The Artisanal Gold Council (AGC) is a not-for-profit organization based out of Victoria, BC, Canada. We are global experts leading the transformation to an environmentally sound, socially responsible, and formalized artisanal gold mining sector.
Our global team has extensive field knowledge and direct experience with Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining communities worldwide. We have decades of experience in the areas of business, sustainable development, social responsibility, governance, environment, health, geology, geospatial analysis, gold markets, and mercury science. We work with miners, government, and industry. Our diversity is our strength.
Dr. Kevin Telmer, PhD – Executive Director
Kevin received his PhD from the University of Ottawa in Geochemistry and held a tenured Professorship at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria from 1999 until 2011 before taking the lead position at the Artisanal Gold Council he started his work in artisanal mining in 1995 in the Brazilian Amazon and in the following 20 years has worked in numerous countries across three continents. He has extensive experience in technical, policy, and business capacities in the field with miners, governments, international institutions, and industry. He has become a world renowned expert and a voice on the international stage with numerous publications on the issue, including authoring the global estimate on mercury use in artisanal gold mining used to negotiate the Minimata Convention.
Creating sustainable business opportunities for investors and the bullion and jewelry markets while improving the economics, health and environment of miners and their communities in collaboration with governments is a direction that Dr. Telmer brings to the council. A primary goal is to increase responsible artisanal gold production to volumes that are significant relative to the size of the burgeoning sector.
Mike Williamson, MBA, PMP – VP Operations
Mike is the VP Operations for the AGC, and brings several decades experience in project management, technical and executive leadership and business operations. He has a BSc in Math and Physics (St. Mary’s), an MBA (U Ottawa) and is a graduate of the NSSC in Toronto.
Mike served with the Canadian Navy for 27 years, retiring as a Naval Captain from the role of Commander of the west coast Naval Base in Esquimalt. His career had him serve in a variety of seagoing and shore based positions in Canada and abroad, in management, engineering and training roles, both with ships and submarines. After retiring from the Navy, he was active in the oil and gas, marine shipbuilding and repair, and high tech sectors. He has an active interest in private, post-secondary and high school, education.
Combining the AGC’s deep field experience and broad artisanal gold sector exposure, with market demands for responsible artisanal gold, is a major focus of Mike’s, with the intent to continue to improve outcomes for artisanal gold miners and their communities.
Richard Gutierrez, JD, Ll.M. – Project Manager (Indonesia) and Minamata Expert
Richard brings over a decade of experience in project management on ASGM specific projects as well as policy and development expertise in the field of chemicals and wastes. Richard received his Masters of Law from Columbia University, NY, and Juris Doctor from the Ateneo School of Law in Manila. He has an AB in Political Science and BSC in Management from De La Salle University in Manila. Richard has been working on the issues of international chemicals and waste policy since 2000, and has worked specifically on the global mercury issue since 2001. Richard has participated in the call for a mercury treaty since 2002 and has since participated in the development of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which was adopted in 2013.
Prior to joining AGC Richard established and led a Southeast Asian non-profit environmental organization in the Philippines focused on environmental justice and sustainable development. His work in the Philippines has helped transform government policies on mercury and artisanal and small-scale gold mining. He helped the country develop its 1st National Strategic Plan on the Phase-out of Mercury in ASGM, which has since become a template for other countries to follow. Richard is fluent in Filipino and English and has extensive experience in Southeast Asia.
Cathy Sturgeon, MA – Communications & Program Manager
Cathy has an entrepreneurial spirit and loves exploring new ideas and making things happen. She has a keen interest in sustainable development, social innovation, social enterprising, and social finance. Her work and education has taken her to various parts of the world and she is fluent in English, French, and Spanish.
Cathy oversees AGC’s strategic engagement efforts and assists the organization with its management of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) projects in Africa, South America, and Asia. She is excited to be working with a team of passionate and dedicated experts working to improve the opportunities, environment, and health of the millions of people involved in this sector in the developing world. Cathy brings experience working with public, private, and not-for-profit organizations both domestically and internationally in the areas of business operations, organizational and leadership development, communications and program management. She has a BComm (International Trade) and a BA (Spanish Literature) from the University of Ottawa and has a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University with a focus on developing high performing teams.
Ricardo Rossin, MSc – Technical Director, Senior Geochemist and Technologist
Ricardo is the AGC’s chief technical expert on environmental science and geochemical analysis and also assists the ED in managing operations. He has worked in North and South America, South East Asia and West Africa, and is fluent in English, French and Portuguese.
Ricardo has installed state of the art atmospheric monitoring systems for mercury and meteorological data in the field in gold mining communities, trained local operators, and created training manuals. He is an expert in the design of field sampling surveys and has designed, installed and operated gravimetric gold recovery systems in ASGM communities targeting mercury reduction and its elimination. Ricardo has extensive experience with geochemical analysis of rocks, soils, water, and air and has operated and maintained numerous analytical instruments including ICPMS, AA, CVAFS, IC, and many more, for trace element, carbon, gold, and high precision, custom, mercury analysis, as well as simple through to complex mercury abatement systems.
