Joseph M. Barton, Esq.
Joe Barton is a San Francisco, California-based attorney. Mr. Barton advises corporations, investors, and shareholders on a broad range of legal issues and specializes in securities and antitrust law. Since beginning his career in 1997, Mr. Barton has litigated many high-profile securities and antitrust cases across the U.S. on behalf of corporate and individual clients. Cases in which Mr. Barton has been a lead attorney include HPL Technologies Securities Litigation, CBT Group PLC Securities Litigation, Rubber Chemicals Antitrust Litigation and EPDM Antitrust Litigation. Mr. Barton is a member of the California State Bar Association and is admitted to practice in the Courts for the State of California, the United States District Courts for the Central, Northern and Eastern Districts of California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and his Juris Doctor degree from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco.
Dean Gerald Ninnis
Gerry Ninnis is a Northern California based entrepreneur, business owner and, investor. Over a career spanning more than forty years, Mr. Ninnis has established a dependable track record as an entrepreneur, banker and, investor in mining, real estate, commercial construction, and, other industrial enterprises. Since beginning his career in the early 1960's, he has started successfully run businesses in commercial logging, welding, and, natural aggregates. In 1983 he was part of the investor group that founded and capitalized The Bank of Amador, (BNKA, OTC-BB), a publically traded community bank, to provide capital to individuals and commercial enterprises in Amador County, California. As Vice Chairman, of the Bank of Amador he provided leadership and guidance for 21 years, helping to grow the bank's balance sheet to 129 million dollars. In 2004, The Bank of Amador was merged into American River Bank, and now operates as a branded subsidiary of American River Bankshares (NASDAQ-AMRB). Mr. Ninnis presently oversees numerous business interests and investments in California, Nevada and Mexico.
Neil D. Novak, B.Sc., P. Geo.
Neil Novak is the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Toronto based BWR Exploration (BWR.V), formerly known as, Black Widow Resources Inc. Mr. Novak is a highly experienced professional geologist and mining executive with over 30 years of experience in the junior resource sector. He has worked as an exploration geologist throughout Canada, United States, Africa, Europe, South America, the Caribbean, China, Russia and South Pacific; but Northern Ontario, Canada is his main area of exploration focus. Mr. Novak started his career as a project geologist for an International Uranium explorer, Pancontinental Mining Ltd, working out of their Toronto exploration office until 1983. From 1983 to 1992, he headed up several small exploration teams in the Gogama area of Ontario, and was on the discovery and delineation team for the Jack Rabbit Gold deposit in Chester Township, while doing so he became involved in exploration in the western portion of the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario looking for nickel, copper and gold.
In 1992, Mr. Novak was involved in the formation of Spider Resources Inc. which became a public company. Mr. Novak wrote the original qualifying report for Spider Resources, raising $2.5 million in an IPO. Spider Resources began trading on the Alberta Stock Exchange in 1993. He was an exploration consultant and then became an active board member of Spider and was Vice President Exploration from 1995 to 2003, heading up the exploration team that was responsible for several kimberlite discoveries in Ontario, Quebec and Brazil, attracting De Beers as its joint venture partner on the projects. Mr. Novak's exploration expertise convinced De Beers to form the JV with Spider to look for kimberlites further west in the James Bay Lowlands area of Northern Ontario. This JV ultimately discovered the McFaulds #1 VMS deposit. In 2003, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Spider and was then appointed President and CEO in 2005. Spider Resources then went on to explore the newly identified mineral rich McFaulds Lake area. From 2003 until 2010, Mr. Novak headed up the discovery teams for Spider's McFaulds VMS Deposits (Cu,Zn,Au,Ag), Noronts' MMS Eagle Deposit (Ni,Cu,Pt,Pd) as well as Noronts' Blackbird Chromite (Cr, Pt, Pd) Deposits, and Spiders' Big Daddy Chromite Deposit (Cr, Pt, Pd) collectively referred to as the Ring of Fire Deposits.
In May 2010, Spider Resources was targeted for takeover by Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.(CLF, NYSE) which was interested in the Big Daddy Chrome Deposit, which was then an advanced exploration asset of Spider Resources. After three months of negotiation, Cliffs Natural Resources made an all cash offer of $125 million, for Spider Resources. The all-cash offer was accepted by approximately 99% of Spider's shareholders in November of 2010. Spider Resources then became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources. Mr. Novak assisted with the transition of Spider from a public company to a private subsidiary company and was then hired by Cliffs as a consultant to help monetize the non-core assets acquired by Cliffs in the takeover of Spider and other companies.
During this period, Mr. Novak purchased one of the former Spider projects from Cliffs. Using this project as an initial acquisition, he formed a new private company. Over the course of 2011, he acquired two additional exploration projects for the new company which was to be named Black Widow Resources Inc. Black Widow was headed up and funded by Mr. Novak, along with two other founding partners. By the end of 2012, the initial funds raised in the private company were spent and there was a sufficient asset base to float an initial public offering. The IPO was launched in November of 2012 and concluded in early April 2013 when Black Widow commenced trading on the TSX.V on April 4, 2013, Mr. Novak is the current President and CEO of Black Widow Resources/BWR Exploration.
Mr. Novak's experience in the junior resource sector as an exploration geologist and consultant, has led him to wider corporate opportunities. He has served as a director on several corporate boards including Noront Resources Ltd. for which he was also Vice President of Exploration, as well as the Simberi Mining Corporation, Cadillac Ventures Inc. and Renforth Resources Inc. He is currently a director of Cadillac Ventures Inc., and is also Vice President of Exploration for Hard-Rock Mineral Development Inc., a private company with projects in Mexico. He also owns and manages Nominex Ltd, a privately owned geological consulting company.
Mr. Novak has been a member of Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario since 2002 and a member of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada since 1975. He has been recognized by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), and was co-recipient of the Bill Dennis Prospector of the Year Award for 2010 for his work in the discovery of the Ring of Fire Exploration Deposits. He is also a member of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and has been a fellow of the Geological Association of Canada since 1979. Mr. Novak received a Bachelor of Science degree, in Earth Sciences from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, (Canada), in 1977.