Nicholas L. M. Allen
Dec 21, 2022
Riversdale Resources has hired Mike Young as the company’s new CEO
Young was approached by the Executives of Hancock Prospecting, owner of Riversdale Resources.
“We were familiar with each other through the Australia mining industry, so they reached out to me and presented the opportunity to lead Riversdale,” explained Young, “Firstly, I discussed it with my wife and our daughter. They thought it was a great opportunity, so I then visited the site in late June and met most of the team.”
While he grew up in Ontario, he never had the chance to live in Alberta. How-ever, he previously worked in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, northern Ontario, and Quebec.
“After the visit, I fell for the Pass and its mining history. During this process, I became familiar with the project’s history, but more importantly, its potential. As someone who loves to build mines, we decided to move to Alberta to take this on,” said Young.
He said it’s too early to say what changes, if any, he is hoping to make as he has only been in the role for ten weeks.
“My priority is to get to know my team and ensure that they are ready for the next round. They are an extremely capable and focused group of people who will form a fantastic foundation for Riversdale going forward,” added Young.
According to Young, he wants to create a great future for the Crowsnest Pass through responsible and innovative resource development.
“Our ambition is to build Riversdale into an integrated resource company which operates a world-class steel-making coal mine that is safe, and supports Crowsnest Pass, Alberta,” said Young, “We will do this in a way that respects the environment and people, and responsibly build a better, lasting legacy.”
Young explained how steelmaking coal is listed as a critical mineral in Europe and will remain the only practical way to manufacture steel at scale well into the second half of this century.
According to Young, Western Australia is the “Alberta of Australia” and Perth is like Calgary.
“We share a spirit of entrepreneurship and continually battle with the federal government, fighting for a fair deal in proportion to our economic contribution to the country through natural resource development,” said Young, “Both Albertans and Western Australians understand the benefits to our communities and our First Nations Peoples that responsible, natural resource development provides."
His entire career as a senior geologist, then CEO, was under Australian state and federal bureaucracies, so he said dealing with Canadian jurisdictions will be somewhat different.
“I have had amazing and very positive experiences in my relations with the First Nations in Australia and I am beginning to build important relationships here too. The Treaty system is quite different than Native Title in Australia, so that is a new learning, but I am looking forward to developing partnerships, meaningful partnerships, with the First Nations,” said Young.
He also talked about the changes he experienced moving his family from Western Australia to Alberta in the winter, finding the change much easier than expected.
“Alberta is beautiful and the people here have been amazingly helpful and welcoming. Although I already have friends here from as far back as my childhood and Queen's University, meeting new people has been fantastic,” said Young.
Young also spoke highly of the recreation there is in Alberta, including biking and skiing.
‘My favourite parts of Alberta are anywhere I can ride a bike, so that’s everywhere... In the ten weeks since we arrived, I’ve done all three in the Pass at Powderkeg, Bragg Creek and Weaselhead,” he said.
And, as a geologist, he said he can’t wait to explore the museums and old mines of the Pass along with going to Drumheller. Young’s ancestry in Canada extends back to the early 1700s on his mother’s side as they are descended from the original Acadians in Nova Scotia.
“During the deportation of the Acadians in the 1750s and 1760s, thousands of people were deported or died of disease, starvation or shipwrecks. Of over 14,000 Acadians, only 2,600 remained in the colony having eluded capture, including our ancestors,” said Young.
After having four decades in the mining industry, “I not only have decades of experience, but many more stories to tell.”
More information about Riversdale Resources can be found at rivresources.com.