Dr. Neil Loftus

Founding Director and Chairman of the CASS Group of companies.

Responsible for alignment of the company, internally and externally, with the boards strategic vision. Core duties include facilitating business outside of the company while guiding employees and other executive officers towards a central objective. Whilst maintaining a balance of internal and external initiatives to build a sustainable company. Dr. Loftus has been a professional businessman and investor for ten years and has been involved with private equity, iron ore and gold. He has high level management and directorial capabilities.


John Vincent

Director and CFO. John has an ACA from the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and was admitted to the Institute in 1984. Having more than 25 years chartered accounting experience, John's expertise is in providing CASS with tailored business and taxation solutions, including strategic planning, asset protection and business coaching. John also specialises in valuations.


Management Consultants



Paul Richardson

Paul Richardson has more than 22 years experience in the financial services industry in Australia and New Zealand, and 7 years as a Geologist working across Asia prior to that.  In the past 10 years he has worked at BT Funds Management, part of the Wealth division of Westpac NZ, with over NZD$4 billion of funds under management and advice.  Paul has been Chief Investment Officer for the last three years and prior to this he was the Head of Equities at the highly rated BT NZ share funds.  Prior to this, Paul worked for UBS in Australia and New Zealand for 12 years, as equity analyst, Head of NZ equities research and as an Executive Director, specializing in Mining, Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications sectors.

Between 1985-1991 Paul worked as an exploration geologist with consultants KRTA Ltd, and mining companies Rio Tinto and Austpac Gold NL, in gold, mineral sands and non-ferrous mineral exploration, in Indonesia, Japan, NZ and the Pacific.

Prior to this he worked for the NZ Dept. of Conservation in a number of field roles. Paul has a BSc majoring in Geology from University of Auckland (1983), is a CFA charter holder, an Authorised Financial Advisor ('AFA'), a member of the NZ Institute of Directors ('NZIoD') and of the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy ('AusIMM') - presenting papers at the latter's annual NZ Branch conferences on investments, commodities and mining finance.

Tom Owen

Principal Metallurgist. A Metallurgical Engineer with more than 30 years experience in the management, technical operation, design and construction of metallurgical plants. Since 1987 has worked as a metallurgical consultant, initially with Gold Fields of South Africa and since 1997 as Metallurgical Solutions.
Well experienced in gold and base metal ore beneficiation, from pit head operations though to the smelting and refining. Extensive smelter experience. In a consulting capacity has been involved in a number of technical reviews, feasibility and pre-feasibility studies for clients in Africa, Europe and Oceania.
HAZOP facilitator for many projects in milling, water treatment, smelter and refining plants.
Metallurgical designs to minimise environmental impact of process plants is a core competence.
Commodities worked in include gold, uranium, platinum, tin, nickel, lead, zinc, copper, coal, sulphuric acid and vanadium.

Specialties: Metallurgical process engineering, metals accounting, concept development, consulting, customer relations, due diligence, engineering, general management, HAZOP facilitator, management, marketing, platinum, presentation skills, project management, staff training, plant upgrades.

Doug Gordon

Doug is consulting to IOM regarding corporate and environmental policy development. Doug is responsible for engaging with Maori interest groups and all aspects of the Companies Occupational Health and Safety responsibilities. Doug is the former Executive Director of the New Zealand Minerals Industry Association, a non-profit trade association representing the New Zealand minerals industry. Prior to this he was General Manager, NIWA Marine, and Director of the New Zealand Oceanographic Institute in Wellington, and has worked extensively in the fishing industry in New Zealand and the USA. Doug has a BSc in Fish & Fisheries from the Victoria University of Wellington and a Masters Degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, USA.


Advisory Board


Dr. Ken Mildwaters

Ken Mildwaters read jurisprudence (B.Juris. (Hons)) and law (LL.B) at the University of Western Australia, Australia and law (Ph.D.) at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee, Scotland.

He has advised on merger, acquisition and disposal (both public and private), takeover, IPO, placing, rights issue and other capital raising, privatization (both government and investor), public to private, venture capital, private equity, financing (senior debt, debt to equity, mezzanine and project), entity formation, structuring and restructuring, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, European economic interest grouping (EEIG), unit trust, joint venture, consortium and strategic alliance, direct foreign investment (both government and investor) and international trade transactions.

