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Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.
Masakatsu Amano is an Analysis Engineer with thirty years of laboratory experience working alongside the Ichikawa factory of Tanaka Kikinzoku in Japan.
Masakatsu specializes in accurate analysis techniques for evaluating PGM precious metals in customer samples. In his role, he is responsible for maintaining the accuracy of the analyses, developing new techniques and maintaining the overall quality of the laboratory.
Masakatsu is inspired daily by his wife. In his free time, Masakatsu travels to the beach, enjoys watching sports such as F1 and NFL, and listening good old progressive rock.
University of Lausanne
Barbara graduated in Earth Sciences at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and got her doctoral degree at the Universities of Lausanne and Fribourg in the field of archaeometry, a research topic which aims to solve historical or archaeological questions with extended mineralogical methods. She then worked at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology and later on for the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Consumer Protection Division.
Barbara is Privat Docent and currently a lecturer in the field of natural resource management and senior researcher at University of Lausanne. With her research, she aims to use mineralogical, geochemical and geostatistical tools to solve issues relating to the traceability of mined gold.
Product Applications Manager
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Jean-Marc Böhlen holds a master's degree in chemistry and a PhD in NMR spectroscopy from the University of Lausanne. He joined the optical emission marketing team at Thermo Fisher Scientific in Ecublens, Switzerland, 22 years ago. After many years as product manager for OES spectrometers, he is currently product applications manager, responsible among other things for collaborations with partners in the metallurgical industry.
Mr. Cappellini holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and an Executive MBA diploma from CUOA Business school.
He worked 15 years in the Oil & Gas Processing Industry and has been involved in complex projects worldwide.
He has extensive experience as resident manager and commercial manager in the USA, China and Australia.
Mr. Cappellini joined IKOI as Commercial Director five years ago and is now active in the promotion of innovative technology for the precious metal industry worldwide.
MKS PAMP SA
Giovanni holds a MSc in Management Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, where he also served for several years as freelance researcher and consultant. He later qualified as Quality System Manager and as Occupational Health & Safety Engineer. He joined PAMP in 2013 and he is currently a member of the ESG team of MKS PAMP SA. He is based at the production facility in Ticino, where he is in charge of Health & Safety, Environmental and Quality matters.
Refinery Operations Manager
Rand Refinery PTY Ltd
Elton Cupido is currently employed at Rand Refinery as Refinery Operations Manager and reports to the GM Refinery and Fabrication. He is accountable for Managing the Refinery business unit and is responsible for the maintenance, metal accounting activities, capital deployment and improvement projects. Elton also plays an intricate role in the implementation and evaluation of the Refinery business unit’s business strategy.
He has a total of 29 years industrial experience as a chemical engineer, of which 15 years of experience resides with Rand Refinery. He started his career, at Rand Refinery, as a Senior Process Engineer and later promoted to Project Process Manager. After 5 years employment at Rand Refinery, Elton left and was employed by a leading consulting company (Basil Read and TWP) as a consulting Lead Process Engineer. He was responsible to lead feasibility studies in various metallurgical processes in the mining industry for both South African and Australian customers. Elton later returned to Rand Refinery as a Refinery Operations Manager.
During his 15-year tenor he played a leading role in the conducting feasibility studies in various gold, silver and platinum/palladium refining and extraction processes. Elton also played an integral part in installing and commissioning key refining and precious metal extraction processes. He has a passion to continually improve processes and has centred Rand Refinery improvement projects around the sustainable development goals (SDG’s) and subsequently managed to reduce the Refinery’s effluent production.
Prior to Rand Refinery he worked for the Dow Chemical company as an Engineering Specialist and later a Production Manager.
Elton has a degree in Chemical Engineering, Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Philosophy in Corporate Strategy from Gordon Institute of Business Science.
Apart from his professional life, he enjoys mountain biking, hiking, and jogging. He is married and is a father of three.
Ruth was appointed Chief Executive of the LBMA in January 2014. She is responsible for the success and strategic development of the LBMA, in partnership with the Chairman and the Board. She is also responsible for maintaining accountability to and the quality of, the Association's Membership and Good Delivery Refiners as well as representing the interests of the Association in relation to regulators, investors, media and international precious metals markets.
Tony Evanson is now a consultant for LBMA, having previously been employed by several investment banks, and formally Director of Vaulting at Brinks. Tony was also previously a member of the LBMA Physical Committee, Chair of the London vault managers group, and a member of the ICE Benchmark price oversight committee. He previously spoke at the 2011 A&R conference on the subject of bar defects and imperfections from the London market perspective.
