Tony takes a vision and makes it a reality through hard work, tenacity, perseverance, and sound strategy development. His passion, enthusiasm, and drive are infectious, motivating and empowering the people around him. As Founder, President, CEO, and Director of Tectonic Metals Inc., Tony is all in, working solely to create value for the company’s shareholders and stakeholders.
His loyalty and commitment to his work are undeniable, as demonstrated by the fact that he was the longest-serving employee of Kaminak Gold Corporation from inception in 2005 to the sale of the company, including the Coffee Gold Project, in 2016 to Goldcorp Inc. (now Newmont Goldcorp) for $520 million. Tony served as Vice President, Corporate Development for Kaminak executing the company’s strategic planning, financing, business development, and marketing while overseeing the public relations and investor communications of the company. Tony was pivotal in orchestrating capital raises totaling over $165 million to primarily fund the acquisition and advancement of the Coffee Gold Project in the Yukon Territory from a grassroots discovery through to the completion of a bankable feasibility study. He was also involved in monetizing Kaminak’s other projects by forming strategic alliances, joint venture agreements, and creating public and private companies resulting in over $35 million being spent by third parties directly on Kaminak’s projects.
During his tenure with Kaminak, the company was ranked 8th best performing mining company from a peer group of some 1,200 mining companies, was listed as a 2015 TSX Venture 50 Company, and was one of four companies selected out of 1,971 companies listed on the TSX Venture Exchange as Best IR by IR Magazine in 2015.
Tony personifies Tectonic’s belief that responsible mineral exploration and development can positively impact the communities in which the company lives and operates and its commitment to early and ongoing community engagement, best practices in environmental stewardship, and the development of a strong safety culture.
What is the mission of Tectonic Metals?
Tectonic Metals’ goal is to challenge industry standards and to be ‘The Shift in the Game’. Our mission and constant endeavor are to create transformational wealth for our shareholders by identifying, discovering, and developing world-class gold districts in North America, while also prioritizing high standards of environmental stewardship and positively impacting communities in which we live and operate.
How is your company helping the indigenous community and increasing their engagement in business?
In 2018, Tectonic Metals Inc. entered a partnership with Doyon, Ltd, one of Alaska’s largest Native corporations on several Tectonic projects, and in 2020, Doyon made a strategic investment in Tectonic making them Tectonic’s single largest shareholder. Native Alaskans have now empowered shareholders who have an active voice in influencing our business operations, while also enjoying the financial rewards of their resource-rich ancestral land. This marks one of the few instances in our industry whereby a native corporation owns a significant share in a mineral exploration company and creating economic wellbeing among the local community for generations to come.
Why is it more important than ever before to have a diverse and inclusive work environment? How do Tectonic Metals promote this?
Diversity and inclusion are essential to new ideas and innovation. Businesses from all sectors must leverage their talent’s diversity to remain current. At Tectonic Metals, we strongly believe in a workplace environment that genuinely encourages inclusivity, innovation, leadership, and growth. Our work is improved when diverse perspectives and strengths are focused on shared goals. The minerals and mining industry has the unique opportunity to be a leader in diversity and inclusion. Companies (large and small) can take critical actions to alter business practices and processes that perpetuate inequality. At Tectonic Metals, we mandated our entire team to undertake professional development specific to cultural competency and anti-racism Awareness.
What is the role that ESG plays in talent retention and attracting the next generation leaders in the mining and exploration industry?
ESG indicators are central to a firm’s reputation and financial performance and are increasingly on all stakeholders’ radars, including potential employees. For example, in research conducted by LinkedIn, “nearly nine out of ten of millennials (those between the ages of 22 and 37) would consider taking a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own.” This is especially relevant in our industry, where companies must speak the language of millennials and represent their values. We at Tectonic Metals understand the new generation of industry professionals and address their needs by maintaining a work environment that is innovative, sustainable, and ethical—all while also maximizing shareholder value and building communities.
Why are a company’s values important in driving not just investors but also future employees?
Values are extracted, lived, and felt – not scripted. They come from what is shared and often unwritten; they create identity and belonging, and, together, they act as a compass. At Tectonic Metals, we live and breathe by our values.
Respect, integrity, accountability, transparency, honesty, and fairness is what we live by. We believe that these core values have helped shape our company culture and impact our business strategy, which truly aligns with those of our investors.
We must do more in reaching out to the public and demonstrating passionate teams with outstanding values in our industry so that it is truly be seen as a rewarding career path for the next generation of leaders.
Can you tell us a bit more about your partnership with Doyon Limited and the importance of early engagement and community support before working on a project?
Through a somewhat novel approach to exploration, we sought this partnership and established production agreements on the onset. In 2018, we secured exclusive rights to explore, develop and mine all minerals, ores, and mineral products at the Seventy miles and Northway Projects (situated on Doyon’s 12.5 million acres of land) and maintained a relationship with Doyon based on trust, respect, and shared values. That prompted Doyon to take the relationship a step further in April 2020 and to acquire a 22.3 percent ownership of Tectonic on a partially diluted basis. This is an unprecedented deal that now benefits over 20,000 shareholders who are Doyon members.
Our content acknowledges the strength of the ardent entrepreneurs and their lifelong experiences of the marketplace that help them build successful business empires. Our belief in productive learning and providing inclusive content is why we have plans for a wide spectrum of activities that incorporate everything from reading to prolific networking.
Can you elaborate on some of the challenges you faced while mapping this unknown territory and what can other aspiring entrepreneurs learn from them?
We are honored to have received the blessings of Doyon from the onset of our exploration process from the onset, which equipped us with added vigor to create value for our shareholders. Most of the challenges we experience with our operations in Alaska are that weather conditions limit fieldwork. Nonetheless, our expert team ensures that we are two steps ahead and are at the peak of our products throughout the year.
My advice to entrepreneurs is to be armed with an open mind and lots of patience. Soil and rock sampling, surveying, as well as exploratory drilling, take time because explorers cover large, district-scale areas in determining what lies beneath.
Understanding risk and managing expectations are also important because conversions in our industry are rare. Still, a sense of optimism goes a long way.
What suggestions do you have for small-scale businesses that are finding it hard to pull through during these challenging times?
My advice to small-scale businesses at this time is to maintain optimism, plan ahead, and invest in their talent so that they can efficiently tackle challenges as work returns to normal in most industries.