He has advised on exploration, development, production, supply and sale activities in the oil, gas and minerals sectors; gas, coal and alternative source electrical power generation projects; gas pipeline and other natural resources sector related infrastructure projects; joint ventures, joint operating agreements, strategic alliances, licensing arrangements, farm-in and farm-out agreements, off-take and lifting agreements, royalty agreements, abandonment agreements, service agreements, transport agreements in the natural resources sector, the acquisition, disposal and financing of all or portions of interests in natural resource projects, entities involved in the natural resource sector, and natural resource assets; capital raising activities in the natural resources sector and direct foreign investment in the natural resources sector.

Anton Hoogendoorn

Anton is a mining engineer with over twenty years of experience in mining, dredging and project management. Anton holds a M.Sc. in mining engineering from The Netherlands. Anton previously worked for the mining firm Billiton International Metals and for the international dredging / marine contractor Van Oord. He has built up his own consultancy firm and specializes in project development / feasibility studies and concentrates on alluvial and marine mining / dredging projects.

Over the years he has covered a wide spectrum of related activities ranging from exploration drilling, 3D modeling, geotechnical studies to work method selection including financial evaluation and risk studies. The last few years he has moved towards (technical) project management using his knowledge and experience to steer projects and studies into the right direction. Anton has project experience in various parts of the world; South East Asia, The Middle East and Europe.


Michael Williamson

After completing graduate studies under a Research Fellowship from the International Nickel Company, Williamson was hired as an exploration geologist by INCO and joined the Ocean Management Inc. (OMI) manganese nodule-mining program where he developed technologies and methodologies to map concentrations of ore-grade nodules in the deep sea.  This work culminated in the mapping of three 20-year mine sites for the OMI consortium. In 1983 he founded Williamson & Associates, Inc. and has continued development of technologies applicable to deep ocean exploration, search and survey missions.

Recent efforts include building equipment and conducting surveys to delineate ilmenite deposits offshore South Africa, massive seafloor sulfide deposits in Papua New Guinea and Japan, methane hydrate off the US west coast and pressurized methane hydrate sampling offshore India.

W&A conducted the largest offshore IP survey ever attempted, a project for Richards Bay Minerals and Rio Tinto mapping ilmenite content off the South African Coast.  The results were spectacular.  In 2 weeks we bettered a multi-year coring program contouring ilmenite percentages from the seabed down to 15 meters for design of a dredging program.

William John Senke (‘Bill’)

30+ years experience in the Maritime/Undersea Community including Manned and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles, Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW), Mine Warfare (MIW), and Sonar Systems.  An accomplished professional with diverse experience in Business Development, Program Management, and Engineering Leadership, Bill has concentrated the last 5 years on large underwater vehicle programs and the application of undersea technology into the expanding commercial exploration and use of the Ocean including Oil and Gas, Ocean Mining, and Shipwreck, Reef, and Maritime Habitat Monitoring.  Bill has excellent presentation skills and experience interacting with all levels of internal and customer management.

While working at Lockheed Martin Bill successfully completed business development captures for defense and commercial undersea technology. He managed a portfolio that included domestic and international customers for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV)/Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) and Manned Underwater Vehicles for Special Operating Forces (SOF) and Civilian Applications.  He also directed research and analysis into adjacent markets outside of the US DoD to diversify opportunities into commercial and international markets.  He has authored and presented well received papers on Manned Submersibles, AUVs and Ocean Mining at various domestic and international conferences, including Oceans 2012/13, UDT, MAST, and the Deep Sea Mining Summit 2013.  He was selected to chair a new panel on Ocean Mining at the 2014 Oceanology International Conference in London, England.

Wayne Knott

Wayne is the principle consultant at CorpMin Consulting, providing support and insight to boards and management to improve the likelihood of success for start-up operations and to ensure a smooth transition from commissioning onto operations.

The former CEO of IDM International responsible for commercial management and performance reporting; establishment of constructive relationships with external stakeholders such as landowners, the community and government processes; management of the permitting and approval processes; monitoring and control of the Company’s exploration, assessment and development program; establishment and leadership of the Company’s technical and commercial team; management of investor relations through presentation to shareholders, brokers, financiers and institutions and maximisation of shareholder value.

Wayne has also held the role of Vice President Solwara Operations for the deep-water offshore mineral mining company Nautilus Minerals, where he was responsible for the establishment of an operations team to ensure the transition from development into operations. Earlier, Wayne held senior management and operational roles for Unimin Australia, Kenmare Resources, Iluka and Consolidated Rutile having started his career as a metallurgical engineer.

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