Mr Richard Crookes, Chairman

B Sc (Geology), Grad Dip Applied Finance

Mr. Crookes joins Black Rock with 30 years’ experience in the resources and investments industry and as such has a unique blend of broad resources industry experience coupled with a successful career in investment management. Mr. Crookes, a geologist by background, is an Investment Director at leading private equity resources fund, EMR Capital.

Mr. Crookes started his career in mineral exploration and mining with MIM Holdings Ltd. His prior roles include Chief Geologist and Mining Manager of Ernest Henry Cu-Au Mine in Australia (now Glencore). Throughout his career in resources, Richard has been deeply involved in all aspects of mining projects, including exploration, mineral resource development, mine operations, environmental management, project finance and project management.

After 15 years in this sector, Richard then worked for Macquarie Group Ltd for 12 years (before joining EMR Capital), becoming an Executive Director in the Metals Energy Capital Division, where he managed all aspects of the Bank’s principal investments in mining and metals companies including deal origination, evaluation, structuring, post-acquisition management, client relationship management, marketing and execution of investment entry and exits for both private and public resources companies in Australia and overseas. Richard managed the provision of capital to junior to mid-tier resources companies from early equity through mezzanine loans to project finance facilities across a wide range of commodities and jurisdictions, including several African countries.

Richard is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) and a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia (FINSIA).


Mr John de Vries, CEO

Mr de Vries has over 30 years’ experience in the mining industry.  He started his career in 1984 working for WMC Resources and held operational roles such as Underground Manager, Senior Mining Engineer and Manager Mining. In 1998, he moved to AMC Consultants to become a Principal Mining Engineer responsible for Mine Optimisation. In 2003, he joined Orica Mining Services as Global Business Manager, Advanced Mining Solutions before moving to BHP Billiton in 2007 as Manager Strategic Mine Planning.

Most recently from 2011 to 2015, he was General Manager Technical Services for St Barbara. After his success with St Barbara, Mr de Vries took an 18-month sabbatical before joining Black Rock Mining.

Mr de Vries holds a Bachelor of Engineering, Mining, a Masters of Science in Mineral Economics, a Graduate Diploma in Economic Geology, a Graduate Diploma in Financial Markets and is Advisory Committee Member-Mining of MRIWA. Mr de Vries holds a WA First Class Mine Managers Certificate of Competency. He is a member of the AusIMM, a fellow of FINSIA and a member of SME.


Gabriel Chiappini, Non-Executive Director & Company Secretary


Mr Chiappini is a Chartered Accountant and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors with over 20 years’ experience in the commercial sector. Over the last 15 years he has held positions of Director, Company Secretary and Chief Financial Officer in both public and private companies with operations in Australia, United Kingdom and the United States. He has assisted a number of companies to list on the ASX and been involved with equity and debt raisings exceeding AUD$400 million. Gabriel has a sound understanding of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) Listing Rules and in-depth knowledge of the Corporations Act.

Mr Chiappini manages his own consulting firm specialising in providing Director, Company Secretarial, Corporate Governance, compliance and investor relations services. He currently acts as a Director and Company Secretary for several ASX listed companies.  Mr Chiappini has a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a double major in Accounting and Finance and is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.


Mr Stephen Copulos, Non-Executive Director

Mr Copulos has over thirty years’ experience in a variety of businesses and investments across a wide range of industries, including mining, manufacturing, property development, food and hospitality. He has been the Managing Director of the Copulos Group of companies, a private investment group, since 1997 and has extensive experience as a company director of both listed and unlisted public companies in Australia, UK and the USA.

Mr Copulos is an active global investor who brings significant business acumen and great diversity to the Board of Black Rock Mining. In addition to his role with the Company, Mr Copulos is also a director of the following public listed companies: Chairman of Crusader Resources Ltd (CAS:ASX), Chairman of Consolidated Zinc Ltd (CZL:ASX) and Non-Executive Director of Restaurant Brands Limited (RBD:NZX).