About Us

Key Personnel

Mr Alex Hanly BEng(Mech) MBA

Chief Executive Officer

Mr Hanly has over 10 years of experience in capital delivery and operational management for publicly listed companies within the mining, oil, gas and manufacturing industries within Australia and Africa. Over the last 3 years, Mr Hanly held the role of Chief Executive Officer of ASX-listed gold company Polymetals Resources Ltd (ASX:POL). Mr Hanly was responsible for the successful IPO of the Company, the operational management and the efficient execution of the fast-track exploration strategy.

Mr Hanly has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Masters of Business Administration specialising in Global Project Management.

Mr John Sobolewski

Chief Financial Officer

Mr Sobolewski’s experience in the lithium industry offers another valuable addition to the LU7 Dream Team. At Galaxy Resources, he played a pivotal role during the feasibility, funding, construction, and operation phases of the Mt Cattlin Spodumene mine and Jiangsu Lithium Carbonate refinery. He was also crucial in establishing teams and systems in Australia and internationally.  His experience in financial modelling and debt modelling for both projects will be critical in Lithium Universe completing Definitive Feasibility Studies of the Québec Lithium Processing Hub concentrator and lithium carbonate refinery projects.

Mr Sobolewski is a Chartered Accountant and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. His previous roles include Managing Director and CEO with Mintrex, CFO and Company Secretary with Mintrex, Galaxy Resources Limited and Vital Metals Limited, Financial Controller and Company Secretary with Croesus Mining NL and Group Accountant and Company Secretary with Titan Resources NL.

Mr Vincent John Fayad

Joint Company Secretary

Mr Fayad is a Chartered Accountant and has more than 40 years’ experience in corporate finance, international M&A, accounting and advisory-related services primarily undertake by mid-tier accounting firm, PKF. In 2016, Mr Fayad established his own firm Vince Fayad & Associates, providing accounting and advisory services within Australia and overseas.

Over the last 25 years, Mr Fayad has spent a significant amount of time advising on various transactions, predominately related to the mining and exploration industries and providing accounting and corporate secretarial experience to mining exploration companies.

Mr Fayad is currently an Executive Director and joint Company Secretary of Astute Metals NL (ASX:ASE) and he is also a joint Company Secretary of Greenvale Energy Ltd (ASX:GRV). He is also a Non-Executive Director of Nexon Asia Pacific Pty Ltd, a telecommunications company, controlled by private equity group EQT.  Mr Fayad’s previous public company experience includes being the Executive Director of Greenvale Energy Limited (ASX: GRV), Executive Director and Company Secretary of European Lithium Limited (ASX: EUR).

Mr Kurt Laney

Joint Company Secretary

Mr Laney is an experienced Chartered Accountant specialising in the provision of advisory, consultancy, taxation, and corporate secretarial services. Mr Laney is currently an Associate Director of Vince Fayad and Associates Pty Ltd, where he provides accounting and taxation services to high-net-worth individuals, family offices, large family-owned businesses, and multinational entities.


Mr Laney is currently the joint Company Secretary and CFO of Greenvale Energy Ltd (ASX:GRV) and Astute Metals NL (ASX:ASE), along with several unlisted public companies, who are primarily focused within the tech and mining industries. He has previously served as the Company Secretary of Polymetals Resources Ltd (ASX:POL).

Mr Justin Rivers BSc Geology (Hons) MAusIMM CP(Geo)

Head of Geology

Mr Rivers possesses greater than 20 years senior executive, technical and commercial experience in Africa, Australia, Asia, Arctic, Middle East, North & South America in the major and junior space, with a particular focus in Iron Ore and Gold. Mr Rivers has a well tenured strategic and tactical approach to the mining industry with intimate commercial, business development and M&A experience in Tier-1, publicly listed and private equity environments.

Prior to joining Lithium Universe Limited, Justin held the position of Executive Director and CEO of a Mauritian domiciled private equity company named Convertible Resources Ltd driving strategic development of its Gold projects in the Siguiri region of north-east Guinea.

