About

Senior Management

Our Leadership

Piedmont Lithium has strong leadership with considerable market experience. Our leadership team’s successful mining ventures include a multi-decade track record of creating wealth for shareholders in mining ventures, experience in building top-tier management teams in the U.S. and the proven ability to fund exploration and development stage opportunities.

Mr. Keith D. Phillips

Mr. Keith D. Phillips

Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
Appointed on July 6, 2017, Mr. Phillips has a career on Wall Street spanning 30 years during which he has worked on strategic and financing transactions representing over $100 billion in aggregate value. Mr. Phillips was most recently a Senior Advisor with merchant banker Maxit Capital, after leading the mining investment banking teams for Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, JPMorgan and Dahlman Rose. Mr. Phillips has worked with numerous mining companies, including many established global leaders, and has dedicated most of the past decade to advising exploration and development-stage companies in achieving their strategic objectives, with a particular focus on obtaining relevance in the United States capital markets. Mr. Phillips received his Master of Business Administration from The University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Commerce from Laurentian University in Canada.
Mr. David Klanecky

Mr. David Klanecky

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Klanecky has spent most of his career in senior operational, research & development, commercial, and strategic leadership roles. From 2013 to 2021, he served in increasingly senior management roles within Albemarle Corporation, the world’s leading lithium producer, including as VP Strategy and Corporate Development and most recently serving as Vice President – Lithium Operations – APAC/EU, with global responsibility for Albemarle’s manufacturing/operations, process technology and product management within the global lithium business. David also served as interim CEO of the MARBL joint venture between Albemarle and Mineral Resources Ltd, which includes the Kemerton and Wodgina assets in Australia.

Before joining Albemarle, David had an impressive twenty-year career with The Dow Chemical Company that spanned the globe including expat assignments in Spain, Switzerland, and China across a number of innovative industries. In his last role with Dow, David launched the Dow Energy Materials Business, focused on Lithium-Ion Battery Materials offerings to cell manufacturers and Auto OEMs, where he served as the Global Business Director for this business unit prior to joining Albemarle in 2013.

David has a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Nebraska and an Executive MBA from Arizona State/Thunderbird School of Global Management. He will join Piedmont in April 2021 and will be based in the Company’s Belmont, North Carolina headquarter.

Mr. Lamont Leatherman

Mr. Lamont Leatherman

Chief Geologist

Lamont Leatherman is an exploration geologist with over 25 years of experience. Mr. Leatherman is the former project geologist for BHP Minerals and Noranda. He has extensive experience in numerous styles of mineralization including lithium bearing pegmatite systems.

Mr. Patrick H. Brindle

Mr. Patrick H. Brindle

Vice President – Project Management

Mr. Brindle has over 18 years of experience in the development of US and global mining operations, minerals processing plants and materials handling projects, and has expertise in all phases of project development from concept design, pre-feasibility and feasibility study, detailed design engineering, construction and commissioning, including EPC projects in North and South Carolina. He most recently worked as Vice President of Engineering for DRA Taggart in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has a BS in Environmental Science and a BS in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech.

Mr. David Buckley

Mr. David Buckley

Vice President – Chief Process Engineer

Mr. Buckley is a 25-year veteran of the lithium business, having worked most recently as Chief Process Engineer of Quebec-based Critical Elements Corporation after senior positions with FMC’s Lithium Division and Albemarle (former Rockwood Lithium). Mr. Buckley has extensive experience in lithium extraction from both hard rock resources and lithium bearing brines. He also brings experience in converting the extracted lithium into lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide and other downstream lithium chemicals. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech.

Mr. Brian Risinger

Mr. Brian Risinger

Vice President – Corporate Communications and Investor Relations

Mr. Risinger has joined Piedmont as Vice President – Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. Brian has over 20 years’ experience in similar roles, having served most recently as director of marketing, corporate communications, and investor relations for Sonoco Products Company, one of the world’s largest paper and packaging companies. Mr. Risinger is a graduate of the Darla Moore School of Business at The University of South Carolina.

Mr. Jim Nottingham

Mr. Jim Nottingham

Senior Project Manager – Concentrate Operations

Mr. Nottingham has joined Piedmont as Senior Project Manager – Concentrate Operations. Jim brings extensive project management, construction, mine management and process plant operations management experience to Piedmont from his 30+ years’ operating in the mining industry. Mr. Nottingham received his BS in Mining and Mineral Engineering from West Virginia University.

Mr. John “Pratt” Ray

Mr. John “Pratt” Ray

Production Manager – Chemical Operations

Mr. Ray joined Piedmont in 2020 as Production Manager – Chemical Operations. Pratt has deep experience in the production of lithium hydroxide and carbonate, both from spodumene and brine sources, having spent almost 30 years in production and operating roles at Livent’s Bessemer City, North Carolina lithium chemical facility.

Ms. Malissa Gordon

Ms. Malissa Gordon

Manager – Community and Government Relations

Ms. Gordon joined Piedmont in 2020 as Manager – Community and Government Relations. Malissa most recently spent over 12 years with the Gaston County (North Carolina) Economic Development Commission. Ms. Gordon brings deep local roots to the Piedmont team with strong connections to community leaders, non-profit and business organizations. Ms. Gordon received her BS in Corporate Communications from Western Carolina University.

Mr. Gregory (Greg) Swan

Mr. Gregory (Greg) Swan

Company Secretary

Mr. Swan is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Secretary. He commenced his career at a large international Chartered Accounting firm and has since worked in the corporate office of a number of listed companies that operate in the resources sector. Mr. Swan was appointed Company Secretary of the Company on 31 October 2012.