Chief Assayer and Manager of Assay Services
Royal Canadian Mint
Charles Daoust has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Ottawa (2010). He is a licensed Engineer in the province of Ontario as well as a registered safety professional in Canada. He began his career at the Royal Canadian Mint in 2013 within the precious metals operations as a health and safety professional where he developed an expertise in industrial hygiene with a focus on heavy metals and its deportation throughout the refining processes. In 2019 he moved into operations management and is currently the Chief Assayer and Manager of Assay Services, overseeing the Royal Canadian Mint’s analytical laboratory.
Ankur has 32 years of production and techno-commercial marketing experience in the Indian gems and jewellery industry. He has played key roles in setting up manufacturing units for large jewellery organisations including Tanishq and Vaibhav Gems, and employed this deep expertise in the set-up of world-class production facility at MMTC-PAMP India Pvt Ltd.
At MMTC-PAMP, as President (Works) he heads the precious metal refining and minting operations, and drives product and process innovation that steers the company towards global leadership. He has been instrumental in the company getting LBMA accreditation for both Gold and silver and also accreditations like NABL, BIS, ISO 900, ISO14001, ISO 45001, , SA 8000, RJC (COP and COC), ISO 50001, 5S award and Best Refinery Award.
Ankur holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru respectively. He is also technical assessor for NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) and also is Director in PAMP Precision Manufacturing India Pvt Ltd, PAMP Speciality Services Pvt Ltd and Director in RJC (Responsible Jewellery Council) for the period of 2022-25.
Michael W. Hinds (Ph.D.)
MHinds Analytical Consulting Inc.
Michael W. Hinds enjoyed university so much that he stayed there for many years while obtaining: B. Education 1979 (University of Regina, Canada), B. Science - Chemistry 1983 and Ph.D. Analytical Chemistry 1988 (University of Saskatchewan, Canada). Between degrees, he was employed as a school teacher, laboratory instructor, and held various summer research positions.
Michael joined the Royal Canadian Mint in 1988 and has been employed as the Assay Chemist to the present day. The main functions of his work involve: developing and introducing new analytical methods to support all the Mint’s activities, making and certifying precious metal reference materials, and advising on sampling and mass metrology.
Michael has been involved in authoring 46 refereed publications and has given 41 invited conference presentations. He is the Chair of the LBMA Reference Material Project Steering Committee and has been on the teaching faculty of the XRF Short Course at Hamilton College in NY (formerly at Western University, London, ON, Canada) since 2005.
Chief Technical Officer
As Chief Technical Officer for the LBMA, Neil’s responsibilities include acting as the Executive’s main contact for the Good Delivery system for GD Refiners, applicants and LBMA Committees. His duties include managing the LBMA Good Delivery accreditation system, including applications, Pro-Active Monitoring, Proficiency Testing and other GD related projects. The role also involves overseeing the work of the GDL Officer in the administration of the Good Delivery system as well as managing the implementation by gold Good Delivery refiners of the LBMA’s Responsible Gold Guidance and ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the Good Delivery work carried out by the LBMA.
Mr. James is both a chartered chemical engineer and health and safety management professional, with over 30 years’ experience in the chemical industry and consultancy. His experience has ranged across chlor-alkali, petrochemicals, polymers and metals. He has been with Johnson Matthey since 2020, leading EHS for Battery Materials, Pharmaceuticals and currently PGM Services businesses globally.
Jonathan J. Jodry
Business Development Director
Metalor Industries SA & Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.
Based at Tanaka Kikinzoku headquarters in Tokyo (Japan), Jonathan J. Jodry currently holds the position of Business Development Director for Metalor Technologies, a company he joined in 2009. He has previously worked as Head of Laboratories, and then Head of New Business Development in charge of leading the creation and development of new products and services.
Jonathan is and has always been heavily involved in precious metals trade, non-profit and standardisation associations. He chairs the ISO/TC 174, the technical committee writing all the international standards for precious metals, jewellery and gemstones. He also is the Chair of the IPMI Awards Committee and serves on the Board of the IPMI Foundation. Previously, Jonathan was also President of the European Chapter of the IPMI, a chapter he helped found and develop, and served for 6 years at the Management Committee of the LPPM (London Platinum and Palladium Market), including as Physical Chairman. He has also represented Metalor Technologies as an official Referees at both the LBMA and the LPPM for more than 12 years.
Jonathan got his PhD at the University of Geneva in 2000 in organic and supramolecular chemistry, before spending 8 years in Japan. He also obtained in 2016 two Executive MBAs from London Business School and Columbia University of New York.
General Manager Laboratory, Research & Development
The Perth Mint
Michael Koch holds the position of the General Manager Laboratory, Research & Development at the Perth Mint, with over 20 years’ experience in precious metals refining. Prior to joining The Perth Mint, he worked in the gold and base metal sectors of the mineral exploration industry, managing commercial laboratories for Analabs, Inchcape Inspection & Testing, and Scientific Services across Australia and Indonesia.
