Our management team

Our management team

Champion Iron experts share a single mission:
responsible and carefully planned profitability

Michael O’Keeffe - Champion Iron

Michael O’Keeffe
Executive Chairman of the Board

A metallurgist by training, Michael serves as executive chairman of Champion Iron. His vast knowledge of the mining industry and its issues and his extensive experience managing large companies have given him an impressive track record of rock-solid achievements.

Riversdale Mining Limited (2004-2011)

As executive chairman, Michael drove the development of this Australian mining company, taking it from a junior company with a market capitalization of $7 million to a major company acquired by Rio Tinto for the staggering sum of $4 billion. During his tenure at Riversdale Mining, Michael raised nearly $780 million for the company.

Glencore Australia Limited (1995-2004)

As managing director, Michael was responsible for Glencore’s Australian acquisitions. Under his tutelage, company market share in Australia and South Asia increased exponentially, and sales exploded from $100 million to $2.4 billion.

Mount Isa Mines (1975-1994)

At Mount Isa, Michael rose with determination up to executive management level in commercial activities of this mining company in Queensland, Australia. His mandates included feasibility studies for copper smelting and pursuing refining opportunities in Europe, Asia, North America and South America.

David Cataford <span>Eng</span> - Champion Iron

David Cataford Eng
Chief Executive Officer and Director

David joined Champion Iron in 2014 and has been working in the iron industry and the Labrador Through for the past 15 years. He was appointed President and Chief Executive officer of Champion Iron on April 1, 2019. As Chief Operating Officer of the Company, he played a key role in the management team, delivering the successful restart of the Bloom Lake Mine by managing its construction and commissioning and building a team composed of more than 400 top mining talents. Prior to joining Champion Iron, David held senior management positions within Cliff Natural Resources Inc.

His experience in iron ore mining includes mineral characterization projects at Bloom Lake and for AccerlorMittal at Mount Wright, as well as adapting the recovery circuit to meet new customer demands in order to maximize profit margins. David is also the co-founder of the North Shore and Labrador Mineral Processing Society.

David holds a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from Laval University.

Natacha Garoute <span>CPA-CA</span> - Champion Iron

Natacha Garoute CPA-CA
Chief Financial Officer

With more than 20 years of finance experience as a CPA, Natacha has developed a strong focus in mining and public listed corporations with extensive international exposure. Thanks to her legal background, Natacha optimized tax structures and financed development and production stages companies through project debt and equity financing. Prior to joining Champion, Natacha was Chief Financial Officer of Roxgold Inc and Corporate Controller at Semafo Inc. and held senior positions at Canadian National Railway Inc and PwC. Natacha also sits on the Board of Directors, Audit Committee and Special Governance Commitee of Corem.

Natacha holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Quebec and a law degree from the University of Montreal.

Alexandre Belleau <span>Eng</span> - Champion Iron

Alexandre Belleau Eng
Chief Operating Officer

Alexandre joined the team in 2016, right at the beginning of the QIO adventure. With his career as entrepreneur in various lines of business, Alexandre’s versatility allowed him to successfully head the restart of Bloom Lake. He is closely involved in many aspects of the company where logistics, operations, human resources and financing, among other things, all benefit from his expertise in business development and project management.

Alexandre holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from the Université de Sherbrooke and is an executive member of the Quebec Mining Association.

Steve Boucratie - Champion Iron

Steve Boucratie
Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Steve Boucratie joined Champion Iron in June 2019 as Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Steve brings more than 13 years of legal and transaction experience. Prior to joining Champion, Steve was serving as Director, Legal Affairs and Assistant Corporate Secretary for Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. Before Osisko, Steve was a partner of the law firm Fasken Martineau Dumoulin LLP where he practiced corporate law.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Law from Montreal University, a Bachelor of Business Administration from HEC Montreal and is a member of the Barreau du Québec.

Michael Marcotte <span>CFA</span> - Champion Iron

Michael Marcotte CFA
Vice-President Investor Relations

Michael joined Champion Iron in 2018 as Vice-Present Investor Relations. Prior to joining Champion Iron Limited, Michael worked as Vice-President and Partner at Orion Financials Inc. from 2004 to 2007, which was acquired by Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd., where he most recently worked as Associate Director engaging institutional investors across North America and Europe from 2007 to 2018. His previous experience includes equity research focused on resource equities at various institutional asset managers. Michael’s was recognized as a leading institutional sales professional in 2017 and 2018, when he was awarded the ‘TopGun’ award by Brendan Wood International. Michael also sits on the Board of Directors of Ruelle de l’Avenir, a non profit organization contributing to the learning and academic success of young people in greater Montréal.

Michael is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a Calvin C. Potter Fellow and holds a Commerce Degree from Concordia University.

François Lafrenière - Champion Iron

François Lafrenière
Chief People and Sustainability Officer

After joining the Quebec Iron Ore team in 2016, François was appointed Chief People and Sustainability Officer in 2021, a role in which he is responsible for the talent deployment and the implementation of sustainability principles within the company. 

For the previous fifteen years, François held a variety of senior management consulting firms and in the mining industry. Today, his passion for people and sustainability inspires him to develop innovative, socially and environmentally responsible approaches to mining production. François studied in the Bachelor of Geology program at Université du Québec à Montréal and holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in environmental geography from Université de Montréal.

Pradip Devalia - Champion Iron

Pradip Devalia
Company Secretary – Australia

Pradip joined Champion Iron Limited as Company Secretary in June 2014. Prior to joining Champion Iron Limited, Pradip 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, Pradip has worked as a consultant to various companies, including Riversdale Mining Limited and Rio Tinto. Pradip is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand.