Management team

Directors and Senior Management

Firestone Diamonds plc has a highly qualified management team with extensive experience in the exploration, evaluation and development of diamond projects.

Stuart Brown, Chief Executive Officer

Mr Brown has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry, where he has gained a wealth of experience across all aspects throughout the diamond pipeline from exploration to selling and marketing of diamonds. In 2006, Mr Brown was appointed as the De Beers Group CFO, a position he held for over five years, and in 2010 was appointed joint acting CEO to run De Beers’ global activities in addition to his CFO duties. Mr Brown has an enviable track record of leading business transformation to develop lean, agile and high performing organisations. Mr Brown holds a Bachelor of Accounting Science from the University of South Africa and is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. Mr Brown is also a member of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.

Mr R. Lucio Genovese, Non-Executive Chairman (NC)

Mr Genovese has 29 years of experience in both the merchant and financial sector of the metals and mining industry. Mr Genovese is the CEO of Nage Capital Management in Baar, Switzerland. He is also a member of the board of Ferrexpo AG and Nevada Copper Inc. and was actively involved in the restructuring and development of Ferrous Resources and more recently Mantos Copper S.A., where he is also a board member. He was previously employed at Glencore International AG where he held several senior positions including CEO of the CIS region and manager of the Moscow office. Mr Genovese is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has a BComm and BAcc from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa).

Ms Deborah Thomas, Non-Executive Director

Ms Thomas was with Deloitte for over 20 years, during which time she gained extensive experience advising some of the world’s leading mining companies. Her experience includes working in the UK and African practices at Deloitte where she was until recently an audit partner and Head of the Metals & Mining Team. Ms Thomas was Head of Deloitte’s Africa Services Group and was on the Board of the Deloitte UK Global Markets group. In addition, Ms Thomas was Deloitte’s lead client service partner for De Beers UK and De Beers Diamond Jewellers (a UK private JV between De Beers and LVMH) for 10 years. She founded the Diamond Assurances team at Deloitte in response to the diamond industry Kimberley Process Initiative. Ms Thomas has also been involved with many other metals and mining companies in a delivery and advisory role at Deloitte, including but not limited to Anglo American, BHP Billiton, De Beers and Rio Tinto. Ms Thomas holds a number of Board positions including Chair of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) UK Board, as well as the International representative on the SAICA full board and a member of the Advisory Board to the South African Chamber of Commerce and Education Africa. She was a member of the UKTI Sub-Saharan African Taskforce and the Africa Advisory Board of CityUK. Ms Thomas is currently an executive director of Bibimoney Global Limited, a group focussed on fintech solutions that create financial inclusion in emerging markets. Ms Thomas has been voted one of the top 100 women in mining globally and is currently the Chair of Women in Mining (UK).

Ken Owen, Non-Executive Director (SHECC)

Mr Owen has over 40 years of experience in the mining industry. From 1974 to 1995, he worked for De Beers Consolidated Mines, holding the position of consulting engineer for the group mines from 1988 to 1992 and general manager of the Premier Diamond Mine until 1995 when he was transferred to Anglo American South America as senior vice president of mining. In 2003 he joined the international mining and geological consultancy firm, SRK Consulting, as an associate consultant. In 2006 he joined Mwana Africa plc, an AIM‑listed junior miner (now known as Asa Resource Group plc) as Technical Director, retiring in 2009. Mr Owen holds an MSc in minerals production management from Imperial College, London.

Paul Sobie, B.Sc., P.Geo., Non-Executive Director (AC & RC)

Mr Sobie is an economic geologist specialising in the exploration and evaluation of diamond deposits, which included the initial economic evaluations of the Liqhobong kimberlites in Lesotho. Mr Sobie has over 25 years of professional experience, including extensive project evaluation work for clients in both the junior and senior mining sectors and with a particular focus on southern Africa. He is currently president and managing partner of MPH Consulting Limited of Toronto, Canada, an international mineral exploration, geological and geophysical consultancy. Mr Sobie is a practising member of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario.

Mike Wittet, Non-Executive Director (NC, RC & SHECC)

Mr Wittet has over 40 years of experience in mining, the majority of which were spent in the diamond industry. His career includes various senior positions in the industry including general manager of Jwaneng, Orapa and Namdeb diamond mines. Mr Wittet also held the position of consulting engineer in charge of De Beers SA operations and deputy managing director of Debswana Diamond Company (Pty) Limited. Mr Wittet holds an honours degree in chemical engineering from Edinburgh University in Scotland.