Michael has been an active member of the Standards Australia CH-10 precious metals committee, providing valuable contributions to the industry. In 2018, he was appointed as the committee's Chair, as the nominated representative of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
Trace Analysis and Metallurgy Laboratory Manager
Daniela Manara is an analytical chemist and sworn assayer. She joined Metalor Technologies in 2021 as the Trace analysis and Metallurgy laboratory manager, and is also in charge of the ISO 17034 Certified Reference Materials laboratory. She also represents Metalor as a referee at both the LBMA and the LPPM.
Daniela is an expert on the ISO Technical committee 174 on “Precious Metals & Jewellery“.
Daniela has over 30 years of experience in the analysis of precious metals, and has worked for several Swiss refineries.
She is also very much involved with this Assaying & Refining Conference, an event she has helped to organize for more than a decade.
Dr. Maarten Moens
Head of the Analytical Laboratory
Maarten Moens obtained his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) in 2007. After working within the engineering department of Atlas Copco Airpower for a few years, he joined Umicore Precious Metals Refining in Hoboken, Belgium in 2011. Within Umicore, Dr. Moens has been responsible for the precious metal part of the analytical laboratory for 7 years, before becoming Head of the analytical laboratory in 2017.
Franklin University and Argo Associates
Mike has Master’s degrees in Chemistry and Business and a PhD in Metallurgical Engineering and he has spent most of his career in the precious metal business starting as a gold miner in South Africa. He has served as VP Production and General Manager for Metalor Technologies USA, one of the largest precious metal companies and refiners in the US, and has published over 30 papers in the field of precious metals. He is also the holder of two US Patents for precious metal recovery. Mike is the President of Argo Advisors International, a consultancy and engineering company that specializes in the precious metals industry. When he is not consulting, he is a Professor in the MBA program at Franklin Pierce University, New Hampshire
Executive Head: SHEQ and Technical Assurance
Terance was appointed on 1 February 2016 as the Executive Head: SHEQ and Technical Assurance. He holds a BEng (Chemical), B Eng Honours (Environment), IMDP, PGDip (Human Sciences) and an MBA.
Terance started his career at Samancor as a graduate metallurgist in January 2000. He later joined Rand Refinery as a plant metallurgist in August 2001 where he held various positions within the department. He was appointed as the Head: Smelter in May 2008 which is the position that he held until January 2016 when he was appointed as the Executive Head: SHEQ and Technical Assurance.
In 2012, Terance was nominated as the Rising Star in the Minerals and Mining category. Since the commencement of his career, he has been involved in completing several projects successfully that helped in sustainability and processing.
Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.
Takuya Obi was born in 1996 in Chuo City, Yamanashi, Japan. He received a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from Tsukuba University in 2019 and a Master's degree in 2021. Mr. Obi joined Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. in 2021, initially assigned to the Laboratory Center.
Head of Good Delivery
Varsha leads the Good Delivery refiners accreditation and Good Delivery System, responsible for strategic implementation and delivery. The role also involves working closely and overseeing the work of the Precious Metals Officer in the management of the Good Delivery system and ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the Good Delivery work carried out. Varsha’s responsibilities include maintaining strong working relationships with applicants, GD refiners, various LBMA Committees and acting as the main contact on issues relating to Good Delivery.
Regional Research Group of Isfahan, Standard Research Institute
Farahnaz Rejali holds a Ph.D. degree in Analytical Chemistry from the Isfahan University of Technology in Iran. She is the Head of a research group in Standard Organization of Isfahan, the secretary of the mirror committee ISO/TC174 (Jewellery and Precious metals) in Iran, and a university lecturer. She has also worked for years as the manager of the precious metal assaying laboratory in Standard Organization and as an observer of manufacturing companies of gold articles.
Her area of interest consists of various methods of assaying precious metals such as gold alloy in laboratories and working on the effects of Platinum elements on these methods and karat of gold articles.
Farahnaz was selected as the top researcher of the Iran National Standards Organization in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2022.
Alessandro Ruffoni has graduated in chemical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) and got his doctor degree at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL).
He has been working since 1988 at Argor-Heraeus in Mendrisio, where he has been environmental manager and responsible for the analytical techniques.
He is sworn assayer and member of the ISO TC174/WG1 working group “Methods for determining fineness”; he has contributed with his team to the accreditation of Argor-Heraeus as LBMA Referee and to the ISO 17025 accreditation of the company’s assay laboratory. As part of his environmental duties he was further involved in the ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.
Director of Refining & Inventory Management
Royal Canadian Mint
Rob has an engineering degree in Chemical Engineering (Queens University Canada).
