Management Team

Management Team

Michael O’Keeffe | Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. O’Keeffe is the Executive Chairman and CEO of Champion Iron Limited, and the Chairman of Riversdale Resources (which recently acquired “Grassy Mountain”, a Canadian coal asset from Consol Energy and Devon). Mr. O’Keeffe is a metallurgist and has significant experience and achievement in growing mining resources companies. Some companies previously under Mr. O’Keeffe’s stewardship include:

  • Riversdale Mining Limited (2004-2011), Executive Chairman – Mr. O’Keeffe led the development of Riversdale Mining from a junior with a market cap of A$7 million until it was acquired by Rio Tinto for A$4 billion. During his period at Riversdale Mining, Mr. O’Keeffe raised approximately A$780 million for the company.
  • Glencore Australia (Pty) Limited (1995-2004), Managing Director – Mr. O’Keeffe was responsible for Glencore’s Australian trading acquisitions. Under his leadership, Glencore increased its market share in Australia and SE Asia, growing the turnover from US$100 million to US$2.4 billion.
  • Mt Isa Mines (1975-1994). At Mt Isa, Mr. O’Keeffe held a series of senior operating positions, rising to Executive Management level in commercial activities. His achievement among others was undertaking feasibility studies into downstream copper smelting and refining opportunities in Europe, Asia, North and South America.

Miles Nagamatsu, CA | Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Nagamatsu joined Champion Iron Limited’s wholly owned subsidiary Champion Iron Mines Limited as Chief Financial Officer in March 2006, bringing with him over 30 years of experience in accounting, management, lending, restructurings and turnarounds. Since 1993, Mr. Nagamatsu has acted as a Chief Financial Officer of public and private companies primarily in the mineral exploration and investment management sectors.  For over 25 years, he has served as volunteer Treasurer and Director of Cystic Fibrosis Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University and is a Chartered Accountant.

Jorge Estepa Vice President, Corporate Secretary – Canada
Mr. Estepa has served as Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of Champion Iron Limited’s wholly owned subsidiary Champion Iron Mines Limited between 2006 and March 2014. Mr. Estepa brings with him over 20 years of experience with Canadian-based publicly listed companies in the areas of corporate management, development and investor relations. In addition to Champion Iron Mines, since 1995, Mr. Estepa has served as a senior officer and/or director of several publicly traded resource companies. Mr. Estepa holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

Pradipkumar Devalia Company Secretary – Australia
Mr. Devalia joined Champion Iron Limited as Company Secretary in June 2014.  Prior to joining Champion Iron Limited, Mr Devalia was a senior tax partner of PwC in Sydney and has expertise in the resources sector reporting to the Executive team and the Board of Directors of major multinational companies.  Since leaving PwC, Mr Devalia has worked as a consultant to various companies, including Riversdale Mining Limited and Rio Tinto.  Mr Devalia is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand.

Beat Frei | Head of Business Development
Mr. Frei joined Champion Iron Mines Limited as Director of Project Finance in October 2012. Throughout his career, Mr. Frei successfully executed mandates in various areas including corporate and infrastructure/project finance. Prior to commencing his role as a financial advisor in the commodities field in 2000, Mr. Frei worked more than 20 years in various positions at Credit Suisse/CSFB (Vice President) and as a Director of UBS AG. More recently, Mr. Frei contributed significantly to the upgrade of several steel and metal plants in the Middle East and CIS countries, was Finance Director of Klöckner & Co., Germany (a leading steel distribution company), was engaged by global steel traders such as Duferco SA, Switzerland and Balli Group, UK and advised SMS Demag AG, Germany (a leading equipment maker for the steel industry). Furthermore, Mr. Frei held the position of CFO with OOO Enisey, a mid-size Russian oil company which transformed into an integrated oil company by building the world’s most northerly-located refinery in Usinsk. Significantly, projects which were completed and advanced with Mr. Frei’s input had a value of more than US $2 billion and were mainly financed with debt instruments.

David Cataford, Eng. Vice President, Engineering
Mr. Cataford joined Champion Iron Mines Limited in October 2014. Mr. Cataford has deep understanding of iron ore and mining in the Labrador Trough. He held various management positions at Cliffs Natural Resources Inc, including senior roles at their major iron ore mine: Bloom Lake, in Québec. At Bloom Lake, he was part of the management team that increased mining capacity by 80 percent; he was also instrumental in delivering the completion of phase-one ramp-up of the Plant. Mr. Cataford’s experience in iron-ore mining includes ore characterization projects at Bloom Lake and ArcelorMittal’s Mont Wright, and adapting the recovery circuit to meet new customer’s demands. Mr. Cataford is currently the Chair and Co-founder of the North Shore and Labrador Mineral Processing Society; he also sits on the board of Canadian Mineral Processors.