the 1960s to children's playgrounds - and helps formerly incarcerated women start their own small businesses via her non-profit, the Gilded Sparrows. Paige has chosen to build and grow Ten-Nine in her hometown of Tulsa and hopes more high-tech businesses will blossom in their founders' backyards.


Rebecca Paisley

Cornish Lithium

Rebecca is a geoscientist and holds a PhD in Earth & Planetary Sciences from McGill University, Canada, and master's degree in Earth Sciences from the University of Oxford, UK. She specializes in using geochemical data to constrain sub-surface processes in a variety of geological environments. After a recent internship with the commodity research firm Roskill, Rebecca joined Cornish Lithium to assist with developing the geochemical side of their exploration efforts. Rebecca currently designs and implements the geothermal waters sampling strategies for Cornish Lithium. Data collected from different sampling campaigns is used to understand the geothermal waters in a regional and global context. She also works alongside technology providers in understanding the requirements for extraction of lithium from different geothermal fluids.

Panelists for Theme 4


Alex Grant

Jade Cove Partners

Alex is Principal at Jade Cove Partners. He is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree in Energy for 2021, and a research affiliate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Alex is Partner at Minviro, where he helps build environmental impact models of lithium-ion battery supply chain processes. He is also Technology Innovation Advisor at Zelandez, a lithium brinefield services company with operations in Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Alex is a co-founder of Lilac Solutions, a Silicon Valley lithium extraction technology company funded by Bill Gates's Breakthrough Energy Ventures. He has an M.S. from Northwestern University in Chemical Engineering and a B.Eng. from McGill University in Chemical Engineering and Philosophy. Find Alex by Linkedin, Twitter, or email. He is based in beautiful San Francisco, California.


Loren Nicholls

University of Queensland

Loren is a Ph.D. candidate at the Sustainable Minerals Institute within The University of Queensland. Her research focuses on exploring the secondary prospectively of mine wastes for critical metals, in order to meet supply demands for more sustainably and socio-environmentally sourced materials within a circular economy framework. In particular, Loren is investigating the potential for Co endowment and recovery within mine waste at Capricorn Copper Mine using geometallurgical characterization and improved processing technologies. This research is funded by the Geological Survey of Queensland as part of the New Economy Minerals Initiative (NEMI). Prior to her Ph.D., Loren spent 10+ years in industry, working as a Mining and Exploration Geologist for gold and copper throughout Australia, Fiji and Indonesia.


Anita Parbhakar-Fox

University of Queensland

Anita is the Group Leader of the new 'Mine Waste Transformation through Characterization' team at the W.H. Bryan Mining and Geology Research Centre - part of the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland. Anita's research is focused on mine waste characterization to improve mine planning and waste management practices where she has worked with mining industry, METS sector and government stakeholders. She has developed new tests and protocols for improving waste characterization and is also involved in identifying remediation options for abandoned/historical mine sites. Most recently, Anita has led government and industry funded projects characterizing a range of mine waste materials to evaluate their economic potential.


Grace Snyder-Hansen


Grace is a materials scientist and a rising leader at American Energy Technologies Co. (AETC), a vibrant woman-owned business with operation facilities in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, IL. She works at AETC's facility located in Arlington Heights, IL, which is a project-based, research and development, and manufacturing company that specializes in industrial graphite, carbon, and semiconductor materials. As one part of her job, she characterizes the material properties of graphite for use in batteries such as electric vehicle, primary, and rechargeable batteries as well as for use in green and nanotechnologies, advanced coatings systems, and other products. Grace also has hands-on experience with materials and processes associated with the recycling and reuse of components of lithium-ion batteries. Grace is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with a B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering. She is an avid reader, a history lover, a theater enthusiast, and a strong believer in environmentally conscious living.