CEO AND DIRECTOR, LEA GOLD MINING CORP.
Gold mining “is actually a stupid business,” says Neil Woodyer. “It's very capitalintensive, and you don't control the sales product. Sometimes you wonder why you do it.” Still, gold has been very good to Woodyer, 73–so much so that his retirement in Monaco lasted all of a month before he accepted an invite from legendary Vancouver-based financier Frank Giustra. The pitch: to do in South America what the pair had done in Africa, where they assembled mines to create $2.3-billion, mid-tier gold producer Endeavour Mining Corp.
In 2016, the England-born Woodyer and Giustra founded Leagold Mining, which snapped up four operating mines in Mexico and Brazil. The company is on track to produce 425,000 ounces of gold this year, with revenue of US$400 million. Woodyer says that number will climb to a yearly rate of US$600 million by 2020, as two more mines go into production.