Chairman of the Board
Simon Michael Hay (Non-executive Chairman) brings a wealth of mining industry experience to Battery Future Acquisition Corp, having led Galaxy Resources (ASX: GXY) as CEO between July 2019, up until its A$5 billion merger of equals with Orocobre on August 25, 2021. Galaxy Resources is an established lithium producer in Western Australia and is developing lithium brine and hard rock assets in Argentina and Canada through entities for which Mr. Hay serves as a director. Galaxy previously designed and operated a downstream conversion facility in China and are now investigating further downstream processes for their development projects assets. Prior to joining Galaxy, Mr. Hay spent over 10 years at Iluka Resources and held several positions such as Head of Resource Development from March 2016 to June 2019, where he was responsible for exploration and geology, mine planning and development, major projects and engineering and technology and innovation. Mr. Hay also served as General Manager of zircon sales at Iluka from February 2014 to February 2016, and as Vice President of Sales and Marketing in Iluka's Asia Pacific region from May 2011 to February 2014. Mr. Hay has over fifteen years of operational experience at mining assets located across Australia. Mr. Hay previously held senior positions with leading ASX listed companies, including BHP Billiton and WMC Resources. Mr. Hay has experience leading complex minerals processing facilities including smelters and refineries where cost reduction, productivity improvements and turnarounds were achieved. Mr. Hay has a Bachelor of Science with honors (Chemistry), a Master of Applied Science (Metallurgy) and a Graduate Diploma in Management from The Australian Graduate School of Management. From December 2016 to October 2017, Mr. Hay served as a director of Metalysis, an innovative UK company developing an electrolytic technology for the direct reduction of ores and oxides into metal and exotic alloy powders.
Jessica Fung is Head Strategist at Pala and joined the company in February 2017. Her focus is on investigating emerging technologies such as electric vehicles, renewables, recycling and blockchain, and forecasting the impact these trends will have on commodity markets and how investors will finance the future economy. She also leads Pala's ESG due diligence process. Between August 2008 and February 2017, Ms. Fung held several positions at BMO Capital Markets, including Commodities Strategist and Equity Research – Global Metals and Mining Analyst, where her in-depth analysis and integrity gained the trust of asset management and industry clients around the world. In July 2021, Ms. Fung was appointed to the board of directors of Concord Resources Limited, a mining and metal company focused on the distribution, supply chain and risk management of non-ferrous metals and raw materials. Ms. Fung is a frequent speaker at industry and corporate conferences, most recently at LME Week 2019's flagship Metals Seminar and the FT's Global Commodity Summits in Lausanne and Tokyo. She has appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg TV and has been cited in other press such as the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Streetwise.
Erez Ichilov is currently the Managing Director of Traxys Project LP, the investments and projects arm of the Traxys Group, a well-established international physical trading house with an annual turnover of approximately US $6 billion and approximately 450 employees spread across more than 20 locations and 5 continents. Mr. Ichilov jointed Traxys in October 2012 and has 28 years of experience as a commercial lawyer turned executive in cross-border transactions and international business development. At Traxys, Mr. Ichilov focuses on sourcing, inspecting, evaluating and negotiating new business opportunities worldwide. Mr. Ichilov is also responsible for managing the existing portfolio of investments in private and public companies (including a Manganese development project in South Africa with ore suitable for battery grade Manganese Sulphate production). Mr. Ichilov is increasingly focused on developing all aspects of Traxys' lithium-ion battery materials business. Recent examples are minority positions taken either directly or through pooled investments in Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. (LICY: NYSE), Nouveau Monde Graphite (TSXV: NOU.V) and Nemaska Lithium. Mr. Ichilov is an executive director on behalf of Traxys in its joint venture activities with the Pallinghurst private equity fund for investments and investment management in the battery materials space and is the active director in several Traxys subsidiaries created to harbor and operate its present and future battery materials activities. Prior to joining Traxys, Mr. Ichilov was the Deputy CEO – Corporate Development of the nickel producer Cunico Resources N.V from October 2008 to October 2012, during which Cunico established itself as an important producer of refined ferronickel in its two plants and integrated mines in Kosovo and North Macedonia, which had approximately 3,000 employees and reached annual production of approximately 30,000 tons of nickel combined. Mr. Ichilov holds a law degree (LLB) and an MBA from the University of Tel-Aviv.