Mr Rivers has a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) majoring in Geology and Environmental Science from the University of Tasmania.

Mr Terry Stark BAppSc

Head of Mining

Mr Terry Stark, a veteran mining engineer, has been appointed as Head of Mining and will spearhead the mining strategy for the Apollo First to Market program. Mr Stark was previously Managing Director – Resources Division for Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY). Terry was responsible for all of GXY mineral resources assets such as exploration and mine operations. Terry oversaw the Mt Cattlin construction and subsequent successful start-up. He also managed the GXY James Bay project and had a good relationship with the local Cree Nation. Terry is veteran mining engineer.

Mr Stark holds a Bachelor of Applied Science specialising in Mining Engineering.

Mr Roger Pover

Head of Processing

Mr Roger Pover has been appointed as Head of Processing and will lead the processing and concentrating strategy for the Apollo First to Market program. Mr Pover was previously Mt Cattlin Plant Manager who operated the Mt Cattlin operation for Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX:GXY). Roger was part of the commissioning and start up team and operated the plant for many years. Roger also directed all the optimisation modifications that were made at Mt Cattlin.

Mr Pover is also a veteran in the lithium industry, having commenced his career at Greenbushes Lithium mine in the early 1990’s. Roger has a 45-year career in the mining and chemical processing industries involving Mineral Sands, Alumina Refining, Lithium, Iron Ore, Tantalum Minerals and Tin Production.

Mr Huy Nguyen BE (Mech) MBA MIEAust

Engineering Manager

Mr Nguyen has been seconded from Mintrex to act as Lithium Universe Limited’s engineering client representative. Mintrex was the lead engineering company that designed and constructed (together with DRA Global) the Mt Cattlin Spodumene Plant.

Mr Nguyen was part of the construction supervision when Mt Cattlin was built so he is experienced with not only the design, but also the construction process that delivered a project that was on time and on budget.

Huy has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the Curtin University, Master of Business Administration and a member of Engineer Australia (MIEAust)

Mr John Loxton

Head of Lithium Carbonate Refinery

Mr John Loxton’s lithium experience commenced in 2010 with work on the Jiangsu Lithium Carbonate Plant EPCM for Galaxy Resources in China where his responsibilities initially were at a Sponsor level, and further into the project he was Project Manager, managing the final stages of construction and commissioning.

In 2019, John was engaged by Tianqi Lithium as Head of Projects for the execution of their investment in a lithium hydroxide processing plant in Kwinana, Western Australia. John managed the commissioning of the first train achieving first product in 2021 and undertook execution planning and establishing a project team for an identical second train in 2022. Mr Loxton is a project manager with over 45 years of experience across a diverse range of energy, industrial, process, civil, and major infrastructure projects.

Ms Victoria Vargas BSc Economics (Hons) MBA

Director - Canada

Ms. Vargas brings to Lithium Universe Ltd over 25 years of experience in the North American capital markets, with a significant focus on the Canadian mineral sector. She began her career at Kinross Gold Corporation and joined Alamos Gold Inc. in 2004. During her tenure, she played a pivotal role in enhancing investor exposure and facilitating the Company’s transition from the TSX Venture to the TSX. Prior to joining Alamos Gold, Ms Vargas worked for H2O Innovation, a Quebec-based company focused on providing best-in-class technologies and services for the water and wastewater treatment industry.

Ms. Vargas is highly skilled in sustainability and community engagement from both and operational and governance standpoint and has served on the health, safety, and corporate social responsibility committees at both the Chamber of Mines of Mexico and the Canadian Mining Task Force. Her extensive expertise extends across international projects in multiple jurisdictions, with a focus on mineral projects in Québec and Ontario.

Ms. Vargas is currently acts as the CFO of VMS Mining, a privately held company; VP of Investor Relations of Minera Alamos and a Capital Markets advisor to Wallbridge Mining. Victoria Vargas earned an MBA in Finance and a B.Sc. in Economics with Honors.


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