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Management Team

Simon Hay

Managing Director

Mr Hay joined Leo Lithium as Managing Director and CEO in January 2022. Prior to joining Leo Lithium, Mr Hay was Chief Executive Officer of ASX-listed lithium company, Galaxy Resources Limited. The culmination of his role as CEO was the A$5 billion merger of equals with Orocobre Limited, to create the world’s fifth largest lithium producer Allkem (ASX:AKE) in mid-2021.

Mr Hay has an astute knowledge of the lithium market and is well regarded in the capital markets for having created value at Galaxy. Mr Hay holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours (Chemistry), and a Master of Applied Science (Metallurgy) from the University of Melbourne.

Tom Blackwell

Project Director

Tom Blackwell, commenced as Project Director in June 2022. He has overall responsibility for the delivery of the Goulamina Lithium Project through to commissioning and handover. He will bring a planned approach to managing the project scope, cost, schedule and HSEC risks.

Tom has completed tertiary education in Engineering, Science and Project Management, plus specific learning in Business Administration and General Management from both Deakin University and INSEAD.

Tom is an experienced executive leader specialising in the development and execution of projects. He has over 20 years’ experience leading teams through the delivery of both green and brown field projects. In his most recent role, he was Project Director at Galaxy Resources, overseeing two lithium development projects in Argentina and Canada. Previously he worked for Iluka Resources and in his last role, required to oversee key strategic mineral and technological developments. Prior to this he successfully managed multiple capital projects across various phases of feasibility, execution and commissioning to establish sustainable mining and processing operations. Tom brings a strength in building teamwork and alignment in large, culturally diverse teams.

Ron Chamberlain

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Company Secretary

Ron is a seasoned Perth based ASX 100 and 200 resources-based CFO and Company Secretary. He has extensive offshore experience including the US, Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Malawi) in both operating and project environments. He has a strong background in finance including tax, treasury, risk, legal and regulatory reporting and compliance in an international environment.

Ron has experience in off market commodities including uranium and lithium, having worked for two years most recently, as CFO and Company Secretary for Peninsula Energy. Ron spent three years with Vimy Resources and four years at Paladin Energy as CFO. Prior to Paladin Ron was VP Finance, US Operations at Iluka Resources.

Tim Richards

Chief Operating Officer

Tim is a mining engineer with an MBA from the University of Oxford. He brings over twenty years of mining experience to Leo, across the full range of asset development and operations including scoping and feasibility studies, site technical services, operations and mine management.

Tim has significant experience in West Africa, having worked for seven years across multiple projects in Ghana and Mauritania as well as in South Africa. Tim was involved in the development of new and existing underground and open pit operations for Kinross Gold in Ghana and Mauritania, and oversaw the successful expansion of mining operations at the Tasiast Gold Mine, including a 500% increase in mine output during his tenure. Tim has also successfully managed remote operations in PNG and Europe. Notably, Tim was instrumental in the successful operational and financial turnaround of St Barbara’s Simberi Gold operation in PNG.

Megan Schmiede

Executive Manager Human Resources

Ms Schmiede is a Human Resources professional with over 17 years’ experience in the resources sector across a number of commodities in group, operations and project roles in Australia, Africa, South America and Canada. Prior to joining Leo Lithium she was employed by Galaxy Resources, previously Resolute Mining and Moto Goldmines. Ms Schmiede is experienced in greenfields projects, working with corporate and site-based teams. Ms Schmiede’s early career with BHP Billiton was where she gained her background in employee relations, culture, and change and leadership development.

Seydou Semega

General Manager West Africa

Mr Semega oversees the company’s expanding footprint in West Africa, with responsibility for both building and optimising an extensive logistics network that covers Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and potentially other countries in West Africa. He also manages governmental and other key stakeholder matters in Mali.

Mr Semega holds a Management and Business Administration degree from the University of Poitiers in France and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Batna in Algeria.

Mr Semega previously worked in the US Agency for International Development for six years where he served as a representative for West-Africa and Chairman of the Foreign Service Nationals Advocacy Council, with a constituent base of over 5,000 employees.

Leonard Lau

General Manager Business Development and Investor Relations

Leonard joined Leo Lithium in September 2022 and is experienced in corporate development, investor relations, strategy and planning, finance and M&A across the resources and energy sectors. Prior to joining Leo Lithium, Leonard led a number of strategic acquisitions for Western Areas which culminated in the acquisition of Western Areas by IGO in June 2022 for A$1.3bn. Prior to this he was part of the London based group business development team which helped grow Xstrata into a major diversified miner before its eventual US$90bn merger with Glencore in 2013.

Leonard is a CFA charter holder, holds a BCom (Hons) in Quantitative Finance and Mathematics from the University of Western Australia and an MBA from Oxford.

Mohamed Sid Ahmed

General Manager Operations

Mohamed Sid Ahmed joined the company as General Manager Operations at the Goulamina Lithium Project in January 2024. Mohamed is a mining engineer and brings over twenty years of experience across mining operations and technical services, primarily in iron ore and gold industries.

Mohamed has significant mining experience in West Africa. Most recently he was Operations Director at Kinross Gold Corporation’s Tasiast gold mine in Mauratania, managing a workforce of over 1000 employees in a 600K+ ounces per annum operation. Mohamed was involved in the expansion, commissioning and ramp up of the Tasiast mill from an 18ktpd to 24ktpd operation. Prior to Kinross, Mohamed was the mine manager for Teranga Gold Corporation at its Sabodala-Massawa Gold Mine in eastern Senegal. During his time with Teranga Gold, Mohamed oversaw the expansion of the mining operations, bringing multiple satellite pits into operation, including the Massawa project acquired from Randgold/Barrick. Mohamed brings a strength in leading large multifunctional and culturally diverse teams, to bring strong operational results.