Chief Executive Officer
Willard M Mbalaka
Willard has acquired over 20 years’ industry experience in leadership and technical expertise in exploration strategy formulation, programme design and planning, including technical risking and ranking, budgeting, investment approvals, developing of programme execution plans, operations plans, exit gates, community management plans, new country entry, technical assessments, mineral resource technical audits and reviews, validation and due diligence; conceptual (scoping), pre- and definitive feasibility studies, management of mineral exploration, resource evaluation, and mineral projects valuation. He has worked on an array of commodities including platinum group metals, nickel, gold (alluvial and hard rock), coal, copper, uranium, limestone for cement, potash, fluorspar, vanadium, iron ore, manganese, tin, tantalite, lithium, dimension stones, and gemstones. This experience spans many geographic jurisdictions including East (Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia), West (Mali, Ghana), Central (DRC, Gabon) and Southern Africa (Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland), Asia (Pakistan), Australia and the USA (Colorado). He has worked for major mining companies (Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto), junior mining companies (Sephaku Holdings, Incubex Minerals, Asian Precious Minerals), and government agencies (Council for Geoscience, SA).
He is part of the team that successfully completed a feasibility study for Sephaku (now Dangote) Cement, Sephaku Fluoride and various other smaller projects in South Africa. His latest project was to lead a team to successfully develop a JORC complaint limestone resource and complete a Definitive Feasibility Study for the establishment of a 7200tpd Cement Plant in Punjab Province, Pakistan. The project is now known as Lion Rock Cement Project and the cement plant is being supplied by FL Smidth of Denmark. He was also in charge of FL Smidth’s SWECOs recommended geotechnical soil investigations for the Cement Plant site.
He studied undergraduate and post graduate geology at Universities of Zimbabwe and Witwatersrand (South Africa) and also hold a Master of Business Leadership (MBL) degree from the UNISA School of Business Leadership in South Africa. He continuously updates his expertise- including knowledge of international trends, developments and new technologies - through conference and workshop attendance and reading relevant journals and publications. Some relevant courses attended include: Technical and Financial Evaluation of Mineral Projects (Imperial College); Competence Person’s Training (BHP Billiton); Financial Valuation of Gold Deposits (UJ, South Africa); Flexi-Cadastre Workshop (South Africa), Coal Exploration in Southern Africa (Fossil Fuel Foundation, South Africa), Geochemical Exploration Techniques (Keystone, Colorado), PGE and Nickel Exploration and Mining in Africa (GSSA-South Africa). He also participated in the USGS Programme on Mineral Inventory and an Assessment of Undiscovered Potash, Platinum Group Elements and Sediment-Hosted Stratabound Copper in Africa. He is proficient in several GIS and Modelling Softwares (ArcGIS, Micromine, and Geosoft-Target) and has a basic understanding of Datamine Studio and Sable Warehouse.
He is a registered Professional Natural Scientist (Pr. Sci. Nat: Reg # 115164) with the South African Council for Scientific Professions (SACNASP) and is a Member Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA) and an Associate South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM)
Ephraim is a professional geologist with 17 years’ experience. Ephraim’s professional career has involved initial conceptualisation, target generation and grass-roots prospecting, through to supervision of drilling programmes, remote sensing, geophysics, geotechnical engineering, project evaluation technical assessments, mineral resource technical audits and reviews, due diligence and participation in feasibility studies searching and mining for gold, iron ore, limestone,gypsum, phosphates, diamonds, coal, platinum, nickel, rare earth elements and manganese working with highly recognised multinational mining and exploration companies.
Ephraim has worked as project manager at Bastillion Resources on the G S Cimentos owned Salamanga limestone (Bella Vista) deposit in Mozambique which he managed from drilling to SAMREC compliant resource, raw mix designs and pre-feasibility studies for cement. He has worked as consultant on numerous projects including Anglo Gold Ashanti DRC Mongbwalu gold project, Oryx Moba gold project in DRC, Newmont Akyem and Subika gold projects in Ghana, Adamus Gold Mining Project Ghana, BHP Billiton IOCG Kitumba deposit in Zambia, Montero Mining Wigu Hills Rare Earth project in Tanzania, Lonmin PGMs project South Africa, Batho Pele Diamonds Lesotho, West Coast Resource Namaqualand Mines RSA, nickel and gold projects RSA, Rani Investments Cahora Bassa coal project in Mozambique and River Ranch Diamond project in Zimbabwe.
Ephraim has also done a number of country reports for PPC in Mozambique, Oryx North Sudan and Vale Zimbabwe. Ephraim has also done a review of lithium pegmatites, clays, and brines and evaporites in Africa. Ephraim started his carrier in Zimbabwe where he worked as Mine Geologist for Zisco Steel owned Buchwa Iron Mining Company. At Buchwa, Ephraim was mainly involved in iron ore, limestone and manganese exploration and mining. He has worked as Exploration Geologist for Caledonia Blanket Gold Mine and Senior Section Geologist at Rio Tinto Renco Gold Mine. Ephraim has also worked on numerous gold projects in the Zimbabwe Archean Craton. Ephraim is registered with SACNASP as a Certificated Natural Scientist Level A (registration number, 200093/12) and a member in good standing of the Geological Society of South Africa.
