Board of Directors

Board of Directors

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

Patrick Meier, Chairman

Mr Meier has over 30 years of experience in investment banking with specialist knowledge of the mining sector. He is Chairman of Ecora Resources plc, the London listed Natural Resources Royalty Company. Mr Meier headed up the investment banking activities for RBC Capital Markets in Europe and Asia and drove a major expansion of RBC’s European presence. Prior to this role, he headed up RBC’s activities in the Metals and Mining sector in Europe, Africa and Asia for many years, and continues to enjoy strong relationships within the sector. He also served as a Director on the board of RBC’s main operating subsidiary in Europe. He has an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University.

  • Mr Patrick Meier
    Mr Patrick Meier
Rob De Pretto, Chief Executive Officer

Mr De Pretto has 40 years of experience in the diamond mining industry. Prior to his current appointment, Mr De Pretto was Chief Operating Officer and acting Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company. He began his career in 1982 as a trainee engineer at De Beers and has occupied various operational and leadership roles including Production Manager of Venetia Mine, General Manager of Namaqualand Mines and Technical Manager for De Beers Consolidated Mines. He transferred to Anglo American in 2010 to look after the Technology Development portfolio and the Anglo Research Laboratories prior to joining Diamcor as General Manager. Mr De Pretto is a metallurgical engineer with a Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand. He also completed the Management Advancement Programme at Wits Business School and the Executive Management Programme at London Business School. He is a registered Professional Engineer and a Fellow of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and a Member of the South African Institute of Chemical Engineers.

  • Mr Rob De Pretto
    Mr Rob De Pretto
    Chief Executive Officer
Keith Johnson, Non-Executive Director

Mr Johnson has over 28 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, he 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. He holds an MBA in Finance and a BSc degree in Mathematics and Operational Research.
Mr Johnson is the Chairman of the Remuneration Committee.

  • Mr Keith Johnson
    Mr Keith Johnson
    Non-Executive Director
Mike Stirzaker, Non-Executive Director

Mr Stirzaker has 40 years of commercial experience, mainly in mining finance and mining investment. He began his career in Sydney as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG before moving into investment banking with the HSBC Group and then Kleinwort Benson Limited in London. From 1993 to 2007 he was part of the natural resource advisory and investment firm, RFC Group Limited, where he became Joint Managing Director. From 2010 until 2019 Mr Stirzaker was a partner with the private equity mining fund manager, Pacific Road Capital Management, and since 2019 has served in various non-executive director roles. He is currently the Non-executive Chairman of Akora Resources Limited, Base Resources Limited and Southern Palladium Limited. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town and is a qualified Chartered Accountant in Australia. Mr Stirzaker was previously Pacific Road Capital Management’s nominated Non-Executive Director of the Company and is the Chairman of Audit Committee.

  • Mr Mike Stirzaker
    Mr Mike Stirzaker
    Non-Executive Director
Ian Maxwell, Non-Executive Director

Mr. Maxwell has over 30 years of minerals industry experience in operations, exploration, business and project development, project finance, equities, executive leadership, risk management and ESG. He is an Operating Partner with Pacific Road Capital, is deeply involved in the firm’s investment program, and chairs Pacific Road’s ESG Committee. He is currently an Executive Director of North Coal Limited, a high CSR low carbon metallurgical coal development company and a director of Corbin Road Land Company Limited, a large land company and biodiversity reserve in southeastern British Columbia. He previously led the global coal business at BHP, and BHP’s exploration and business development group. Prior to BHP, had substantial corporate mining strategy and business development experience with Rio Tinto and Anglo American, and markets-facing experience with Citigroup.
Mr Maxwell is Pacific Road Capital’s nominated Non-Executive Director of the Company and the Chairman of Safety, Health, Environment and CSR Committee.

  • Mr Ian Maxwell
    Mr Ian Maxwell
    Non-Executive Director