VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Multimineral project developer Fortune Minerals is redoubling its focus on securing project financing for its Nico cobalt/gold/bismuth/copper project, in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NT), with the appointment of mining veteran David Massola as CFO and VP of financing.
With more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry as a senior manager for large multinationals and small producers, Massola rejoins the company after previously acting as a consultant to Fortune in 2015, providing administration services for the company's operations, as well as corporate finance and restructuring advice.
"We are very gratified to have Dave Massola back at this critical stage for the company as we negotiate financing for the Nico development and complete important agreements with governments and First Nations. Fortune will benefit from Dave's extensive knowledge of international finance, accounting and executive management, which includes experience with mine development and operations in Canada's north, as well as corporate and project finance for smaller mine developers," stated Fortune president and CEO Robin Goad.
After graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in accounting, Massola embarked on a 20-year career with mining giant BHP Billiton. There he worked at the corporate office in San Francisco, the Escondida copper mine, in Chile, the Island copper mine, in British Columbia, and at the Ekati diamond mine, in the NT, where he was CFO of BHP Diamonds.
Subsequently, Massola left BHP to become VP and CFO of De Beers Canada, which was developing two diamond mines in the NT and Ontario at the time. His recent experience included roles as senior VP of finance and CFO of GlobeStar Mining, where he was involved with the financing, construction and operation of a copper/gold mine, in the Dominican Republic, and negotiated its ensuing sale.
He was also the president and CEO of Continental Nickel, which was developing a mine in Tanzania, and led negotiations for its takeover.
Fortune had last month successfully closed a fully subscribed C$1.25-million private placement, which was to be used for general working capital purposes.
Fortune had in April appointed former Minister of the Northwest Territories government David Ramsay to the company's board.
The Nico project is well positioned to become a reliable, vertically integrated North American source of battery-grade cobalt chemicals, with supply chain custody transparency and tax advantages under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Earlier this year, the company delivered an ultra-pure cobalt sulphate sample for testing by a potential customer. Discussions for offtake agreements and project financing were ongoing.
The Nico deposit also contains a significant gold co-product from more than 1.1-million ounces of gold in its mineral reserve statement, as well as 12% of global bismuth reserves. Bismuth is a metal used in a broad range of industrial applications, particularly in the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors.