The officers of our management team have broad experience in both mining and many other industries. They bring unique qualifications, interests and viewpoints to Collective Mining.
Management & Advisors
Executive Chairman of the Board
Having dedicated the majority of his career to the natural resources industry, Ari Sussman has been instrumental in sourcing and funding high quality mineral assets and has raised more than $1 billion for various resource focused companies. Ari Sussman currently serves as Executive Chairman of the Board of Collective Mining Inc., a newly formed mineral exploration company focused on acquiring and developing mining projects in Latin America. From 2010 until March of 2020, Mr. Sussman was the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Continental Gold Inc. Under Mr. Sussman’s leadership, the Company raised almost $1 billion and discovered more than 11 million ounces of high-grade gold and silver at the Buriticá project in Antioquia, Colombia. After completing construction of the mine in early 2020, the Company was sold to Zijin Mining, one of the world’s largest diversified mining companies, for total consideration of approximately C$2 billion. Today, the world-class Buriticá mine, is the most modern and largest operating gold mine in Colombia with annual production expected to be more than 300,000 ounces of gold. Mr. Sussman was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and is married with three children.
María Constanza García Botero
She has extensive experience in Mining, Infrastructure, Energy, Urban Development and Public Finance, inclusive of high level responsibilities in government agencies, multilateral development institutions and private companies. She was President of the National Mining Agency (ANM), Deputy Minister of Transport Infrastructure and held leadership and advisory positions in the National Planning Department, the Hydrocarbons Agency and the Ministry of Finance in Colombia. She was also Director of International Cooperation for Agriteam, an international consultancy funded by the Government of Canada to advance governance in the extractive industry in Colombia, manager of large clients for CEMEX Colombia, and worked with the Interamerican Development Bank and the World Bank in Infrastructure, housing, urban development, municipal finance, and urbanism, in Washington DC. She has outstanding academic credentials, she is an Industrial Engineer from Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Colombia., with masters’ degrees in urban and regional planning, and in public administration from The Ohio State University, USA, and graduate level degrees in economics and public administration from Universidad de los Andes.
Dr. Thomas is President of Ken Thomas & Assoc. Inc. since 2012 and was formerly Senior Vice-President, Projects at Kinross Gold Corporation from 2009 to 2012. Prior to Kinross, Dr. Thomas was Global Managing Director and a Board Director at Hatch, for 6 years, a multinational engineering company providing project and construction management services to the metals, infrastructure and energy sectors. From 2003 to 2005, he was Chief Operating Officer at Crystallex International and earlier in his career, spent 14 years at Barrick Gold Corporation, including as Senior Vice-President, Technical Services. Dr. Thomas has a M.Sc. Management from Imperial College, London, U.K. and a Ph.D., Project Execution, from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. He is a Past President and a Fellow of The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum (the “Institute”). In 1999 & 2001, the Institute awarded Dr. Thomas the Airey Award and Selwyn G. Blaylock Medal, respectively, for advancement in international mine design. Dr. Thomas has previously served as a director for Avalon Advanced Materials, Cardinal Resources Limited, DRA Global and was the former lead director of Continental Gold.
Paul Murphy was a Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP from 1981 to 2010 including serving as National Mining Leader from 2004 to 2010. Throughout his career, Mr. Murphy has worked primarily in the resource sector, with a client list that includes major international oil and gas, and mining companies. His professional experience includes financial reporting controls, operational effectiveness, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and SEC reporting issues, financing, valuation, and taxation as they pertain to the mining sector. He was previously a Director of Continental Gold until its acquisition in March 2020, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Guyana Goldfields from 2010 to 2018, and Chief Financial Officer of Guyana Precious Metals from 2012 to 2018. Mr. Murphy obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University and his Chartered Accountant designation in 1975.
CEO and President
Omar Ossma has over 15 years of experience in the Mining and Energy Industry in Colombia, and over 20 years of experience in Colombian corporate, environmental, mining and energy law. He has focused most of his professional career and experience into structuring mining and energy projects in Colombia. As former Legal Vice President for Continental Gold he was instrumental in the Company´s strategy towards licensing, building, and putting in operation the Buriticá Project, the largest gold mine in Colombia, which was finally sold to Zijin Mining Group. Prior to Continental Gold, he served as Legal Vice-President of Minas Paz Del Rio, S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Brazilian industrial conglomerate Votorantim Group, and Legal Manager of Eco Oro Minerals Corp. Mr. Ossma has held senior positions as a lawyer in a number of mining and energy sector companies, including Empresa de Energía de Bogotá, a state owned company focussed on electricity and gas transportation in Central and South América, and Spaniard public utilities conglomerate Endesa Group (Emgesa S.A. Esp. – Codensa S.A. Esp). He holds a law degree from Universidad Externado de Colombia.
