Who We Are
Board of Directors
Mark Brennan | Chairman
Mr. Brennan brings over 30 years of financing and operating experience in the mining industry. He is a founding partner and Executive Chairman of Ascendant Resources, former President and CEO of Sierra Metals, and Former President and CEO of Largo Resources where he acquired the Maracas Vanadium Project and advanced the project through maiden resource, definitive feasibility, project funding ($300 million), construction, and production.
Maria Virginia Anzola | Director
Ms. Anzola has over 20 years of experience advising companies in the extraction industry. In her role as General Counsel, Ms. Anzola provides leadership and direction on all legal matters involving Ascendant and its operations. As Corporate Secretary, she is responsible for all matters relating to the Board of Directors, its committees, and the overall implementation of corporate governance best practices. Prior to joining Ascendant in 2017, Ms. Anzola served as Assistant General Counsel for Primero Mining Corp, and prior to that she served as Senior Counsel for Hudbay Minerals Inc. In addition, Ms. Anzola served as Consultant to the Tax Group of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP for over two years. Prior to moving to Canada, Ms. Anzola spent 11 years in private practice in her home country of Venezuela, mostly advising international companies engaged in the oil and gas business. Ms. Anzola has been called to the BAR in Ontario and Venezuela and has an LL.M from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and from Osgoode Hall Law School.
Dennis Moore | Director
Mr. Moore is an exploration Geologist with 40 years of international experience. He is the President, CEO and founder of Fremont Gold Ltd. He was previously and Executive Director and former VP Exploration of Magellan Minerals Ltd. where he assembled a 200,000-hectare exploration portfolio in Brazil including Cuiu Cuiu and Tacntinzinho gold properties.
Casper Groenewald | Director
Mr. Groenewald has over 20 years of mineral processing experience in Africa and the Americas. He is the Senior Vice-President of DRA America and former Technical Director fro Largo Resources where he led the commissioning and optimization of its Vanadium processing facility in Brazil. He is the former Operations director at Minopex, where he managed the operation of five diamond mines, and has also worked for Vantech (Xstrata’s Vanadium division), Highveld Steel and Vanadium Corporation.
Martin Walter | Director
Mr. Walter has over 20 years of international experience in mineral and mine development as a consulting Geologist. He is the former CEO of Treasury Metals Inc., an Ontario junior gold mine developer, and is a director of Absolut Resources, Forrester Metals and Nubian Resources.
W. John Priestner | Director
Mr. Priestner is the former General Manager of US operations for Philip Environmental, where he was responsible for development and construction management of large waste-management facilities. He is a former professional football player in the NFL and CFL over eight seasons and served on boards for CFL Pension Advisory and Benefits Committee.
Cliff Hale-Sanders | CEO and Director
Mr. Cliff Hale-Sanders is an entrepreneurial and driven mining executive, a co-founder of Ascendant
Resources Inc in late 2016 and has over 20 years of capital markets experience as an Equity Mining
Research Analyst. During his career, Mr. Hale-Sanders visited and evaluated numerous global mining
development and production facilities to determine their investment potential. Mr. Hale-Sanders has a
Masters’ degree in Business Administration from McMaster University, a Bachelor of Science degree in
Geology and Chemistry from the University of Toronto and is a C.F.A Charter holder.
Alonso Sotomayor | CFO
Mr. Sotomayor is a Chartered Professional Accountant (Ontario) with over 10 years of progressive financial reporting experience in the mining sector. Mr. Sotomayor started his career in a mining-specific role with accounting firm McGovern Hurley LLP, followed by progressively senior roles in the Toronto Mining Groups at KPMG LLP and Deloitte Canada overseeing files on numerous Canadian listed mining companies. Since 2017, Mr. Sotomayor has held the position of Corporate Controller of Ascendant Resources Inc and as Corporate Controller of the Company since November 2019. He holds a B.B.A. in Management and Accounting from the University of Toronto.
Ashley Martin | COO
Mr. Ashley Martin joined the Company in 2018 as Vice President – Technical Services. He has now been
promoted within the Company to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Martin brings over 13 years
of mining construction and development experience to the Company. At Guyana Goldfields, he held
various positions including Manager-Technical Services, Civil Works Manager and Construction Manager
for the Aurora Gold Mine. He was Senior Project Manager at Treasury Metals and Manager of Business
Development at Forrester Metals. Mr. Martin received his degree in Civil Engineering from Curtin
University, in Western Australia.
Pierre-Jean Lafleur | VP, Exploration
Mr. Lafleur is a professional engineer and qualified person (NI 43-101) specializing in mineral resource estimation, exploration and mining. He worked in Operations for various mining companies of over 15 years including Falconbridge (no Glencore) and has worked on Iron ore projects around the world, with a focus on those in the Chibougamau area and around Quebec.
Hubert Vallée | VP, Project Development
Mr. Vallée graduated from Laval University in Engineering. He joined Québec Cartier Mining as Project Engineer and was promoted to Director of Operations for its Pellet Plant in 2001. He managed the Iron Ore Company of Canada’s Pellet Plant in Sept-Iles before joining Domtar Inc. as Manager of its pulp mill in Lebel-sur-Quévillon. He joined Consolidated Thompson (Bloom Lake) in 2006 and was one of the key people who made this project happen from early stage development into production, acting as Vice President of Development and as Senior Vice President, Operations and Logistics. After the sale of Consolidated Thompson to Cliffs Natural Resources, Mr. Vallée acted as Vice President Project Development for Phase II of Bloom Lake’s operations. He has also been involved as Senior Vice President, Project Development, at Century Iron Mines. From February 2014 to September 2016, Mr. Vallée acted as President and CEO of Lamelee Iron Ore Ltd. He is currently self-employed and working, with Tacora Resources Ltd. In addition, Mr. Vallee sits on the Board of Genius Metal Inc. as an independent director and is involved with various other junior company’s at the development stage.
Michael Skutezky | General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Mr. Michael Skutezky has had a 30 year career in the financial sector in Canada including as Assistant
General Counsel at the Royal Bank of Canada focused on International and Canadian Project financing
based in Montreal and Toronto and as Senior Vice President Personal Trust, National Trust Company. He
is Chairman of Rhodes Capital Corporation, a private Toronto based resource and technology focused
merchant bank. Mr. Skutezky has been a founder in taking public and listing several TSX, TSX-V and CSE resource sector companies and has served as an officer, counsel and director of several private and
public companies. He has been a member of the Canadian and International Bar Associations, the Law
Society of Upper Canada and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Association.