Niall Young, Non-Executive Director

Mr Young is an economic geologist with over 30 years of experience in exploration, evaluation, research and development, and mining. He spent 25 years with the Anglo American, Minorco and De Beers Group of companies in a range of commodities. In 2006, he took up the role of General Manager Mineral Resource Management for the De Beers Group of companies. He has worked on projects in southern Africa, Canada, Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and India. In 2009, Mr Young co‑founded Kleingeld Young & Partners, a mining and natural resources consultancy. From 2011 to 2014, Mr Young was also CEO of Mantle Diamonds Limited, a diamond mining and exploration company. He is a director of Blue Lias Holdings Limited, a hi‑tech start‑up company specialising in the development and application of Radio Frequency Identification (“RFID”) technology. Mr Young holds a BSc (Hons) in Mineral Exploitation from University College Cardiff and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London. Mr Young is Pacific Road Capital Management’s nominated non‑executive director of the company.

Keith Johnson, Non-Executive Director (AC)

Mr Johnson has over 25 years of experience in the natural resources sector, 18 of which were in the mining industry where he held various senior positions within Rio Tinto plc, including on its executive committee from 2003 to 2009. From 2003 to 2007, Mr Johnson had overall responsibility for Rio’s global diamond business which accounted for over US$1 billion in revenue and operated across three continents. In 2007, Mr Johnson was appointed head of business resources, where he was part of the team responsible for the integration of Alcan Inc., following its acquisition in October 2007. In January 2010, Mr Johnson joined FTSE 250 oil and gas company, BG Group plc, as General Manager of Strategy and Portfolio Development. Mr Johnson holds an MBA in Finance and a BSc degree in Mathematics and Operational Research. Mr Johnson is Resource Capital Fund VI L.P.’s nominated non‑executive director of the Company.

Grant Ferriman CA (SA), Chief Financial Officer

Mr Ferriman is a qualified Chartered Accountant with 16 years of experience, including nine years in the mining industry. Prior to joining Firestone Diamonds, he was the group financial controller for Mwana Africa plc (now known as Asa Resource Group plc) responsible for reporting and control systems across the Group’s assets in South Africa, Zimbabwe and the DRC. He has extensive experience in public company reporting in the United Kingdom and the development and implementation of control systems for companies with assets based in southern Africa. Mr Ferriman holds an honours bachelor of accounting science degree from the University of South Africa and is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Glenn Black, Chief Project Officer

Mr Black is a mechanical engineer with over 40 years of experience in senior management and operational roles in the mining industry. Mr Black spent 22 years at De Beers before leaving in 2012. During his time with De Beers, his primary role focused on project implementation, management, and operation for a variety of major projects globally, having managed nine major projects for the De Beers group of companies. Mr Black’s career has seen him work in the coal, gold, mineral sands, platinum and diamond mining industries.

Paul Bosma, General Manager – Liqhobong

Mr Bosma is a qualified geologist with more than 23 years’ experience in the mining industry, of which 14 years were in the diamond industry where he worked for De Beers. Before joining Firestone Diamonds, Mr Bosma was general manager of a joint venture between De Beers and Anglo Gold Ashanti whereafter he worked as a vice president for Pala Investments, an international mining investment fund based in Switzerland. Mr Bosma holds BSc (Honours) and MSc degrees as well as an MBA from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.

Key

Audit Committee

AC

Nomination Committee

NC

Remuneration Committee

RC

SHEC Committee

SHECC

  • Mr Stuart Brown
    Chief Executive Officer

  • Mr R. Lucio Genovese
    Non-Executive Chairman
  • Ms Deborah Thomas
    Non-Executive Director
  • Mr Ken Owen
    Non-executive Director
  • Mr Paul Sobie, B.Sc., P.Geo.
    Non-Executive Director
  • Mr Mike Wittet
    Non-Executive Director
  • Mr Niall Young
    Non-Executive Director
  • Mr Keith Johnson
    Non-Executive Director
  • Mr Grant Ferriman
    Chief Financial Officer

  • Mr Glenn Black
    Chief Project Officer

  • Mr Paul Bosma
    General Manager - Liqhobong