Management and Technical Team

Board of Directors

richard linnell
Richard Linnell, Non-Executive Director and Chairman

Richard is a geologist with over 35 years experience in the resource industry in Africa, principally with companies that now form part of BHP Billiton. He was formerly Regional Director, African Exploration and Development with Billiton and General Manager, Manganese of Samancor. His previous directorships include BHP Billiton (SA) Ltd, Membership of the Electricity Council, and the holding company of Eskom Ltd. Currently he is director of a number of listed junior resource companies.

charles blackmore
Charles Blackmore, Managing Director

Former investment banker and officer in the British Army, Charles left JP Morgan Chase in 2003 after 10 years as an equity broker (of African equities) and corporate financier in emerging markets with a sector specialty in energy. He was responsible for investment banking in Russia and was the country head of JP Morgan in Pakistan where he resided in Karachi for 3 years. Since 2003 he has been the CEO of three security and commercial intelligence companies facilitating foreign investment and aid into high-risk countries including Afghanistan and Iraq. He is the author of two books about his travel expeditions in the Middle East and China. He has been on the ground in South Sudan and Uganda for NKEM since 2006.

fortune mojapelo
Fortune Mojapelo, Director

Fortune has significant experience in corporate strategy/management consulting and corporate finance. His experience includes McKinsey & Company, a premier global management consulting firm, where he handled corporate strategy and organisational development engagements for leading companies in several sectors in Africa. He has led corporate finance engagements, with a focus on capital raisings, which include the raising of a US$33 million expansion capital for a mobile broadband wireless operator and advising a ZAR70 million coal exploration financing transaction in South Africa. Fortune holds a B.Sc (Actuarial Science) degree from University of Cape Town. He is a founding shareholder of VM Investment Company (Pty) Ltd as well as CEO of Bushveld Minerals (AIM:BMN).

anthony viljoen
Anthony Viljoen, Director

Anthony is a mining entrepreneur and a founding shareholder of VM Investment Company (Pty) Ltd, a principal investments and advisory company with a relative bias towards mining exploration. He has been responsible for the establishment and project development of a number of junior mining companies across Africa, including New Kush Exploration & Mining (Gold; South Sudan), Coal of Madagascar, Greenhills resources (Tin), New Horizon Minerals (Iron Ore), Frontier Platinum Resources and Eagle Uranium. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business and Agricultural Economics and a Post Graduate in Finance. Currently he is studying towards a Masters degree in African Development Finance through the University of Stellenbosch. Anthony is also a Non-Executive Director of Lemur Resources (LMR:ASX) and Executive Director of Bushveld Minerals (AIM:BMN).

zacahriah bol deng
Dr. Zachariah Bol Deng, Executive Director

Dr. Deng is one of the sons of the Paramount Chief of the Dinka Ngok of the Abyei area of South Sudan, well known as Chief Deng Mojok. He studied medicine in Italy graduating in 1967 then moved to UK to practice. He returned to Southern Sudan and was elected to the Regional Assembly becoming the Deputy Speaker. In 1980 he was appointed as Regional Minister of Health. He became a political prisoner in 1983 until released two years later to return to the UK as a political asylum seeker. He practiced General Practitioner in the Midlands region and worked voluntarily as South Sudanese Community Leader in Birmingham and the UK. In 2000 he was granted a life time award by the Africa Community in Birmingham. Dr Bol Deng maintains strong connections in the new Republic of South Sudan and is a respected elder of the foreign diaspora.

Technical Advisors

richard viljoen
Prof. Richard Viljoen, MSc, PhD, Wits, FGSSA, FSAIMM, FRSSA, FSEG, FGSI, Pr. Sc. Nat. Technical Advisor

Richard is an internationally recognised geologist with over 30 years in the mining industry including 15 years as chief consulting geologist for Goldfields of South Africa. His past experience includes:

  • Development/ key role in the development of significant mines including Northam Platinum, and the Leeudoorn and Tarkwa gold mines;
  • Key role in identifying and development of a significant platinum deposit in the Bushveld complex of South Africa for Akanani Resources;
  • Consultant for exploration and mining companies in Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, India and China in the fields of base metals, gold and platinum;
  • A number of Competent Persons Report (CPR) for projects including the Witwatersrand South Reef Project, Doornkop mine project and the Uramin uranium project

morris viljoen
Prof. Morris Viljoen, MSc, PhD (WITS), FSEG, FGSSA, FSAIMM, FRSSA, Pr.Sc.Nat, Technical Advisor

Morris is also an internationally recognized geologist and a fellow of numerous geological and scientific bodies both in South Africa and internationally. His past experience includes:

  • 20 years with JCI working in base metals (including nickel, copper antimony), gold and platinum exploration and mining in Southern Africa;
  • Seven years consulting geologist for Rustenburg Platinum Mines, now Anglo Platinum Limited;
  • Past 13 years as Professor of Mining Geology at the University of Witwatersrand;
  • Established the Centre for Applied Mining and Exploration Geology at the University of Witwatersrand, involved in identifying and developing mineral projects, and these have included the Amalia and Blaaubank lode gold deposits, the Akanani/AFri Ore platinum project, the Uramin uranium project and the Central Rand Gold project.


luke longridge
Luke Longridge, Dr.

Luke obtained his BSc Honours (2006) and PhD (2012) degrees in geology from the University of the Witwatersrand and has experience both in South Africa and abroad designing and implementing exploration programmes. Luke has worked as an exploration manager, project geologist, and technical consultant. Commodity-specific experience includes:

  • PGE and chrome mineralisation (Bushveld Complex, South Africa)
  • Titaniferous magnetite iron ore mineralisation (Bushveld Complex, South Africa)
  • Granite-hosted uranium mineralisation (Namibia)
  • Placer-hosted gold mineralisation (Canada)
  • Greenstone-hosted gold mineralisation (Mozambique)
  • Granite-hosted and structurally-controlled (primary) tin mineralisation (South Africa)
  • Sediment-hosted (secondary) tin mineralisation (Nigeria)

nic grech cumbo
Timothy Marais

Tim obtained his BSc Hounours in geology and spent a year in finance before continuing with his career in exploration. Tim has experience in various commodities Gold, Copper, Iron ore, placer-hosted and greenstone-hosted gold and primary and secondary Tin in a Number of countries such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique and now South Sudan. Tim’s experience has primarily focused on GIS, Greenfields/Brownfield’s exploration and Project management this includes

  • Target generation
  • Supervising down hole and Surface surveys, field and structural mapping, report generation.
  • Soil Geochemical sampling, processing and mapping.
  • Drill hole planning and implementation- Including the planning and implementation of a geotechnical drill programme in weathered material and a programme in very mountainous area.
  • Streamlining and coordinating core drilling, cutting, logging and sampling in order to meet strict time restrictions.
  • Database management, compilation and QA/QC of geological and assay data
  • Simultaneous coordination of multiple projects in the field and coordination with head office.
          He is currently studying towards an MSc degree in Geology through the University of the Witwatersrand.