Sixto Humberto Aguero, MASc – Mineral Processing Engineer
Sixto completed his MASc Mining Engineering at University of British Columbia (UBC) with focus on grinding and energy efficiency and another MASc in Energy Management at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) with focus on alternative energy, he also holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering.
He has worked on ASGM in Ecuador, Colombia and Honduras helping improve recovery and energy efficiency on the gravimetric circuits. He also worked two years as teaching assistant on Introduction to Mineral Processing at Coal and Mineral Processing Laboratory at Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining at UBC. He has over of 20 previous years experience on Industry in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela on improving energy use, air pollution emission monitoring and control. Sixto has been an active member of Mesoamerican Development Institute working on the introduction of renewable energy systems for sustainable coffee drying in Central America, for this contribution he was awarded from US Forest International Cooperation an appreciation certificate on the “Wings Across the Americas 2009 International edition” He is fluent in Spanish and English.
Bryan Koehler, PEng – Program and Environmental Manager
Bryan is a Geo-Environmental Engineer, a registered Professional Engineer in Canada (Alberta), and completed his Bachelor of Environmental Engineering degree at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. He brings over six years of consulting experience in the fields of mining, oil, and gas remediation/reclamation. Bryan has held active research and development, engineering design, and project management roles for mining, oil, and gas remediation projects around the world, and has collaborated with multiple regulatory agencies in Canada and the U.S.A.
Bryan is a Program and Environmental Manager at AGC, and is responsible for developing a strategy for implementation of environmental baseline at project sites, as well as developing environmental monitoring systems to assess each project’s performance.
Peter Rosenbluth, MSc – Manager of Program Planning and Development
Peter is a results based management specialist as well as an environment and development specialist with over a decade of experience working for non-profit organizations in Canada and Southeast Asia. Peter has been a consultant to academic institutions, environmental organizations and Aboriginal governments and has worked on issues ranging from mercury toxicity in fish to the creation of transnational environmental management institutions.
With an interdisciplinary background in geology, economics, environmental sciences and international development, Peter helps to ensure that the AGC develops crosscutting solutions to the multifaceted challenges of the artisanal gold sector. He holds a B.Sc. in Earth Sciences and Economics from McGill University and a Master of Environmental Studies from York University.
Milene Pacheco, MSc – Minamata Project Manager
Milene holds a master’s degree in Sustainable Development from Paris Dauphine University, France, and University of Vienna, Austria. Prior to joining AGC, she worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) developing and implementing projects with focus on mercury reduction and elimination in Africa and Latin America. She is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Milene is responsible for managing projects that support countries to meet the requirements of the Minamata Convention on mercury, especially in the ASGM sector.
Adele Ashby, CGA – Director of Finance & Administration
Adele is the Senior Administrator for the AGC, and brings several years of experience as a senior manager. She recently moved to Victoria from Ottawa, Ontario were she was the Finance Manager for the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians. Adele is a CGA and has worked with Not for Profit organisations for many years. She is fluent in English and French.
Adele looks forward to helping the executive team in their quest to improve the ASGM sector.
Jennifer O’Neill, MSc – Remote Sensing Scientist and Technical Writer
Jennifer is a remote sensing specialist, biologist, and technical writer with a strong background in research. She holds a MSc degree in Remote Sensing and a double BSc degree in Biology and Geography from the University of Victoria in BC, Canada. Her past roles include oceanographic research for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and remote sensing research for various academic institutions, federal government, and not-for-profit agencies. Jennifer has worked on a broad range of issues, including ecological response to environmental disturbance, feasibility of natural resource mapping and monitoring using satellite and aerial imagery, and the overlap of social and environmental considerations in marine spatial planning in the Philippines.
Jennifer is responsible for writing the UNEP ASGM Baseline Toolkit, an instructional guide and toolkit for producing a national overview of a country’s ASGM sector and baseline estimates of mercury used, mercury lost to the environment, gold produced, and miner population. She is also involved with the ASGM portion of the AMAP UNEP Global Mercury Assessment 2018, which aims to provide the most recent information available on worldwide atmospheric mercury emissions, releases to the aquatic environment, and the transport and fate of mercury in the global environment.
Rachel Deloughery, BSc – Executive Assistant
Rachel provides administrative support for all facets of the AGC’s operations from the office in Victoria.
Originally from Ottawa, she is pleased to be joining the diverse team at AGC. With years of administrative experience in a variety of sectors, and a B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Dalhousie University, Rachel brings a well-tailored set of skills to this organization.
Heather Clark – Accounting Officer
Heather has joined AGC as the Accounting Officer, bringing with her over 30 years of experience in accounting and management, as well as several years working with not-for-profit organizations in Alberta. Her diverse working history brings another level of expertise to the AGC family, and she looks forward to working with the team to ensure continued heightening of financial standards and efficiency.
