Former Dia Met executive named CEO at Quaterra

Exploring Quaterra’s 90%-optioned Groundhog copper prospect, located 250 km southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Source Quaterra Resources Inc.

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Quaterra Resources Inc. [QTA-TSXV, QTRRF-OTCQB] has named Gerald Prosalendis as the company’s new President and CEO, effective July 1, 2019.

Prosalendis is former editor of The Vancouver Sun business section. However, he is best known in the mining industry as a member of the Dia Met Minerals team that discovered and developed the Ekati diamond mine in the Northwest Territories.

Located in the Lac de Gras area, 300 km northeast of Yellowknife, it ranks as Canada’s first diamond mine. Prosalendis was vice-president, corporate development at Dia Met when the company was sold to BHP Billiton Ltd. [BHP-NYSE, BHPLF-OTCPK] in 2001, a move that made Prosalendis and other Dia Met executives hugely wealthy. They included Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blusson, the geologists who discovered the diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes north of Lac de Gras.

The Ekati Mine is now controlled by Dominion Diamond Mines Inc., which also owns a 40% interest in the nearby Diavik Diamond Mine. Dominion Diamond Corp. was previously known as Harry Winston Diamond Corp.

Fipke held onto his 10% interest in the mine until 2014 when he sold it to Dominion Diamond for $67 million. However, he had previously taken a financial haircut in 2000 when his former wife Marlene won a portion of his assets, estimated to be worth $123 million in a divorce settlement.

At that time, it was reportedly the richest divorce settlement to be made public in Canadian history.

Quaterra shares advanced on the news of the Prosalendis appointment, rising 23% or $0.015 to $0.08. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of $0.05 and 13 cents.

Quaterra Resources is a copper exploration company. Its aim is to advance copper projects, held by a subsidiary in the Yerington District of Nevada. Quaterra also holds an option to earn a 90% interest in the Groundhog copper prospect, a 40,000-acre property situated on an established copper porphyry belt located 250 km southwest of Anchorage, Alaska.

Groundhog is also located immediately north of the huge Pebble copper-gold project, which is being developed by Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. [NDM-TSX; NAK-NYSE].

Aside from the previous role at Dia Met, Prosalendis has been an officer and director of a number of publicly traded mining exploration and development companies. He was vice-president, corporate development at Western Silver Corp. when the company was sold to Glamis Gold in 2006. He is currently a director of Lithoquest Diamonds Inc. [LDI-TSXV], which is exploring for diamonds on its 100%-owned North Kimberley Diamond Project in northwestern Australia.

To accommodate this appointment, Thomas Patton will resign as CEO, while retaining the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors.

On Friday, Quaterra said it has granted 2.9 million incentive stock options to 23 directors, officers, employees and consultants under the company’s stock option plan. The options are exercisable at $0.065 per share for a period of five years.

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