Conuma Coal's Team and History
Founded in mid-2016, Conuma Coal Resources is a stand-alone, metallurgical coal producer based in Northeast British Columbia, Canada. Our current surface mine operations at Brule, Wolverine and Willow Creek produce more than 5 million tonnes annually, providing security and more than 900 direct and 3000 indirect jobs for families in the Peace River Regional District.
Conuma Coal Resources was founded to be a contributor, positive influence and supporter to our community. We are committed to earning security for all of our partners, and to unifying resources and people to build a “first class” organization recognized for character and true integrity.
Since formation in September 2016, Conuma has undergone rapid growth in production and jobs while achieving some truly fantastic results, safely and responsibly. This is our story...
Our customers seek security, quality and reliability in supply, our employees and their families deserve security in their careers, and our investors seek security in their investment.
Safety is not a goal to be achieved. Safety is the expectation. It is the inexcusable norm. Conuma’s employees deserve the security of a safe workplace and it is our collective responsibility to reinforce this expectation at all levels. All Conuma employees have accountability for delivering the security that comes from the expectation of a safe workplace.
Like safety, product quality is an absolute expectation. Just as every employee of Conuma is responsible for maintaining the expectation of safety, all employees are empowered to ensure Total Quality Management. The hard work of hundreds of employees is jeopardized by delivering any product that does not meet customer expectations. Conuma is dedicated to Total Quality Management and to working with customers to understand the needs of the global steel industry.
The decision to invest in Conuma and re-open coal production in the Peace River Coalfield (“PRC”) was based on the quality of the products: ultra low volatile coal with the best characteristics found anywhere, and high quality, low sulfur, low phosphorous hard coking coals that are sought by steelmakers on four continents. The coal from the PRC travels by rail on Canadian National Railway, and is shipped via ocean going vessel from Ridley Terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C., one of the deepest natural harbors in the world. Just as important as the mines, rail and port, however, are the people that have allowed Conuma to succeed. When Conuma made the call to re-open, the community answered. Without the dedication and cooperation of our employees, their families, our four First Nations bands and our local communities, Conuma would not be capable of the success we've achieved.
Allow us to introduce ourselves...
Prior to his appointment with Conuma, Mr. Sullivan was managing member of Energy Resource Services, LLC, providing M&A and commercial advisory services to companies in the natural resources sector. He has held senior commercial and legal roles in the coal industry for 18 years in the US and Australia, including with Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., and United Coal Company. Mr. Sullivan is a graduate of Duke University and the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law, and practiced law with two national law firms before beginning his career in the coal business. He currently serves as an independent director on the board of the general partner of Foresight Natural Resources (NYSE:FELP).
Mark Bartkoski, PE, brings almost 40 years of mining experience to the Conuma Family. Starting his career with a BS in Mining Engineering and a Masters in Mine Management, Mark then spent the next 7 years in mine operations. It’s that balance he credits in the development of the Loss Prevention Business Plan and an operating system called ‘Integrity Process.’ Over the last 30 years, these management systems have been used to transform numerous brownfield re-starts and a couple of new mining companies. The emphasis on empowering people and a focus on ‘Integrity in Character Builds Integrity in Process’ has yielded incredible results of excellent safety numbers, high efficiency, and low cost. The recipe Mark preaches, earns a long-term win-win for everyone.
With 30 years of experience across three continents, Hugh has a wealth of financial and commercial experience, holding a wide range of roles, including those of Finance Director, Group Financial Controller, Vice-President Finance for the Anglo plc Ferrous Business. Between 2008 and 2013 Hugh was Chief Financial Officer for Anglo’s Peace River Coal operation in Canada and, most recently, Hugh was based at the Dawson operation in Queensland, Australia
Lukas Klemke, PE, has 16 years of mining experience across the Western US and Canada. He has held a wide range of roles in engineering and operations including most recently Vice-President of US Surface Operations for Westmoreland Coal Company. Lukas also brings extensive experience managing coal mines with complex steeply dipping geology. He holds a BS in mining engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
Salvatore is a Health and Safety professional with 9 years of mining experience in North-East and Central British Columbia. His project experience covers coal and hard rock mining in both surface and underground applications. He holds a professional designation in Risk Management and has studied Occupational Health and Safety and Business Administration and Management.
Hugh brings 37 years of experience from numerous Senior Management and Supervisory roles. He has worked in unionized, non-unionized, private and public companies in mining, paper and forestry operations. He has experience in Greenfield and Brownfield start-ups, Human Resources, Loss Prevention, Organizational Development, Training, Operations, and Maintenance.
Theunis brings 18 years of mining operations, engineering and project management experience to the team. He held various roles working for Anglogold Ashanti, Xstrata Coal, Optimum Coal Holdings and Glencore Coal and spent time as a consultant advising mining clients in Canada and South America on aspects strategy & operations. He holds a B-Tech Mining Engineering degree from the University of Johannesburg, and a MBA from the University of Stellenbosch Business School.
Gene joins the Conuma management team with 21 years of experience in multiple commodities throughout the Americas. Gene has held a wide range of technical, operations and leadership roles. His aptitude to develop innovative solutions to mining challenges, allow him to effectively manage the operational and technical aspects associated with steeply dipping and complex geology. Gene is a Professional Engineer (PEng) and holds a BSc in Civil Engineering and MEng in Structural Engineering from the University of Alberta.