Shawn Blore – Artisanal Gold Supply Chain Expert, Visiting Expert and Associate
Tracking and certifying artisanal gold along supply chains; design and implementaion of technical assistance programs to artisanal gold miners in return for legal gold sales through recognized channels; design of Conflict Minerals Certification Systems in Central Africa; Researcher and Policy Analyst for artisanal mining in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela; Post Graduate Fellow – Massey College, University of Toronto; Journalist and Broadcaster; Radio documentaries for CBC and NPR; Investigative stories for the Globe and Mail (Toronto), San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, The Independent (London), and others. 1992-1998 Journalist, Globe and Mail Newspaper, Vancouver, Canada
Languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, English.
Hoetomo – Country Representative Manager (Indonesia)
After serving as Civil Aparatur, Hoetomo is still active in sharing his skills and experiences in particular related to environmental issues. Management and institutional aspects are his specialty. He earned a Master Degree in Public Administration at the American University in Washington, D.C. in 1993. He joined AGC as a Policy Advisor for the AGC project in Indonesia in November 2016
Supriyanto – Assistant Project Manager (Indonesia)
With a Bachelors degree in Agriculture from Lampung University, Pak Supriyanto worked for seven years in oil palm plantation before moving on to non-governmental organizations. Supriyanto has almost ten years of experience working in international non-governmental organization and managing complex projects in Indonesia. Supriyanto has managed programs in the field of disaster risk reduction, emergency response, climate change and agriculture. Capacity building, community development, project management and environmental management are some of his main skills.
With his passion for community development and environment, Supriyanto will be managing our Indonesia project.
Chérif Sow – West Africa Country Manager / Gestionnaire des pays de l’Afrique de l’Ouest
Chérif has many years of experience working in community and rural development, as well as mining law research in Senegal and other African countries. He is responsible for supporting inventory methodology training and the National Action Plan processes in various countries of Francophone West Africa, as well as coordination of AGC`s activities in the region, including site selections, logistics and communication with the local and national government.
Wesbert Moussounda, MBA – National Project Coordinator, National Action Plan (Gabon)/Coordinateur National du Projet Plan d’Action Nationale (Gabon)
In 2008 Wesbert began his professional career in the mining industry at the Bamako (Mali) office of the Canadian group Avion Gold Corporation in the finance department. In 2010 he joined IAMGOLD Corporation another mining outfit operating in Mali. In January 2013 he became the Director of Operations for the Gabonese Gold Collection Agency (Comptoir Gabonais de Collecte de l’Or), and oversaw the legal purchase and export of gold from Artisanal and Small-scale gold producers across Gabon. In 2017 he joined the AGC as National Project Coordinator for the Gabonese National Action Plan to Reduce/Eliminate Mercury use in the Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining Sector.
C’est en 2008 qu’il débute sa carrière professionnelle dans l’industrie minière au bureau de Bamako (Mali) du groupe canadien Avion Gold Corporation dans le département finance. En 2010, il rejoint un autre groupe opérant au Mali : IAMGOLD Corporation. Puis, en janvier 2013, il rejoint le Comptoir Gabonais de Collecte de l’Or, en qualité de directeur des opérations. En 2017 il rejoint l’AGC comme Coordinateur National du Projet Plan d’Action Nationale pour le secteur d’Extraction Minière Artisanal et à petite échelle.
Luc Lepage, MSc, PGeo – Gold Processing and Geology
Field geologist since 1998, he has been involved in mapping and mineral exploration projects in remote areas of Canada and West Africa. As a front line geologist, he worked mainly with local labourers from nearby communities, sharing knowledge and experience to progress and make new discoveries. Luc uses his broad experience and technical skills to teach better practices to the miners and workers of the ASGM communities. He is fluent in French and English.
Luc conducts the field installation of the mercury-free gold processing plants and trains local miners from AGSM communities in installing, maintaining, and monitoring the efficiency of the systems. He has a BSc in Earth Sciences/Sciences de la Terre from the University of Ottawa and an applied Masters in Geology from the University of Western Ontario.
Dr. Carlos Albuquerque, PhD – Post-doctoral Fellow and researcher in Gold and Mercury Chemistry (supported by AGC)
Dr. Carlos Albuquerque began his career in Brazil at Federal University of Lavras, where he obtained degrees in Chemistry and Agrochemistry (Environmental Chemistry). He moved to the State University of Campinas as a PhD student. In 2015 he moved to Canada and began nanofabrication, nanolithography and photolithography investigations at the University of Victoria. As part of this project, Dr. Albuquerque developed a new method for quantifying antibiotics in ultra-low concentrations, offering a considerable improvement upon state-of-the-art techniques. Most recently he has worked with Dr. Lauro Kubota on developing a new imaging processing method for label-free extreme-sensing using nanoplasmonic sensors.
At present, Dr. Albuquerque is a Post-doctoral Fellow and researcher at the University of Victoria in Gold and Mercury Chemistry under the supervision of Alexandre Brolo and Kevin Telmer, and with support from the Artisanal Gold Council