Mr. Begin was Chief Financial Officer of Continental Gold from May 2011 to March 2020, prior to which he served as Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary for Hanfeng Evergreen Inc., a developer and producer of value-added fertilizers in China and Southeast Asia (from 2009 until 2011), and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Trilliant Incorporated (formerly OZZ Corporation), a network solutions provider from 2004 until 2009. Prior to that, Mr. Begin served as Corporate Controller at MDC Partners Inc., a Canadian-based marketing communications and secure transactions company. Mr. Begin obtained his Chartered Accountant designation with BDO Dunwoody, LLP. Mr. Begin holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Toronto.
MSc. Economic Geology
Mr Reading has over 40 years of expertise in the global gold mining and base metal industries within the fields of exploration, feasibility, project development and mining. He was Special advisor to Continental Gold up until the Zijin sale, the former CEO of European Goldfields and previously head of exploration for Randgold Resources. Over the last ten years he has consulted to various Toronto and London based mining groups with assets in the Americas and the rest of the world. Mr Reading has an MSc in Economic Geology and is a fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG).
Ana Milena Vásquez
Executive Vice President
Mrs. Vásquez has more than 15 years of experience in the mining sector, in which she has held managerial positions. She was Senior VP of External Affairs and Sustainability for Continental Gold. Previously, she served as President of Red Eagle Exploration and its branch in Colombia; VP of Operations and Business Development of CB Gold Inc., a company of which she was co-founder; General Manager of Carbones Nueva Naricual in Venezuela and General Manager of Carbones del Cesar (Mina La Francia) in the Northern coal region in Colombia. Mrs. Vásquez has been a member of the Board of Directors of the ACM – National Association of Mining Companies in Colombia and of the Board of Directors of the Colombian Chamber of Mining. She is co-founder of Women In Mining Colombia and currently, holds the position of Vice President of this organization. Mrs. Vásquez has also been consultant for several companies in the sustainability area, specifically in gender equality. She has a Master in Financial Analysis from the Carlos III University of Madrid and Professional in Finance and International Affairs from the Externado University.
Mr. Mehra is a seasoned executive with 35 years of global experience in the minerals industry. Mr. Mehra is an economist by training and received his BSc (Econ) in Economics and Philosophy from the London School of Economics. He is the CEO of the ASTOR Group, a private investment and advisory business, working in the fields of mining, technology,
Dr. Richard Tosdal is a world renowned specialist in mineralized porphyry deposits. Richard holds an M.Sc. from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario and a Ph.D from the University of California. He has over 45 years experience in the minerals industry and academic research that includes being a consultant for a variety of mining and exploration companies, a research scientist at the US Geological Survey and a director of the Mineral Deposit Research Unit (MDRU).
Sustainability Vice President
Rodolfo Higuera has more than 10 years of experience in the Mining Industry. His professional career has focused on sustainability, social and environmental processes. He participated in the licensing process, construction and start-up of the operation of the Buriticá Project of Zijin – Continental Gold. Previously he was supporting different projects such as the Eco Oro Minerals Corp project (as advisor to the IFC advisor), PazdelRío Mines Project – Votorantim Metais and mining and industrial operation of Acerías Paz del Río; participating and leading social, environmental and mining formalization processes. Mr. Higuera is a sociologist from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, with postgraduate studies in Sustainability and Social Responsibility from Universidad de Los Andes.
Carlos David Ríos
Exploration Vice President
Carlos David Ríos has over 15 years of experience in Exploration and Mining Industry in Colombia and LATAM region. Prior to Collective Mining, he served as Exploration Manager in Touchstone Gold in Colombia, Exploration Manager in Zijin – Continental Gold; Geology Manager of Cemex LATAM Holdings, Specialist Modelling and Resources Estimation Specialist in Cerro Matoso.
Mr. Ríos has a degree in Geological Engineer from the National University of Colombia and international postgraduate in geostatistics applied to the estimation and evaluation of mining deposits in Alberta University, Canada.