Management & Directors
NOLAN WATSON, FCPA, FCA, CFA
President, CEO and Director
Mr. Watson co-founded Sandstorm in 2008, prior to which he served as the Chief Financial Officer of Silver Wheaton Corp. In that role, Mr. Watson developed the silver streaming business model and helped raise over US$1 billion in debt and equity to fund Silver Wheaton's growth. Mr. Watson is a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (Valedictorian), holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst and received a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with honours, from the University of British Columbia. He has won numerous awards for his professional and charitable achievements including being recognized by the World Economic Forum as a "Young Global Leader", Canada's Top 40 Under 40 award, CEO of the Year by Business In Vancouver and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. Mr. Watson also serves as the Chairman of the Audit Committee of the board of Bear Creek Mining Corp. and is the Chairman of Royalty North Partners Ltd.
DAVID AWRAM, B.Sc, Geologist
Senior Executive Vice President and Director
Mr. Awram is the co-founder of Sandstorm and oversees the corporate development team and due diligence process. Mr. Awram has evaluated hundreds of resource projects and has completed on-site due diligence on dozens of mines across the globe. Prior to Sandstorm, Mr. Awram was the Director of Investor Relations for Silver Wheaton Corp., where he was responsible for investor relations and corporate development. Mr. Awram graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology.
ERFAN KAZEMI, CPA, CA, CFA
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Kazemi is a former Senior Manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he managed the audits of billion dollar multinational entities and assisted clients in areas such as public financings, mergers and acquisitions, US/SEC securities filings, and various other areas. Mr. Kazemi is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CA), a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder and is a graduate of the University of British Columbia where he received a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics).
In the community, Mr. Kazemi serves as a member of the board of directors of the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) Foundation, was previously the Vice-Chair of the VPL, and is a former member of the University of British Columbia Board of Governors. He has won numerous awards for his professional and charitable achievements including Vancouver’s top 40 under 40 award, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia's Early Achievement Award and Community Service Award and the University of British Columbia Alumni Association's Outstanding Student of the Year Award.
TOM BRUINGTON, P. Eng.,M.Sc.
Executive Vice President, Project Evaluation
Mr. Bruington joined Sandstorm after more than twelve years at the International Finance Corporation ("IFC") where he was employed as Chief Engineer/Industry Specialist for the mining division of the oil, gas, mining and chemicals department. In that role, Mr. Bruington was responsible for business development, technical appraisal, and operational supervision of the IFC's resource investments, completing more than 100 project appraisals in over 60 countries. Mr Bruington also helped start IFC's Early Mining Equity fund, which has grown to over US$350 million in value. Prior to the IFC, Mr. Bruington spent 20 years with a number of resource companies and was involved in mine design, construction and operations at precious metal, base metal, and energy projects in Australia, South Africa, South America and the U.S.A. Mr. Bruington is a Registered Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering, a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering, and a Master of Science in Mineral Economics, all from the Colorado School of Mines.
KEITH LASKOWSKI, Mining Geologist, MSc, QP
Vice President, Technical Services
Mr. Laskowski joined Sandstorm from the International Finance Corporation (“IFC”) where he was employed as Staff Engineer/Principal Mining Specialist for the mining division. In that role he was responsible for technical appraisal and valuation of IFC's resource investments, and was focused on investment analysis of mining/exploration properties throughout the world. Prior to joining the IFC, Mr. Laskowski assembled, financed, and directed successful private and publicly listed exploration companies located in Peru, Mongolia, Haiti, Mali, the United States, and Canada. Most recently, he was the President and CEO of Estrella Gold Corp., a Peru-focused prospect generator exploration company from 2009 to 2012 and he also worked at senior levels with Newmont Mining Corporation, spending 17 years in gold production, exploration, resource development and acquisitions. He earned a Master of Science degree in Geology from the Colorado School of Mines (1987), a B.A. degree from the University of Maine (1979) and is a “Qualified Person” as defined by NI 43-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators.
ADAM SPENCER, CFA
Senior Vice President, Corporate Development
Mr. Spencer is a former Director at Cormark Securities Inc. where he spent six years working in the investment banking group. As Director, Mr. Spencer provided coverage to a diverse group of mining companies operating in the base metals, precious metals and bulk commodity sectors. Mr. Spencer executed numerous equity financings and merger and acquisition advisory mandates while at Cormark. Mr. Spencer holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst and received a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with honours, from Dalhousie University.
RON HO, CFA
Vice President, Finance
Mr. Ho joined Sandstorm after serving as the Chief Financial Officer for SNS Silver Corporation, where he contributed to equity capital raises and project evaluation and development. Prior to that, Mr. Ho was an Equity Analyst at Raymond James Ltd. where he was responsible for sector institutional research. Mr. Ho began his career at Deloitte & Touche, focusing on public company financial reporting in both the U.S. and Canada. Mr. Ho is a Chartered Accountant, holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder and received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia. Mr. Ho is also a director with Americas Petrogas Inc.
DAVID E. De WITT
Mr. De Witt is a founder and the Chairman of Pathway Capital Ltd., a Vancouver based private venture capital company. Mr. De Witt has extensive experience in the areas of corporate and securities law, as well as mergers and acquisitions. Mr. De Witt graduated with a BComm/LLB from the University of British Columbia and practiced corporate, securities and mining law until his retirement from the practice of law in January 1997. He currently holds directorships in a number of public companies involved in the natural resource field and has experience in resource projects located in Latin America, North America and Asia.
ANDREW T. SWARTHOUT
Mr. Swarthout is CEO and Director of Bear Creek Mining Corp. a multi-asset silver company based in Peru. Prior to Bear Creek, Mr. Swarthout was an officer and member of the management committee of Southern Peru Copper Corporation where he participated in decision making during a dynamic period of corporate expansions, financing and project development. As Vice-President of Exploration from 1995 to 2000, he was directly responsible for two major discoveries, as well as reserve expansions on the order of 200 per cent on the Southern Peru Copper's two porphyry copper deposits.
Mr. Swarthout has participated in several deposit discoveries and reserve expansions in North and South America which are in production, or which will be in production in the future. Mr. Swarthout has participated in project permitting and financing, has managed several prefeasibility and financial scoping studies and has evaluated reserves on numerous precious and base metals deposits.
JOHN P. A. BUDRESKI
Mr. Budreski is the President and CEO of Morien Resources Corp., a company focused on the development of a coal asset in Eastern Canada. Mr. Budreski has over 25 years of experience in the resource and resource financing industries, most recently as a Vice Chairman of Cormark Securities Inc. and prior to that, President and CEO of Orion Securities Inc. Mr. Budreski holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Dalhousie / TUNS University and an MBA from the University of Calgary. Mr. Budreski is also a director of Alaris Royalty Corp.
In June of 2014, Mr. Budreski became Executive Chairman of EnWave Corporation.
MARY L. LITTLE
Ms. Little has been an independent geological consultant since 2014. Formerly, she was a director, Chief Executive Officer, President and founder (from October 2003 to May 2014) of Mirasol Resources Ltd., a precious metals company focused on exploration in Latin America. Ms. Little became a director of Pure Energy Minerals Limited in March 2015. Her industry experience includes 15 years in Latin America with major mining companies Newmont Chile, Cyprus Amax and WMC Ltd., where she held management positions including Business Development Manager and Country Manager. Ms. Little has extensive experience in the exploration and evaluation of epithermal precious metals deposits, as well as porphyry and sediment-hosted mineral environments. Ms. Little has also served as trustee for the Society of Economic Geologists Foundation from 2010 to 2014. She holds a M.Sc. degree in Earth Sciences from the University of California and an MBA from the University of Colorado.
About Sandstorm Gold
Sandstorm Gold provides financing to gold mining companies through gold stream and royalty agreements. Stream and royalty finance involves Sandstorm making an upfront payment to a mining partner that is in need of capital to build their mine, refinance their obligations, complete an acquisition or for various other reasons. In exchange for that upfront payment, Sandstorm receives the right to purchase a percentage of the gold produced from the mine (in the case of a stream) or a portion of the revenue generated from the mine (in the case of a royalty). Since 2009, Sandstorm has compiled a portfolio of 155 streams and royalties, of which 20 of the underlying assets are currently producing gold. Sandstorm plans to continue growing the company through accretive acquisitions of gold streams and royalties.
A Lower Risk Mining Investment
Building and operating gold mines is difficult work. Gold mines, in the best of situations, have countless operational processes to coordinate and perform in synchronization in order to function economically. Capital expenditure overruns, sustaining capital requirements and inflating costs are just a few of the challenges that mining companies face when trying to deliver returns to shareholders.
The stream and royalty business model minimizes the typical downside risks in mining investment because there is no obligation for Sandstorm to contribute additional capital after the upfront payment is made. Sandstorm leaves the job of building and operating the gold mines to its partners while using its expertise to supply them with financial support. This allows Sandstorm to focus on accretive growth while creating an attractive gold investment for the public.
Corporate Due Diligence
Before completing a gold stream or royalty agreement with a mining partner, Sandstorm undertakes a thorough due diligence process. The process begins with a desktop analysis that evaluates the economics of the mine, assuming that all aspects of the project will work out as planned. Most projects fail this stage. The ones that pass are scrutinized from a technical point of view and management runs sensitivity analysis to search for potential fatal flaw areas. After that step Sandstorm hires geological consultants and technical experts that specialize in the deposit type, location and jurisdiction of the project in question. Those projects that make it this far in the corporate due diligence process are subject to a comprehensive site visit, which assesses metallurgical, engineering and geologic resource issues.