Metals, Sustainability, and Society: The Importance of Economic Geology



John Thompson

PetraScience Consultants

Since 2012, John has partnered in a consulting business based in Vancouver, BC, focused on exploration, mining, innovation and sustainability. He is the Honorary Professor of Responsible Resources at the University Bristol, UK, and previously, was the Wold Professor of Environmental Balance for Human Sustainability at Cornell University. He was Chief Geoscientist for Teck Resources (1998-2005) and Vice President Technology and Development (2005-2012) – in the latter role he was responsible for innovation and technology-related transactions. Prior to Teck, John directed the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU) at the University of British Columbia.

John has held diverse leadership roles in many organizations including Genome BC, the World Economic Forum, Resources for Future Generations 2018, and the Society of Economic Geologists. He was a co-founder of both Geoscience BC and the Canada Mining Innovation Council. He is a director of KoBold Metals and MineSense, a co-founder of Regeneration, and has advisory roles for several exploration, technology, venture capital, and research organizations.


Sarah Gordon


Having completed her Ph.D. at Imperial College, Sarah went to work as a Geologist for Anglo American. She was lucky enough to live and work all over the world in a variety of functions from exploration through to sustainability, risk management, and assurance. This grounding allowed her to explore different risk management techniques and uses, applying them to real situations.

Sarah co-founded Satarla in 2014. Now with 90 Associates based globally and offices in London, Sydney, Johannesburg, and Toronto, Satarla provides risk management consultancy, training and research to organisations from sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, charities, finance, together with petrochemicals, energy, oil & gas, and mining. Specialising in making risk management practical and accessible to all those that use it, Sarah most enjoys projects through which a company's culture can be evolved to meet its values and purpose. In recent years, this has focused on integrated risk management with a focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance threats and opportunities.

In 2020, Sarah co-founded the not-for-profit Responsible Raw Materials. With the mission to create integration across raw materials value and supply chains, Responsible Raw Materials runs a series of events and research projects through which those with an interest in minerals and metals vital to the green industrial revolution can learn from one another and identify opportunities for improvement.

Sarah is an honorary lecturer at Imperial College London and Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg. Voted as one of the top 10 most inspirational women in mining in 2016, she is also a trustee of Geology for Global Development.



Lauren Zeeck

Event Moderator

Lauren is a Ph.D. candidate at Colorado School of Mines studying mineral textures and metal precipitation processes in low-sulfidation epithermal deposits. She completed her M.Sc. at Mines in 2018 and her B.A. at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2013. Lauren has worked as an exploration geologist for a number of companies in the US, Canada, and Japan since 2016.