Board of Directors

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Roger F. Noriega, Ambassador (Ret.)

Independent Director & Member of the Audit Committee

Ambassador Roger Noriega has been an independent director since 2012, and a member of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors since 2021. He has extensive experience in Latin America. Amb. Noriega was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and served from 2003 to 2005. In that capacity, Amb. Noriega managed a 3,000-person team of professionals in Washington and 50 diplomatic posts to design and implement political and economic strategies in Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Prior to this assignment, Amb. Noriega served as U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States from 2001 to 2003. Since 2009, Amb. Noriega has been the Managing Director of Vision Americas, a Latin America-focused consulting group that he founded. Amb. Noriega has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washburn University of Topeka, Kansas.

Stephen R. Petersen, CFA

Independent Director & Member of the Audit Committee

Stephen R. Petersen, CFA has been an independent director since 2021 and a member of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors since 202. Mr. Petersen has over 40 years of experience in capital markets and investment management. Since 2013, he has been a Managing Director and member of the Investment Committee at Prio Wealth, an independent investment management firm with over $3 billion in assets under management. Previously, Mr. Petersen served as Senior Vice President, Investments at Fidelity Investments for approximately 32 years. During his tenure at Fidelity, Mr. Petersen served as a Portfolio Manager and Group Leader of The Fidelity Management Trust Company and was responsible for managing several equity income and balanced mutual funds such as Fidelity Equity Income Fund (1993-2011), Fidelity Balanced Fund (1996-1997), Fidelity VIP Equity-Income Fund (1997-2011), Fidelity Puritan Fund (2000-2007), Fidelity Advisor Equity-Income Fund (2009-2011), and Fidelity Equity-Income II (2009-2011). He began his career at Fidelity as an Equity Analyst. Mr. Petersen received a B.B.A. in Finance and an M.S. in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mr. Petersen serves on the Board of the University of Wisconsin Foundation and Chairs its Investment Committee. He also is Co-Chair of the Executive Committee for the Catholic Schools Foundation Inner-City Scholarship Fund. Mr. Petersen is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Cassi Olson, ESQ

Independent Director & Member of the Audit Committee

Cassiopeia Olson, Esq. has been an independent director since 2021, and a member of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors since 2021. She is an attorney with extensive experience in international contracts and venture negotiations. She has represented or engaged in transactions with leading companies, including Credit Suisse, UBS, Apollo Group, Universal Music Group, Sony, Chrysler/Jeep, Stella Artois, Miller Brewing Company, General Motors, McDonald’s, and Verizon, among others. From 2013 to 2017, Ms. Olson was at Brighton Capital Ltd, and from 2017 to January 2021, she was an attorney with Kaplowitz Firm, PC. Since February 2021, Ms. Olson has been an attorney with Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LP. She received a B.A. in Economics and Finance from Loyola University in Chicago, and a J.D. from The John Marshall School of Law.

Marc Fogassa

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Marc Fogassa has been a director and our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 2012. He has extensive experience in venture capital and public company chief executive management. He has served on boards of directors of multiple private companies in various industries and has been invited to speak about investment issues, particularly as related to Brazil. Mr. Fogassa double majored at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), graduating with two Bachelor of Science degrees in 1990. He later graduated from the Harvard Medical School with a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1995 and also from the Harvard Business School with a Master of Business Administration degree in 1999 with Second-Year Honors. At Harvard Business School, he was Co-President of the Venture Capital and Private Equity Club. Mr. Fogassa was born in Brazil and is fluent in Portuguese and English. Mr. Fogassa is also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jupiter Gold Corporation and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Apollo Resources Corporation, two companies in which we own equity positions.

Brian Talbot

Director and Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Talbot has an extensive track record as a technical and operational leader throughout his career with over 30 years of experience in mining operations. In particular, he has extensive experience in DMS (dense media separation) plant development and operation. Most recently, Mr. Talbot was employed by RTEK International DMCC (“RTEK”), a consulting firm that advises lithium developers and producers. From July 2022 to September 2023, Mr. Talbot was the Chief Operating Officer at Sigma Lithium Corporation, a Canadian lithium producer with operations in Brazil. At Sigma Lithium, he oversaw the development of that company’s flagship Grota do Cirilo project from construction through commissioning and operations. From 2017 to 2022, Mr. Talbot held positions as General Manager and Head of Australian Operations at Galaxy Resources, now part of Arcadium Lithium PLC, one of the world’s largest fully integrated lithium companies. While at Galaxy Resources, Mr. Talbot was instrumental in increasing the production at Mt. Cattlin (a hard-rock lithium mine in Ravensthorpe, Western Australia) which resulted in record production. From 2015 to 2017, Mr. Talbot was at Bikita Minerals in Zimbabwe, which owns and operates the longest running hard-rock lithium mine in the world. Mr. Talbot holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with Honors from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.