Management and Operations Team

Donald S. Bubar, M.Sc., P. Geo, President and CEO

Don Bubar

Don Bubar is a geologist with 40 years of experience in mineral exploration and development in Canada. Mr. Bubar is a graduate of McGill University (B.Sc., 1977) and Queen’s University (M.Sc., 1981). From 1984 to 1994, he worked for Aur Resources Inc. as Exploration Manager and later VP, Exploration. Mr. Bubar has been President and CEO of Avalon since 1995.

Mr. Bubar served as a Director of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) for nine years and Chair of its Aboriginal Affairs Committee from its creation in December, 2004 until retiring from the PDAC Board in March, 2013. Throughout his career, Mr. Bubar has been an advocate for increased Aboriginal participation in the mineral industry, first through the PDAC and later through the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines. Mr. Bubar serves on the Advisory Board to the Faculty of Science of McGill University and on the Board of Directors of Mining Matters.


R.J. (Jim) Andersen, CPA, CA, CPA (Illinois), CGMA, Vice President, Finance, Corporate Secretary and CFO 

Jim AndersonMr. Andersen is a chartered accountant with almost 30 years of experience in the mining industry. He graduated with high distinction from the University of Toronto (B.Comm., 1991) and started his career with the mining services team at Coopers & Lybrand in Toronto, Ontario. He received his C.A. designation in 1993, after having placed 20th in Ontario on the 1992 Uniform Final Exam.

Mr. Andersen began his own accounting practice in 1994 and was in charge of Avalon's audit from 1996 to 2000, prior to joining the company as its CFO in 2001. Mr. Andersen has acted as a part-time professor in the MBA program at the Schulich School of Business at York University and is currently a trustee of  the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art.


Cindy Hu, CPA, CA, CPA (Illinois), Controller 

Cindy HuMs. Hu joined Avalon in 2007. Prior to joining the company, Ms. Hu was a senior manager with the accounting firm Andersen & Company Professional Corporation. She is a Chartered Accountant with 15 years of experience in public accounting practice and financial reporting, primarily for junior public companies and private wealth management portfolios.

MS. Hu earned her B.Com from Laurentian University in 1996.


Dave Marsh, FAusIMM (CP), Senior Vice President, Metallurgy and Technology Development

Dave MarshMr. Marsh brings over 40 years of experience in the metallurgical and mineral processing industries. He has worked throughout Africa for over 25 years, as well as in Australia and Canada. Much of his experience has been in the engineering and technical side of the business and this is complemented by several years in operations. A native of the United Kingdom, Mr. Marsh received his B.Sc (Hons.) in Mineral Processing from the University of Leeds, England in 1980.

Mr. Marsh's previous positions include senior and executive management roles in process design and implementation, particularly with heavy minerals, gold, base metals, uranium and platinum group metals. Whilst at Avalon this exposure has increased to include extensive rare earth elements, lithium and industrial minerals processing experience. He has also managed engineering design offices, bankable feasibility studies and project implementation with large EPCM (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Management) companies.


William Mercer Ph.D., P.Geo, Vice President, Exploration

William Mercer

Dr. Mercer has been VP, Exploration with Avalon since 2007. Dr. Mercer earned his BSc. in geology from Edinburgh University (1968) and a PhD from McMaster University (1975). He enjoyed a 32-year career with the Noranda/Falconbridge group, holding a series of managerial positions, working on international projects in over 30 countries, ultimately serving as Director-Geology and Geochemistry.

Dr. Mercer served as the President of the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences (CFES), the umbrella organization for all earth science associations in Canada (2008 to 2010), and as President of the Prospectors and Developers Association (2002 to 2004), serving as an executive of the association for eight years. He currently chairs or is a member of several PDAC committees, including the Health and Safety Committee and Geoscience Committee. From 2010-2013 he was a member of the Canadian federal government Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council grants review committee for Earth Sciences, and prior to that a member of the Minister’s National Advisory Board on Earth Sciences for the federal Natural Resources Canada.

In January 2009, Dr. Mercer was the recipient of the David Barr Award from the Association for Mineral Exploration in British Columbia for excellence in leadership and innovation in mineral exploration health and safety. He also was honoured with the PDAC Distinguished Service Award in 2006. In 2015, he was the recipient of the “Award for Environmental Excellence” of the NWT and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists in recognition of his environmental efforts relating to renewable energy use at Avalon’s Nechalacho Project in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

Dr. Mercer was selected in 2013 to be recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service to the Canadian mining industry.


Melanie Smith, LL.B., Senior Legal Counsel

Melanie SmithMelanie Smith joined Avalon as Senior Legal Counsel in 2014. Prior to joining Avalon, she worked as in house counsel for Hope Bay Mining Ltd. (Newmont) and Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. (Rio Tinto) and worked in private practice as an associate with Lawson Lundell LLP. She has considerable project development and operational experience in northern Canada. Ms. Smith has expertise in regulatory compliance, permitting, litigation management, impact benefit agreements, contracting, human resources, risk management, policy development and other general business matters.

Ms. Smith is a graduate of the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law (LL.B, 2002), the University of Victoria Faculty of Linguistics (B.Sc, 1996) and is called to the Bar in Ontario (2013), Nunavut (2004), Northwest Territories (2003) and British Columbia (2003).


Mark Wiseman, BSc (Hon), MBA, Vice President, Sustainability

Mark WisemanMr. Wiseman is a biologist with almost 40 years of health, safety, environment and social responsibility (HSEC) experience. He is a graduate of Guelph University (BSc, 1979) and Laurentian University (MBA, 1989). Following a period of acid rain research with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Mr. Wiseman joined Falconbridge Limited in 1980 and worked in progressively responsible HSEC positions in the mining industry, both in operations and large scale projects nationally and internationally. Prior to joining Avalon, Mr. Wiseman was Director of Health, Safety and Environment for Xstrata Nickel's Koniambo Project.

Mr. Wiseman has extensive experience in Social and Environmental Impact Assessment, permitting, HSEC management systems development and implementation, training, risk management, closure planning, auditing and due diligence assessment with the goal of continuous performance improvement. He has R&D experience as well as having developed and implemented innovative and leading edge environmental protection measures. He has participated and chaired numerous multi-stakeholder committees in the development of standards and regulations as well as managing relationships and requirements of local, national and international stakeholders.