The heart of Highlands Geoscience consists of three highly skilled consultants whose combined experience totals over 90 years in exploration and mining. Our overlapping skills cover the full range of the resource industry from greenfields exploration to production and sustainability. Our broad experience allows us to bring a comprehensive whole-systems approach to supporting the best path forward for your company and project.
David S. Smith, MS, MBA, CPG
David Smith has been in the minerals exploration business for over 20 years. His experience spans the exploration industry and includes work in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile, and China on a wide range of ore deposits with particular emphasis on gold and precious metals.
In 1991 Dave worked for INCO's American subsidiary American Copper and Nickel at the Mineral Hill Mine in Jardine, Montana, where he did research on the high-grade Archean lode gold deposit, which was published in Economic Geology.
As Chief Geologist, he ran the exploration operations of La Esperanza Gold Explorations in western Mexico from 1995 to 1998, and was involved in discovering and drilling the Solidaridad deposit, now in development. Solidaridad has the potential to be one of the principal new ore deposits in Mexico, with an estimated 750,000 ounces gold, 2.3 million ounces silver, and 44 million pounds copper.
Dave was Chief Geologist for China Global Mining Resources in 2009 at the Xiaonanshan Mine in eastern China, where he mapped the complex hydrothermal magnetite iron deposit and directed a six-rig diamond drilling program and resource modeling that tripled the project's resource. During 2010 he was Vice President of Exploration and Sustainability for Standard Gold, where he managed the company's exploration and project evaluation activities.
Dave excels at careful geologic observations and their synthesis in understanding ore-forming systems; management of all aspects of mineral projects from acquisition to mapping, drilling, resource modeling, and development; first-rate geologic report writing and editing skills; sustainable innovations for mining, and an understanding of the business components necessary for successful resource projects.
Dave holds a BA from Carleton College, 1986; a MS from the University of Oregon, 1995; and a MBA from Bainbridge Graduate Institute, 2007. He has also worked as a hydrogeologist and technical editor. He earned a grade of A+ in the University of Michigan's geology field camp, and was nominated for USGS Summer Field Training Program. He was awarded Reviewer of the Year in 1996 by Mineralium Deposita, Europe's top mineral deposits research journal. He is a Certified Professional Geologist with the American Institute of Professional Geologists.
Clyde L. Smith, PhD, PEng
Clyde is a veteran exploration geologist with a career that spans over 40 years. He has four ore deposit discoveries to his credit. In 1974 he founded the Ogilvie Joint Venture, funded by Rio Tinto, Mitsubishi Metals, and Ventures West Capital, and discovered the Jason lead-zinc-silver deposit in Yukon Territory, Canada. Jason was the first discovery of a major stratiform lead-zinc-silver deposit made by a geologist using geological methods. Jason contains more than 2 billion pounds lead, 1.8 billion pounds zinc, 33 million ounces silver, and exhibits potential for a larger resource. Jason was sold to HudBay Minerals.
As co-founder of Ventures West Minerals and VP of Exploration for Westley Mines Ltd., Clyde discovered the Santa Fe gold deposit, the first discovery of a significant sediment-hosted Carlin-type gold deposit in western Nevada. The deposit contained more than 400,000 ounces gold, and was sold to Corona Corporation, which began production in 1988 at 65,000 ounces gold per year.
In 1984 Clyde co-founded Radcliffe Resources and discovered the North Lake gold deposit in north-central Saskatchewan, which contains more than 180,000 ounces gold and exhibits potential for a significantly larger resource.
In 1993 he co-founded La Esperanza Gold Explorations, entered into a joint venture funded by Mount Isa Mines, and discovered the Solidaridad gold-silver-copper deposit in Michoacan, Mexico. Solidaridad has the potential to be one of the principal new ore deposits in Mexico, with an estimated 750,000 ounces gold, 2.3 million ounces silver, and 44 million pounds copper. The project is now is development by U.S. Precious Metals. During 2010, Clyde was Director and Senior Technical Vice-President of Standard Gold, where he led the company's exploration and project acquisition efforts.
Clyde's skills include exceptional abilities to identify geologic environments with potential for ore deposits and to solve complex geologic problems; a uniquely deep understanding of all types of ore deposits; and a comprehensive view of the resource industry. He has successfully moved projects through all stages of exploration, development, feasibility, and to production.
Clyde holds a BA from Carleton College, 1959; a MSc from the University of British Columbia, 1962; and a PhD from the University of Idaho, 1966. He served for several years as an Industrial Associate of Stanford University's School of Earth Sciences, and is listed in Who's Who in British Columbia (1981) and Who's Who in the Commonwealth (1984). He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the Province of British Columbia.
Stephen E. Flechner, JD
Steve brings 30 years of mining executive and consulting experience to Highlands. He is the former
Vice President and General Counsel of Gold Fields Mining Corporation, which was the U.S.
subsidiary of the former Consolidated Gold Fields of London. In that position, he established
and directed the company's U.S. land, legal, permitting, and compliance functions in order to
acquire, permit, finance, develop, and expand the Ortiz Mine in New Mexico, the Mesquite Mine
in California, and the Chimney Creek Mine in Nevada. These three mines collectively produced
400,000 ounces of gold per year with high profitability as Gold Fields-U.S. grew from 20 people
to 1,200 during Steve's 15-year tenure. Mesquite and Chimney Creek were long-term world-class
producers that were later acquired by Newmont Mining.
From 1993 to 1999 Steve served as President, Director, Chairman, and Counsel of Prospex Mining, where he arranged financing of $10M, including $5M from the Korea Zinc Company, the world's largest zinc producer. From 1993 through 1995 Steve also served as President of Bradner Resources and Gold Canyon Resources. After 2000, Steve served as Consulting Counsel for Tournigan Gold Corporation, where he helped acquire the Curraghinalt gold deposit in Northern Ireland, Kremnica gold deposit in Slovakia, and uranium deposits in Slovakia, culminating in a $40M bought-deal financing.
Starting in 2006, Steve served as Consulting Counsel and interim President and CEO of Oriental Minerals, now known as Woulfe Mining Corp. In these roles he acquired the Sangdong project in South Korea, which was one of the world's largest tungsten and molybdenum mines from 1947 to 1992, and Muguk, which was South Korea's largest former producing gold mine. Woulfe Mining has since moved Sangdong toward a full feasibility study, with a minimum project NPV of $480M. In 2010, Steve was President of Standard Gold, where he worked to acquire a number of gold projects in Nevada. Other consulting clients have included Buffalo Gold Corp., Longview Capital, and Cronus Resources (now Continental Gold).
Steve is a facilitator who listens closely to geologists, engineers, land owners, environmental regulators, and financiers to make mineral projects feasible, from negotiating a deal to getting it financed and permitted and into production. He holds a BA from New York University, 1964 and JD from Yale Law School, 1967. He is a member of the American, New York, and Colorado Bar Associations, and has delivered numerous lectures on business, securities, and mineral law.