About Us


Richard Warke

Executive Chairman

Richard Warke is a Vancouver-based mining executive and the Executive Chairman of Arizona Mining Inc., part of the Augusta Group of Companies which he founded in 2005. The Augusta Group previously included Ventana Gold Corp., which sold for C$1.6 billion in 2011, and Augusta Resource Corporation, which sold for C$666 million in 2014.

In addition, Richard acquired control of Newcastle Gold Ltd. in 2016 and was Executive Chairman until its merger to form Equinox Gold In December 2017. He also founded Titan Mining in 2017 and serves as its President & CEO.

With more than 25 years of experience in the mining industry, Richard has been instrumental in raising over $1 billion dollars in equity for resource companies.

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James Gowans

President & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Gowans joined Arizona Mining in January, 2016. He was formerly Co-President of Barrick Gold Corporation from July 2014 to August 2015 and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from January to July 2014.

Recent prior roles include Managing Director of Debswana Diamond Company (Pty) Ltd., President and Chief Executive Officer of De Beers Canada Inc., Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of International Nickel Indonesia tbk PT and Executive Vice President at Placer Dome Inc. Mr. Gowans has more than 30 years of experience in mineral exploration, mine feasibility studies, opening new mines (including the Red Dog and Polaris zinc mines), commissioning mine expansions and in the development of best practices in mine safety, mine operations and economic performance improvement.

He is currently a director of Cameco Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Dominion Diamond Corporation and was recently appointed a director of Gedex Inc., an innovative geophysics systems company. He previously served as the President of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) and as a Director of the Conference Board of Canada.

Mr. Gowans is a Professional Engineer and received a bachelor of applied science degree in mineral engineering from the University of British Columbia and attended the Banff School of Advanced Management.

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Donald R. Taylor

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Taylor joined Arizona Mining in June, 2010. He has more than 25 years of mineral exploration experience with precious and base metals on five continents, taking projects from exploration to mine development. He has worked extensively for large and small cap companies, including BHP Minerals, Bear Creek Mining, American Copper and Nickel, Doe Run Resources, and Westmont Mining Company.

He is a Licensed Professional Geologist in several eastern and western states and a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Taylor has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Southeast Missouri State University and a Master of Science degree from University of Missouri at Rolla.

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Tom Whelan

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Whelan joined Arizona Mining in September, 2017 from Nevsun Resources Ltd., where he was Chief Financial Officer since 2014. He is a chartered accountant and was previously a partner with the international accounting firm EY LLP where he was the EY Global Mining & Metals Assurance sector leader, the leader of the EY Assurance practice in Vancouver and previously EY’s Canadian Mining & Metals sector leader. Mr. Whelan is a very experienced executive with extensive public company experience, having over 20 years of experience working with some of Canada’s largest mining companies and global mining companies with operations in Canada. Mr. Whelan graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University.

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Jerrold Annett

Senior Vice President, Corporate Development

Mr. Annett joined Arizona Mining in June, 2017. He has over 11 years of experience with Teck and Falconbridge and an additional 10 years in capital markets, most recently with Scotiabank. He worked for Cominco as a metallurgist at the lead-zinc Polaris Mine, the Sullivan lead-zinc mine, and the Quebrada Blanca mine. Mr. Annett was ranked a Brendan Woods TopGun SuperLeague Sales Professional during the last two surveys in 2015 and 2012.

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Purni Parikh

Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Purni Parikh has more than 25 years of experience working with public companies in the areas of legal and regulatory administration, corporate finance, governance and investor relations.  She has completed governance and board related course work at Harvard Business School.  She has a Certificate in Business from the University of Toronto and completed additional course work at Simon Fraser University including business management, organization behavior, marketing, securities, computer science and web design.  Ms. Parikh has a Gemology degree with honors ranking second in Canada.

Ms. Parikh is currently the President of the August Group of Companies and sits on the board of Titan Mining Corporation.  She was previously Vice President, Corporate Secretary of NewCastle Gold Ltd., Augusta Resource Corporation and Ventana Gold Corp. prior to their acquisition.  Ms. Parikh is also an Accredited Director with ICD.D certification.

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Richard Lock

Senior Vice President & Project Director

Richard Lock, P. Eng, has more than 20 years of experience in project management, development and operations for large companies including Rio Tinto, Western Potash, DeBeers and Anglo American. He has been involved with projects including Rio Tinto’s Resolution and Keystone projects and its Bingham Canyon and Diavik mines, and most recently was project director at Yara International’s potash project in Ethiopia. Mr. Lock has a Bachelor of Science in Mine Engineering from University College Cardiff and is a registered professional engineer in Canada.

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Gregory F. Lucero

Vice President, Community & Government Affairs

Mr. Lucero joined Arizona Mining in July, 2011. He has more than 20 years of management experience in both the public and private sector, as well as an extensive background in the executive government working for local, state, and federal elected officials.

Prior to joining Arizona Mining, Mr. Lucero was most recently the County Manager for Santa Cruz County in Arizona, where he also served as the chief lobbyist for the County at the state legislature and US Congress. Prior to that, Mr. Lucero held various positions with Sunrise Engineering.

Mr. Lucero holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Arizona.

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Johnny Pappas

Vice President, Environment & Permitting

Mr. Pappas joined Arizona Mining in January, 2016. He has a distinguished career in the field of environmental management and permitting. Mr. Pappas recently held the position of Director of Environmental Affairs for Romarco Minerals Inc. where he was instrumental in directing the federal and state permitting of the Haile Gold Mine; the first gold mine permitted east of the Mississippi in the last 20 years. 

He was previously the Environmental Manager of the Climax Mine and was Permit Coordinator for Barrick’s Cortez Gold Mines. In addition, he has held several Senior Environmental Engineer positions with Pacificorp, Plateau Mining and Santa Fe Pacific Gold. He is recognized as a leader in his field and has won numerous awards including: the 2003 “Best of the Best” Award – awarded by the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining in recognition for extraordinary personal commitment and outstanding contribution for the reclamation success at the Castle Gate Mine and the 2003 “Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation” Award.

Mr. Pappas holds a B.Sc. degree in Geology and Business Administration.

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Susan Muir

Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

Ms. Muir joined Arizona Mining in August, 2016. She is a seasoned Investor Relations executive, and was most recently Vice President, Investor Communications at Barrick Gold Corporation following a series of increasingly senior roles since 2007.

Prior to Barrick, Susan also has 25 years of experience analyzing and covering large and small cap precious metals equities, respectively, for several major Canadian investment banks.

Ms. Muir holds a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University.

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John Barber

Vice President, Mining

John Barber, PE, has more than 40 years of experience in underground mine operations, engineering, and project management. He has also been responsible for mine construction and production, as well as feasibility and optimization studies, for several large underground operations and projects, including Freeport-McMoRan’s Deep Ore Zone and Big Gossan Mines at Grasberg, Rio Tinto’s Resolution and Oyu Tolgoi projects, and Lundin Gold’s Fruta del Norte project. Just prior to joining Arizona Mining, he served as Technical Director – Underground Mining at Amec Foster Wheeler. Mr. Barber has a Bachelor of Science (Cum Laude) in Mining Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and is a registered Professional Engineer in several states including Arizona.

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Ryan Hoel

Vice President, Logistics/Construction

Ryan Hoel is an experienced mining professional with 18 years of experience in transportation logistics, mine operations, operational readiness, procurement, and business development and improvement with resource companies including New Gold, Rio Tinto and Lundin Mining. Mr. Hoel has a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and an MBA from Westminster (Gore School of Business).

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