Natalia Streltsova is a PhD qualified chemical engineer with over 25 years of international experience in the minerals industry, of which over 10 years has been spent in various technical and senior executive roles with major mining houses, including Vale SA (formerly CVRD), from 2008 to 2012, BHP Billiton, from 2005 to 2008, and WMC Resources Limited from 1999 to 2005. Dr. Streltsova has a strong background in mineral processing and metallurgy and a considerable track record in technology management, innovation and identification of technical solutions for challenging projects. At Vale, Dr. Streltsova led Vale's Technical Development Department which, jointly with Global Exploration, delivered a pipeline of growth projects for Vale. She also managed a global multi-discipline, multi-commodity team of over 150 professionals and Vale's largest in-house laboratory facilities located in Brazil. Her broad international experience, both in technical and in business development capacities, covers projects operating in Australia, Africa, South America and in several Eastern European countries. In the last 9 years, since finishing full-time executive roles, her focus has been on non-executive board memberships and consulting. She has served as a non-executive director of Ramelius Resources Limited, an ASX200 gold producer, since October 2019, Western Areas Limited, a major producer of Class 1 nickel, as concentrate and as nickel sulfide intermediate that feeds into the battery precursor materials, since January 2017, and Neometals Limited, an innovative project developer with a strategic focus on critical minerals and projects on lithium battery recycling, vanadium recovery, vanadium chemical production from steel slag, titanium and vanadium production from unconventional ore sources, since April 2016. From January 2014, she also served as a director of Vintage94 Pty Ltd, a boutique private consulting company advising on technical and strategic matters. In her board and consulting roles, her primary focus is on development opportunities and acquisitions in the battery supply value chain. From September 2015 to September 2019, she served as a non-executive director of Parkway Minerals NL. Dr. Streltsova holds a PhD from the Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry and a Master of Science from Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology.
Adrian Christopher Griffin has more than 40 years' experience in the mining industry, including project identification, development and financing, as well as oversight of integrated mining and processing facilities. Mr. Griffin has served as Managing Director of Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) since February 2011 and is focused on the downstream production of lithium-ion battery components, as well as the recycling of battery/e-waste to recover the energy metals they contain. Mr. Griffin is positioning the company as a vertically integrated producer of lithium processing technology, a manufacturer of battery components and a developer of battery recycling technology with the goal of achieving access to all facets of the lithium value chain. Mr. Griffin has served as non-executive chairman of Parkway Minerals (ASX: PWN), the developer of the K-MaxTM process to recover potassium and other metals from glauconite, since November 2010. Mr. Griffin was also a founding director of ASX-listed Northern Minerals, the first heavy-rare-earths producer outside China, from June 2006 to November 2020. With expertise in processing technology, Mr. Griffin is currently identifying unconventional sources of lithium, including mine waste, and developing low-carbon footprint technology to process lithium and other conventional feed stocks such as spodumene. Mr. Griffin led the takeover of advanced cathode research and development company, VSPC Ltd, and has served as its director since February 2018. VSPC produces advanced nickel and cobalt free cathode material currently being tested commercially in the UK, South Korea, France, China and Japan. VSPC has an Australian government funded research grant to develop rapid charge/ discharge batteries for transportation use. VSPC holds international patents for the production of cathode powders. Mr. Griffin also led the takeover of Australia's only lithium-ion battery recycling company, Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd, and has been serving as its director since April 2019. Envirostream has established a nation-wide collection and processing business for spent batteries and have a suite of intellectual property covering the processing technologies for separation, processing and refining the materials recovered from the batteries. Mr. Griffin's previous experiences include serving as director of Metal Sands Pty Ltd., a heavy metals exploration company, from September 2000 to February 2017; founder and director of Global Carbon Credits Pty Ltd., a company focused on the reduction of carbon footprints with particular application in the use of fly ash in geopolymers, from April 2008 to August 2018; and founder and director of Blackearth Minerals NL, a Madagascan graphite producer, from March 2016 to April 2017. Mr. Griffin holds a Bachelor of Science with honors from the University of Melbourne, majoring in Geology and Metallurgy.