I’ve been curious about Richard Lock’s background and how he fits into Oroco’s plans. I spent some time looking into his background and seeing what he has done with some of the companies he worked at. Here is a quick look at some of companies he has worked at:
Richard joined Western Potash in Feb 2012. He was with the company from Feb ’12 to Mar ’16. When he joined the company, the CEO of the company said:
Prior to joining the Company Richard worked at BHP/Rio Tinto’s joint-ventured Resolution Copper Mining Project in Superior, Arizona. As Project Director, Richard was responsible for the development of the multi-billion dollar project, including pre-feasibility studies and associated on-site activities (which include multiple shaft sinking activities for exploration and future development). Resolution hosts the third largest copper ore body in the world and is predicted to produce 25% of the US copper supply while creating 3,700 jobs and generating economic growth of over 61 billion USD.
So Richard had the track record of putting together the plan to develop large mining projects.
In 2012, Western Potash was still working on the Milestone Potash project. It in early stages of putting together a mining plan and was looking for a partner to join the company to help complete the feasibility study. Over his time at the company, the company did multiple PPs and delivered a compelling feasibility study. The company was later able to get a strategic investment.
Richard left the company in 2016, when the company was working on permits and planning to take the asset into production. The company ran into permit issues and delays that took the company till late 2021 to get the 43-101 out. In 2022 the company recently did a major transaction to get large capital in return for a merger. The company now looks like it is on plan to take its Milestone project into production.
Richard’s time with the company was successful in terms of putting together a mining plan, develop the feasibility plan, and get the asset to a phase where major players were getting involved in the asset.
Richard was with the company from Sept ’17 to Dec ’18. When he joined Arizona Mining the company had hired 3 other senior members to its development team. Richard was the most senior one. The company was basically hitting the gas on developing the mining plan and the feasibility study.
It didn’t take long for the company to sell the company. In June ’18 they announced the sale of the asset.
In that short time he was with Arizona Mining, the company announced a massive feasibility study. How much impact Richard had in less than 6 months with the company, between joining to announcing the feasibility study is questionable. Although his experience with the large projects must have helped in putting together the plan and getting it ready for a sale.
Richard joined PolyMet in Jan ’20 and was there till he came over to Oroco. He played a big role in those 2 years for the company. The project has been troubled with getting permits, mining in the US is hard.
This is what the CEO said when Richard joined the company:
“To secure the caliber of person with Mr. Lock’s experience, leadership and technical talents – where he has led some of the largest mining projects in the world – speaks to the NorthMet Project’s appeal as a fully permitted project within the world-class Duluth Complex, and the project’s tremendous potential as Minnesota’s first copper-nickel-precious metals mine,” said Jon Cherry, president and CEO. “We are very excited to have Richard on board and to further strengthen our leadership team.”
So what does it mean to get someone like Richard Lock? It is a huge huge news for Oroco. Someone of his caliber will have many opportunities, so Oroco wanting his services is just one of many companies that likely pursued Richard.
Also someone like Richard knows the mining industry really well. When he signed on with Oroco, he will have done his work to see what is there at Santo Tomas, what work needs to be done, and what he thinks majors will pay for it. Him signing on with Oroco is a huge deal for the asset. It is a stamp of approval for its Santo Tomas resource.
I think investors don’t realize the impact Richard will have. Although in 6-9 months you will start seeing the results. For me it is almost as good as getting a strategic investor to put its stamp on the Santo Tomas asset. People like Richard have too many opportunities, if he selects one you want to pay attention. I’m sure folks in the mining industry are paying attention to the Santo Tomas asset.