Associate: Structural Geologist and GPR
Dr Thomas Sithole
Thomas is an accomplished structural geologist with experience working in various geological terrains in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Australia, South Africa, Guinea and DRC where he has worked for various mining houses including, BHP Billiton, Anglo American, CAMEC and SAMREC. His over 20 years’ experience exposed to various commodities including gold, base metals, coal, and industrial minerals. He has co-authored various papers in reputable scientific publications. He did his PhD studies on “The tectonic evolution of the Makuti Group, NW Zimbabwe” under the supervision of the world-renowned structural geologists, Professors C.W. Passchier of Mainz University in Germany and Paul HGM Dirks of James Cooke University in Australia.His involvement in the Delta Gold-funded project on the structural controls on the gold mineralization around Morven Mine, Bubi district produced an excellent and award winning Honours thesis. He has worked as a part-time structural geology lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and did consultancy work on various gold projects in Zimbabwe’s greenstone belts. Thomas has co-authored 5 academic research papers published in leading geoscientific journals and presented at various international conferences.
Dr Sithole has acquired additional expertise in ultra-GPR and has used it on several projects in Africa mapping out gold shear veins, coal seams, limestone beds, kimberlite pipes and alluvial gravel layers.
Environmentalist and Biodiversity Expert
Gabriel T Ngorima
Gabriel Ngorima is a sustainability expert and an Environmental specialist based in Johannesburg. Gabriel holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences (Resource Conservation Biology) from Wits University. Gabriel also holds a Bachelor of Environmental Sciences honours degree. He previously worked as an Environmental Manager for Majuba Rail Project and Senior Advisor for SHE Management Department within Eskom Group. As a Senior Advisor he provided SHE management services to Medupi Power Station, Kusile Power Station and Eskom Properties (now Eskom Real Estate).
He previously worked as an Environmental Projects Manager for Bembani Sustainability Training and Strategic Environmental Focus which are both Environmental Consulting firms based in Gauteng Province of South Africa. At SEF, Gabriel was responsible for managing a wide variety of sustainability, waste management and environmental management projects within the energy, waste management, WWTW, housing development and construction sectors of South Africa. At Bembani, he worked for various projects in the mining and prospecting field and provided services to companies such as Anglo American, and Eskom.
Gabriel is registered as an Environmental Scientist and Ecologist with SACNASP. His key skills are environmental management, ecological assessment, biodiversity specialist, botanist, waste management, environmental law, safety & risk management, interpretation and enforcement of environmental and safety Legislation, SHE Audits and inspections in terms of ISO 9001, ISO14001 and ISO18001 standards.
Felihle is a qualified as a chemical engineer (UCT & WITS), practiced as a metallurgist in both metallurgical plant operations and metallurgical plant design, erection, construction and commissioning fields. held various positions within metallurgy in both fields including the appointments as head of metallurgy; alternate director and a manager of a full mining project with a mine to market responsibility.
Felihle is an associate of Kweneng through his company, MineWorks Metallurgy that specialises in: Metallurgy, process plant design and engineering, project management, process plant construction and commissioning, plant operation and management mining and metallurgical enterprise optimisation. He pioneered the "floating projects office" model to provide multi-disciplinary engineering solutions; technical support and project management services to existing mines. Key services include conceptual studies, prefeasibility studies, feasibility studies and full EPCM of brownfield projects.
He was previously General manage at Sepfluor’s Nokeng Fluorspar Mine for over 4 years after joining from K’Enyuka (RSV linked enterprise) where he was Head of Process Engineering and Lead Process Design Engineer for over 5 years. Prior to joining K’Enyuka, Felihle worked at Bateman Mineral Recovery (Apic Toll Treatment) as Process Engineer for two years. He had previously worked for De Beers as the Process Engineer for 3 years after joining from AngloGold Ashanti where he had started his career as Metallurgical Engineer and worked for 4 years.
Felihle is a graduate of the University of Cape Town where he obtained a BSc (Chemical Engineering) specialising in Petrochemical and Mineral Processing. He holds a Graduate Diploma in Engineering from Wits and a MBL from University of South Africa’s School of Business Leadership. He is registered with Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) as a Professional Engineer.
Pedzisai Desmond Mhlanga
Desmond is an accomplished and experienced geophysicist who has over 21 years’ experience in mineral exploration and ground water investigations. He has been involved in the mineral resource sector from early stage or grassroots programs until after evaluation stages through implementation of the proper and cost effective geophysical methods and resource modelling. He has worked for many major and junior companies in various capacities as field geophysicist, project geophysicist, regional geophysicist Africa and Consultant geophysicist. He has worked on various projects in Africa, Western Australia and South America.
He holds Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Applied Physics from the National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe and the MSc in Exploration Geophysics from the University of Zimbabwe. He also holds an Advanced Diploma in Business Project Management from University of Cape Town. He has attended various short courses in Airborne Magnetics and Electromagnetics, Geochemistry and Remote Sensing, Geophysical Ground Water Survey and Modelling using Encom Model Vision Software.
He is proficient and an expert in various geological softwares such as Geosoft Oasis Montaj , Q-Potent, Target, ER Mapper, ESRI ArcGIS, Model Vision and Profile analyst and Modeling software.