Rob has spent most of his 30+ year career in various manufacturing operations leadership roles. He has spent the last 14 years in Precious Metals Refining at the Royal Canadian Mint. He started his career at the Royal Canadian Mint leading strategic projects within Refining Operations before taking on his current role in 2011 as Director Refining & Inventory Mgmt.
Leo has a Masters Diploma in Chemical Engineering (Technikon Witwatersrand South Africa). He has spent most of his professional career in the precious metals refining and chemical industries, starting as a research technologist with Mintek and DeBeers Diamond Research Laboratories in South Africa.
After moving to the USA in 1996, he spent twelve years at Metalor Technologies USA, initially as a Process Engineer and then as the Engineering Manager.
He then spent a seven-year period as the Director of Manufacturing at Technic Inc, a precious metal chemical manufacturing company located in Rhode Island, USA.
In 2013, he joined Elemetal Refining, a large gold and silver refinery in Jackson Ohio USA, where he spent four years as the Director of Engineering. In 2017 Leo returned to Metalor Technologies USA where he currently serves as an Engineering Manager.
Head of Laboratory
Alessia holds a master degree in Materials Engineering and a PhD in Mechanical System Engineering both at Politecnico di Milano.
Alessia joined Valcambi in 2007 as Technical Officer of Metallurgy and Heat Treatments in mechanical production. From December 2009 she served as Deputy Head of Foundry and Production Planning.
In 2015 she qualified as a Sworn Assayer and has held this role at Valcambi since September 2020.
In October 2020 Alessia has been appointed to role of Valcambi Head of Laboratory.
Senior Manager: Laboratory
Madeleine currently holds the position of Senior Manager: Laboratory at Rand Refinery in South Africa. She reports to the Executive Head: SHEQ and Technical Assurance business unit which is responsible for swift, precise, and accurate sampling and analysis of low- and high-grade deposits received and ensuring governance requirements.
She was an integral part of assisting a gold refinery in achieving LBMA accreditation and currently represents Rand Refinery on the Referees Panel and forms part of Committee that reviews technical aspects undertaken by LBMA.
Madeleine has 29 years’ experience in the mining and refinery industry in South Africa. These skills, together with a degree in Laboratory Management and a National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry, enables her to add immense value to the innovations needed in the refining industry. Her experience does not only include electro wining processes, but she also has extensive experience of the Minataur solvent extraction gold refining process. She played an integral part of managing the process analysis of the Minataur process when it was developed and implemented locally.
Aside from the day-to-day management of the laboratory, she oversees the proficiency testing, proactive monitoring and LBMA reference material projects. Her passion for improving technology in her field of expertise, ensures that the company continuously strives to adjust to the ever-changing world of technology and be able to compete with the high standards set in the refining industry. Madeleine initiated round robins with local and international laboratories with the view of improving analytical capabilities and continuous benchmarking. She has collaborated with some scholars to produce materials that could be used to improve analytical techniques.
Madeleine is married and a mother of two. She is a technocrat and believes in supporting young talent in South Africa as part of imparting skills to the next generation. Currently, she is working on an initiative to commercialise analytical services with the view of improving employment for youth in South Africa and sharing skills acquired.
Chris Walne has spent the past 35 years identifying and analysing precious metal materials for the jewellery and industrial industries. During this time he worked in various roles initially in the Laboratories for Inspectorate Ltd then at the Goldsmiths Company London Assay Office for 30 years as Laboratory Manager and Technical Manager. He also sat for a number of years on the ISO 174 technical committee overseeing methods of analysis for Jewellery and precious metals and at present he is the Laboratory Manager for the Hatton Garden branch of Mastermelt Ltd which is involved in all types of precious metal reclamation.
Senior Product Specialist ICP-OES
SPECTRO Analytical Instruments GmbH
Dirk Wissmann received a Diploma in Chemistry at the University in Dortmund, Germany.
He did his PhD thesis at the Institute for Materials Research in Dresden, Germany.
Dirk is the Product Specialist for ICP instruments at Spectro Analytical Instruments and is responsible for the strategic development of the complete product line including application development and product support. Dirk’s experience in spectroscopy began with his graduate work in chemistry at the university in Dortmund. There he worked with inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectrometers. Dirk moved to SPECTRO Analytical Instruments GmbH in 2012.
Head of Laboratories
Stefan Zorn started his career with Agosi AG in 1982 in the analytical laboratory. After completing his training, he worked with fire assay, gravimetry, ICP-OES and Spark within the whole spectrum of precious metals. After gaining a great deal of experience in this area, he became the manager of analytical services in 2000. In 2006, he took his current position as Head of Laboratories.