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2015 TOCICO International Conference

Executive Track Keynote Presentation


Corrado DeGasperis
CORRADO DEGASPERIS
President and CEO, Director
Comstock Mining, Inc.

Transforming a Mining Company into a Flexible System That Is Robust Against Market Downturns
September 6, 2015

Transforming a mining company into a truly systemic operation is a formidable task.  Making that system stable and predictable, reliable and robust is yet another. Evolving that base into an "anti-fragile” enterprise that not only withstands external volatilities, but exploits and benefits from them, is an onerous, and frankly rare, accomplishment.  

Gold.  It is one of the most scarce and precious metals in the world today, as is its versatile and lustrous cousin, Silver.  We can locate it and we know how to extract and sell it profitably.  We wear it, carry it in our pockets, trade it, store it, use in electronics, airplanes, surgical equipment, to treat cancer, and frankly, as the most widely-accepted, disciplined monetary unit.  The only way to get gold and silver is to mine them.   

People have been mining for thousands of years.  To be successful in today’s mining industry takes a strict multi-disciplined approach.  Ever-changing regulatory requirements from opposing agencies and differing levels of authority have created layers of chaos.  Community pressure brought on by detrimental legacy mining practices causes chaos.  Global financial crises continue to beat on all sectors of business.  Capital allocation is strained, dwindling resources are stretched thin, employees are cross-trained on triple duties.   Anything can create chaos but G-d alone can restore order.   

What can we do but try to mitigate this chaos?  This is where TOC knowledge has proven crucial to building a system that works toward that most elusive last step of becoming ‘anti-fragile.’  In this presentation, we will show how we deploy the Theory of Constraints and plan for the most flexible systemic organization that will not only withstand those relentless torpedoes of chaos, but actually benefits from chaos and makes our organization stronger and more resilient. 

We face massive fluctuations in Gold Price and the effects of shifts in global monetary policies that are brought on through global political changes, war, weather, ego, and community pressures.  We face a most complex, multi-regulatory infrastructure, community resistance, complex geological configurations, and an ever-changing local political landscape.   We design our organization and its human competencies to manage and if possible, benefit from these complexities.   

Comstock Mining Inc. is a current case study in all things systemic, with the constraint being its nucleus.  We have realized great wins, however sometimes two steps forward comes with one step back, like all business.  This is amplified by our special geological, historical, environmental and socially important location in a National Historic Landmark.  We build into our planning, understanding that there are proponents of, and even persistent opponents of, our objectives, ever driving alignment to a common goal.  

Physically, our throughput generating system should be constrained by our leaching cycle but as we strive to expand our footprint and our markets, the company has identified a remarkable, external constraint. This presentation will reveal it, and more!!


CORRADO DEGASPERIS is President and CEO, Director Comstock Mining Inc. Mr. DeGasperis brings over 26 years of manufacturing, metals and mining operational and financial management, project management and capital markets experience. He is currently the President, CEO and a Director of Comstock Mining Inc., a gold and silver producing mining company that is revitalizing the historic Comstock LODE District in Nevada. Mr. DeGasperis is also a founding member and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Comstock Foundation for History and Culture. Mr. DeGasperis is also a Director of the Gold Hill Hotel Inc., the most historic, contiguously operating Hotel in Nevada.

Previously, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Barzel Industries Inc. (formerly Novamerican Steel Inc.) from April 2006 through September 2009. Barzel operated a network of 15 manufacturing, processing and distribution facilities in the United States and Canada. From 2001 to 2005, he served as Chief Financial Officer of GrafTech International Ltd., a global manufacturer of industrial graphite and carbon-based materials, in addition to his duties as Vice President and Chief Information Officer, which he assumed in 2000. He also served as Controller of GrafTech from 1998 to 2000. From 1987 to 1998, Mr. DeGasperis was a certified public accountant with KPMG LLP. As a Senior Assurance Manager in the Manufacturing, Retail and Distribution Practice, he served major clients like GE and Union Carbide Corporation. KPMG announced his admittance, as a Partner, effective July 1, 1998.

He holds a BBA from the Ancell School of Business at Western Connecticut State University, with honors and is a Member of the NYSE Markets Advisory Committee, the Northern Nevada Development Authority and the Northern Nevada Network. He previously served as a Director of GBS Gold International Inc., where he was Chairman of the Audit, and Governance Committee and the Compensation Committee.

He is particularly interested in Complex Systems Management (Theory of Constraints), Theory of Variation, Theory of Profound Knowledge, The Decalogue and Intelligent Management.

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