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SIGMA Lithium announces appointment of Ana Cabral and Calvyn Gardner as its co-CEOs, and Felipe Peres as its new CFO

The company noted that has Cabral has been elevated from her current role as chief strategy officer to her new role of co-CEO with Calvyn Gardner

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Sigma Lithium also announced the constitution of an ESG Committee of its board of directors resulting from the program intended to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2024

Sigma Lithium Corporation has announced the appointments of Ana Cabral and Calvyn Gardner as co-chief executive officers (co-CEOs) and Felipe Peres as its chief financial officer (CFO) as well as the constitution of an ESG Committee of its board of directors resulting from the program intended to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2024.

The company noted that has Cabral has been elevated from her current role as chief strategy officer to her new role of co-CEO with Calvyn Gardner. In that capacity, she will oversee, at C-level, Sigma’s entire breadth of ESG-centric activities, focusing on implementation for the environmental and corporate goals to achieve Net Zero Emissions by 2024.

It said Cabral will continue to work in close partnership with Sigma’s chief sustainability officer, Maria Salum, in environmental strategy, community relations and impact investing in the Vale do Jequitinhonha region, as part of the company’s comprehensive social responsibility program. She will also maintain her duties as chief strategy officer, including overseeing the commercial, business development, corporate finance, regulatory and legal areas.

READ: SIGMA Lithium to list on NASDAQ; company says it is 'on target' to begin production in 2022

Sigma pointed out that founder and co-CEO Gardner has relocated full time to its project site where he continues on his pivotal role leading the successful execution of the upcoming construction of the company's Grota do Cirilo project as well as ensuring its continued development, with the execution of the workstreams for a potential Production Phase 2 and Phase 3.

The company said in the role of CFO, Peres replaces Guilherme Guimarães, who will continue to serve as an advisor to the company, as it enters a new phase as a dual-listed, dual-reporting entity in both Canada and the United States.  

Sigma noted that Peres has over twenty-four years of experience working in corporate positions at large dual-reporting multinational companies in the oil, steel, and mining sectors, in a global environment in Switzerland, Canada and Brazil. He led the consolidation and reporting team at Vale, where worked for fourteen years and participated in the implementation of the IFRS accounting standards at the company. In that capacity, Peres also led the consolidation and reporting at Vale-Inco a Canadian reporting entity. Prior to Vale he worked for Shell and CSN.

In a statement, Ana-Cabral Gardner said: “On behalf of the Board and the entire leadership team at Sigma, I would like to thank Guilherme for his significant contribution and commitment to his role at Sigma since our IPO, a period during which Sigma has been completely transformed from a mineral development company to a pre-production emerging global lithium leader.”

Co-CEOs performance awards

The company also announced the approval of a performance award to be granted for the first time to Gardner and to Cabral, with vesting entirely contingent on achieving market cap, environmental and operational milestones that would make Sigma one of the leading lithium producers in the world. To fully vest, Sigma’s market cap would have to grow further to C$2 billion - an increase of almost C$1.2 billion - and the company would need to achieve important environmental and operational goals.

The co-CEOs Performance Award was created based on C-Suite compensation strategy adopted by leading companies listed in the United States in the technology and electric vehicle industries aligning the compensation of founders and CEOs to value creation for the stakeholders of these companies in the form of share performance. The co-CEO Performance Award also introduces a clear environmental goal of Net Zero Emissions ahead of the United Nations 'Decade of Action' in 2030, in the forefront of the industry.

Both co-CEOs will receive no guaranteed performance compensation of any kind – no cash bonuses nor any equity compensation that would vest simply by the passage of time. Instead, Sigma’s co-CEOs compensation will be a 100% at-risk performance award, which ensures that they will be compensated only if Sigma and all of its shareholders do extraordinarily well and Sigma achieves its ambitious ESG targets for the benefit of all of its stakeholders.

Gardner has forsaken all compensation for his services to the company during seven out of the ten years he served as CEO. Recently, during the onset of the coronavirus (COVID19_ pandemic, he has yet again forsaken his compensation during most of 2020. Cabral has forsaken any and all compensation for her services to the company for six out of the seven years.

ESG Committee formed

Sigma also said it is implementing an ESG Committee to assist the board of directors of the company with its ESG centric strategy.

The company noted that its board of directors has elected Cabral and Marcelo Paiva as co-chairs of Sigma’s ESG Committee. Maria Salum, the company's chief sustainability officer will act as senior advisor the ESG committee, which will advise and support the co-CEOs in reaching Sigma’s ambitious Net Zero 2024 targets, by within this 'Decade of Action' and 26 years ahead of United Nations 2050 targets.

Sigma is a Canadian company developing, with an environmental sustainably ESG focused strategy, the largest hard rock lithium deposits in the Americas, located in its wholly-owned Grota do Cirilo Project in Brazil.

The company has been producing low carbon high purity lithium concentrate at an on-site demonstration pilot plant since 2018. This pilot production has been an important part of the successful commercial strategy of the Company, shipping samples of its low carbon 'green & sustainable' high purity lithium to leading global potential customers, for product certification and testing, with the goal of participating in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle (EV) supply chain.

The company is in pre-construction and detailed engineering of an environmentally friendly, fully automated, dense media separator (DMS) production plant, that will apply proprietary algorithms to digitally control the dense media. The production plant will be vertically integrated into the company’s mining operations, exclusively utilizing as feedstock the high purity spodumene ore with exceptional mineralogy from the Project. The production plant will process the spodumene ore into a high purity 6% battery-grade lithium concentrate engineered to the specifications of its customers in the lithium-ion battery supply chain for EVs.

Contact the author at jon.hopkins@proactiveinvestors.com

Quick facts: Sigma Lithium Corp

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