Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Mining Engineering from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London in 1977. He also attained a Master of Science degree from the Imperial College, London in 1985.
Michael spent 22 years with BHP Billiton, most recently serving as Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer of the Base Metals Group based in Santiago, Chile, before retiring in 2008.
Michael joined the board of SSR Mining Inc in 2008, and is now the current Chairman. As Chairman, Michael helped navigate SSR Mining Inc’s successful approximate US$5 billion merger with Alacer Gold Corp, which completed in September 2020. As well as being Chairman of SSR Mining Inc, Michael is also Non-Executive Director of Antofagasta Plc.
In 2018, when Michael was the Chairman of Laguna Gold Limited (a company formed to explore for gold and operate the El Toqui zinc mine in Chile), the board resolved to place the company into voluntary administration. The administrator subsequently put it into liquidation. The company’s failure was due to a number of business and external factors, including an over-leveraged balance sheet and the inability of the major asset (the El Toqui zinc mine) to generate a positive return due to the low zinc price, inability to reduce costs and the lower than expected zinc grade.