Prophecy Appoints VP Operations, VP Exploration, and Environmental Permitting Consultant to Develop Gibellini Vanadium Project

Critical Minerals & Rare Earths, ESG & Cleantech

February 26, 2018 (Source) — Prophecy Development Corp. (“Prophecy” or the “Company”) (TSX:PCYOTCPK:PRPCFFrankfurt:1P2N) is pleased to announce the following executive management appointments:

Michael Drozd, Vice-President, Operations

Based in Elko, Nevada (within 110 miles of the Company’s Gibellini project), Mr. Drozd has 40 years of experience in underground and open pit mining operations, hydrometallurgical and mineral processing facilities, mining project development, metallurgical research and development, and design and engineering of processing facilities in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Peru, Australia, Turkey, Argentina, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador and the CIS.

Most recently, Mr. Drozd was contracted by Barrick Gold Corp. (“Barrick”) as Project Manager of Project Expansion at its Pueblo Viejo gold project where he led a team and developed a prefeasibility study with an overall project budget of US$900,000,000.

Prior to Barrick, Mr. Drozd spent seven years as Vice President of Metallurgy with Scotia International of Nevada, Inc. (“Scotia”) where he led a multi-disciplinary team to manage the Gibellini project’s engineering, procurement, construction management (EPCM) contract and completed: (i) process flow design; (ii) instrumentation design; (iii) general arrangement site layout design; (iv) civil and foundation design; (v) structural design; (vi) process piping designs; and (vii) coordinated with consultants, NewFields, on the heap leach pad design and overall project cost estimate.

Prior to Scotia, Mr. Drozd was the Principal Metallurgist at Amec Foster Wheeler (“AMEC”), where he was a co-author of the feasibility report entitled “Gibellini Vanadium Project Eureka County, Nevada, USA” published by AMEC for the Gibellini project’s previous operator in 2011.  Specifically, Mr. Drozd was responsible for the Metallurgical section which included metallurgical testing and mineralogy examination, trench column test work, solvent extraction testing, final vanadium pentoxide production with recovery estimates, as well as the Recovery Method section which included plant design, process flowsheet, equipment, labor, and electrical power.

Prior to AMEC, Mr. Drozd was Barrick’s Chief Metallurgist, Goldstrike Joint Venture for five years.

Mr. Drozd is a Founding Registered Member of SME, member of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, and Qualified Person as defined in National Instrument 43–101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”).

Mr. Drozd has authored publications in gold flotation, gold processing, heap leach operations, cyanide detoxification, and carbon absorption technology.  He also holds patents in molybdenum flotation, cyanide detoxification, and vanadium recovery.

John Young, Environmental Permitting Consultant

Based in Reno, Nevada, Mr. Young is the principal of Great Basin Environmental Services, LLC, which has been engaged by Prophecy on a non-exclusive basis to lead the Gibellini project’s environmental permitting efforts.

Mr. Young has over 40 years of experience in diverse areas of environmental compliance, mine permitting and development, due diligence reviews, and mine reclamation and closure activities.  His previous positions include Environmental Manager at Barrick, Kinross Gold Corp. and Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corporation (now Newmont Mining Corporation).  His experience includes managing regulatory permitting processes for exploration, mine development, and reclamation and closure projects including the successful completion of several environmental impact statements (EIS) for mines in the western United States.  Mr. Young has also functioned in senior environmental coordination roles for project development on a global basis for copper, gold, and platinum mining.

Danniel Oosterman, Vice-President, Exploration

Based in Toronto, Ontario, Mr. Oosterman has worked for over 17 years in the mining and exploration business specializing in exploration and development of projects from grass roots, brown field, to feasibility stage.  His background includes occupying both technical and executive roles, with an early career joining exploration efforts for mining companies such as Falconbridge Ltd. and Inco Limited before transitioning to the junior mining sector to manage many technical projects across Canada before advancing to President and CEO of a TSX Venture Exchange-listed company.  He holds a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Geology from Laurentian University and is a member of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario.  Mr. Oosterman will be closely involved in development of the Company’s Gibellini project and exploration of its Bolivian project.  Mr. Oosterman is a Qualified Person as defined in NI 43–101.

In connection with his appointment, the Company has granted to Mr. Oosterman 20,000 incentive stock options exercisable at a price of $3.10 per Common share for a term of five years expiring on February 20, 2023 pursuant to the terms of its Share-Based Compensation Plan.

Bekzod Kasimov, Vice-President, Business Development

Based in Bolivia, Mr. Kasimov has been with Prophecy since 2012, having previously been stationed in Mongolia.  With the appointment of Mr. Drozd, Mr. Kasimov will transition from the position of Vice-President, Operations to Vice-President, Business Development and continue to represent the Company with government officials in Mongolia and Bolivia, attend various official and marketing functions, and liaise with Prophecy’s business partners (such as product offtakers and technical consultants) and strategic investors.  Mr. Kasimov also leads due diligence efforts for Prophecy’s prospective acquisitions, and of the Company’s projects by potential investors.  Mr. Kasimov is fluent in Russian, English, Spanish and Mongolian.  As Vice-President, Business Development, Mr. Kasimov will frequently visit the Company’s Gibellini project and investment community in North America.

Based in Salina, Utah, Chris Kravits, Prophecy’s General Mining Manager and an invaluable member of its core management team, has been with the Company since 2009 and will continue as an advisor to the Company on a part-time basis.

The Company incorporated a Nevada subsidiary on November 8, 2017 – Vanadium Gibellini Company LLC and successfully assumed the Gibellini project operator role in December 2017.  It has engaged the US law firm, Parsons Behle & Latimer (“PBL”), to represent Prophecy and assist it with various legal matters relating to the Gibellini project’s development efforts.  PBL is one of the largest Utah-based law firms and has grown to more than 130 attorneys with offices in Boise, Idaho Falls, Las Vegas, Reno, Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C.

Over the past 130 years, PBL has assisted more than 100 mining companies, including Utah Copper Company (now known as Kennecott Utah Copper LLC), Hercules Powder Company, and Columbia Geneva Iron Mining Company.

Multi-year Gibellini baseline studies and a Plan of Operations were prepared and submitted by the project’s previous operator and deemed complete by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”). Prophecy is pursuing discussion with the BLM on any necessary adjustment to the prior submitted baseline studies and Plan of Operations in order to start the National Environmental Policy Act process for our Gibellini vanadium project in 2018.  The Company expects to issue an update on the permitting process in March 2018.

John Lee, Prophecy’s Executive Chairman who recently returned from a Gibellini site visit, states:

“With the core team now in place, Prophecy intends to advance Gibellini to become America’s first primary vanadium mine through permitting, engineering, construction to production of commercial vanadium pentoxide on-site.

Prophecy believes the Gibellini black shale vanadium project is unique in that the oxide mineralization is low in iron and titanium (less than 1%) which is amenable to conventional heap leach metal extraction without a pre-roasting step.”

In April 2018, the Company expects to receive an independent economic study that demonstrates the robustness of the Gibellini project at the current vanadium pentoxide price of US$13/lb.

About Prophecy

Prophecy Development Corp. is a Canadian public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The Company aims to provide exposure and leverage to rising vanadium prices by defining and adding attributable vanadium resources in the ground in politically safe jurisdictions.  Further information on Prophecy can be found at




Executive Chairman

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