Ian Pearce
CIM President-Elect
Conference Chair

Pierre Julien
CIM Past-President 2021-2022, and President, DRA Americas Region, EVP, DRA Global
Sponsorship Chair

Samantha Espley
CIM Past President

Candace MacGibbon
CIM Incoming President-Elect

Guylaine Richard
CIM Conference Planner

Sessions Chairs:

Sam Houston
Principal & Founder | Strategist Solutions

Sam Houston is a talented mining industry Business Executive, having held previous executive roles at Rio Tinto and Eldorado Gold, with a focus on people, sustainability, and technology. Sam develops and delivers resilient growth strategies to ensure future delivery success and is an accomplished change leader in growth environments. He relishes undertaking critical executive roles focused upon transforming commercial underperformance to profit, rationalising dysfunctional structures, and galvanising stakeholders and high-performance teams to stretch levels of accomplishment. He has a deep technical background in strategy and delivery and a functional background in leadership, strategy, business change, sustainability, digitalisation and diversity and inclusion. Sam is also an entrepreneur, having launched his own successful advisory practice, Strategist Solutions, which he is focusing on at the present time.

Kurt Breede
Technical Director, Mining | Scotia Bank

With over 25 years of experience across the mining value chain – from mineral exploration through to mine development – Kurt Breede specializes in technical due diligence and financial modelling supporting structured financing and corporate development. He’s been lead resource geological engineering author, co-author, and peer reviewer to over 40 technical reports as an independent Qualified Person (QP) and mining industry expert witness on multiple international arbitration cases.


In June 2023, Kurt joined Scotiabank’s Global Mining and Metals Investment Banking team as Technical Director, overseeing technical reviews of mining assets in support of Scotiabank’s advisory to mining clients around the world, with key responsibilities in technical due diligence and risk/reward analysis.


Over the course of his career, Kurt has provided technical advisory services to government, finance, and mining sectors on over $100B worth of assets for private and publicly traded mining companies, including various venture capital, private equity, First National groups, government agencies, and sovereign wealth funds from Canada and abroad.


Kurt holds a B.A.Sc. in Geological Engineering from The University of Toronto, and is registered as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) and Geologist (P.Geo.) in the province of Ontario. He also serves on the board of the CIM Toronto Branch and the Toronto Geological Discussion Group.


Karla Mills
Senior Vice President, Projects | Teck Resources Limited

As the Senior Vice President of Teck’s Projects Group, Karla Mills is responsible for the successful delivery of capital projects across Teck. Karla brings more than 25 years of project development experience and leverages her successful leadership and project development experience to embed Teck’s values and sustainability goals in every aspect of Project Development and Project Delivery. Karla graduated with a B.Sc. in Geological Engineering from the University of Manitoba, has a Masters Certificate in Project Management from York University and is a registered Professional Engineer in the Province of British Columbia. Karla is an advocate for equity, inclusion, and diversity in both the mining and construction industry and is passionate about promoting diverse thinking to innovatively challenge the way Teck develops and delivers projects. Karla is a member of the Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) Capital Projects Steering Committee and a former Chair of Mining for Miracles (2019-2022).

John Gravel
CEO & Founder | Bedrock-Service

CEO of Bedrock-Service Group, brings 27 years of global expertise in mining, energy, and infrastructure project delivery. With offices across North and South America, Bedrock-Service has a portfolio of successful projects spanning open pit and underground mines, processing plants, power generation, transportation infrastructures, and more.  John specializes in commercial matters including, strategic sourcing, procurement, contract negotiation, and administration. He has also served as an expert witness on litigation and commercial dispute matters related to damages assessments.