Our Team

The management team has worked on the project for the past 17 years.  Each team member has played significant roles in major discoveries and each believes that Nieves provides another opportunity for success.

Michael Berry, Ph.D.

Managing Director

Dr. Michael Berry brings 26 years of mining financing experience to his position as Managing Member in addition to extensive management experience.  His sole focus is to prepare Nieves for sale in the nearest term and maximize value creation.

He has also been a successful fundraiser.  He is familiar with capital markets and valuation in the mining sector.  He has been asked by major insurance companies to assist them in valuing and selecting mining opportunities for their investment portfolios.


Prior to this, he worked with Dr. Thomas Patton on the Western Silver Corporation / Penasquito project.  Western Silver discovered the reserves at Penasquito, eventually selling it to Goldcorp for $1.2B.  (For details on this project, please see the “The Peñasquito Success" page on this website.)


Previously, he was Senior Project manager at Honeywell and taught management strategy at the Darden School, University of Virginia, and James Madison University.  He is on call with the Federal Reserve.

Thomas C. Patton, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Strategic Advisor

Dr. Patton graduated from the University of Washington in 1971 (Ph.D.) and has worked in the exploration industry for over forty years as a field geologist, consultant, and executive officer of both junior and senior mining companies.  His work has been primarily in North America, where he and his teams have played major roles in several significant discoveries and reserve expansions of existing operations.  Before joining Quaterra on a full-time basis, Dr. Patton was President and COO of Western Silver Corporation from 1998 to May 2006.  The highlights of this period were the delineation of the world-class Peñasquito silver-gold-lead-zinc deposit in Zacatecas, Mexico, and the subsequent sale of the company to Glamis Gold Ltd. for $1.2B.  (For details on this project, please see "The Peñasquito Success” page on this website.)

Hector J. Fernández, G.B.Sc.


Mr. Fernández has been responsible on site for the Nieves silver project. He graduated from the University of San Luis Potosi, Mexico in 1973 and has worked in exploration for thirty-two years as a field geologist, consultant and exploration manager for senior mining companies.  Before joining Quaterra in 2003, he worked for Minera Cuicuilco (Cyprus) from 1974 to 1986, and was directly responsible for the Cieneguita (Chihuahua, Mexico) gold-silver mine discovery that was sold to Glamis.  From 1990 to 1996, he worked as Mexico's Exploration Manager for Minera San Bernardo (ASARCO).  From 1999 to 2002, he worked for Quebec Iron and Titanium (RTZ) in its Pluma Hidalgo (Oaxaca, Mexico) rutile project.

J.L. Christman

Manager of the BlackBerry office in Zacatecas

Mr. Christman has more than forty years’ experience in developing and managing natural resources projects in the western United States, Mexico, South America, and Africa.  He has extensive knowledge of integrating mining operations with federal, state, and local regulatory requirements and conducting baseline environmental studies.  He is extremely experienced in property evaluation, developing contracts, due diligence, and project marketing.  He is proficient in technical writing and presentations.  He has a B.S. degree in Geology from Arizona State University and a M.S. degree in Geology from the University of Arizona.


At Quaterra Resources Inc., he has been the Exploration Manager and legal representative for three Mexican subsidiaries companies. He has directed more than ten 

projects across a four state region of central Mexico and a staff of twelve professionals for the Goldcorp/Quaterra IFA.  He is involved in detailed interpretive geological and geochemical modeling of drill core data, has developed annual and project level budgets, and has been responsible for governmental, mining concession functions, and safety reports.  He led a contract framework for negotiating long-term agreements with ejidos and ranchers for surface rights.


Prior to his work at Quaterra, he was Manager, board member, and legal representative of Minera Sol de Oro SA de CV, Minas Argonautas S de RL de CV, and MSO Mining SA de CV with full power-of-attorney for the CEO.  He was responsible for administration and project exploration.

Joseph R. Inman, B.Sc., M.Sc.

Consulting Geophysicist

Mr. Inman graduated from the University of Utah in 1973 (M.Sc.) and has more than 30 years experience in mineral exploration and environmental studies.  He has extensive experience and expertise in nearly all geophysical methods including magnetics, gravity, induced polarization/resistivity (IPR), electromagnetics including both time-domain EM and frequency-domain EM (CSAMT, MaxMin), and radiometrics all in airborne, ground and downhole configurations.  Recent experience and areas of interest include the application of seismic methods to mineral exploration as well as data inversion techniques of all geophysical data sets, including integrated earth modeling.  Mr. Inman has been involved in all aspects of applying geophysics to exploration including survey design (technical specifications), data acquisition, contractor evaluation and selection, data processing, and interpretation.  He was a key member of the exploration teams that discovered the Crandon, Wisconsin, VMS deposit; and the A154 and Tli Kwi Cho kimberlite deposits, NWT, Canada.  Most recently he provided and managed geophysics programs for the Western Silver team that explored and expanded the Penasquito, Mexico, discovery into a world-class silver-gold-lead-zinc deposit.

Prior to becoming a consulting geophysicist, he was Director of Technical Support and Services at Kennecott Exploration.  He was responsible for ensuring Kennecott's geologists, geophysicists and data managers had knowledge of, access to, and made best use of state-of-the-art exploration methods including geophysics, geochemistry, remote sensing and data/information management technologies.  Mr. Inman is a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and a registered professional geophysicist in the State of California.

Thomas Turner, B.Sc., M.Sc.

Exploration Geologist

Mr. Turner has forty years' professional experience as an exploration geologist in various technical and managerial capacities (country manager, exploration and project manager, chief geologist, consulting geologist), including all technical-managerial-administrative aspects of the minerals exploration industry.

He has technical expertise in numerous tectonic terranes and precious-base metal mineral deposit models.

His work experience is field-oriented and ranges from conception, planning and management of prospect-specific evaluations to large regional programs and drill-intensive advanced projects.  Work environments vary from tropical to arctic geographic terrains in a variety of cultural settings.


  • Peñasquito Property, Zacatecas, Mexico; the Peñasco and Azul breccia and Chile Colorado stockwork gold-silver-lead-zinc deposits, as well as the Nochebuena Au-Ag deposit, Zacatecas, Mexico.  Managed Western Silver’s Peñasquito Project for five years from project startup through feasibility, including more than 500 drill holes and 150 Spanish-speaking employees.  

  • Cerro Blanco hot spring epithermal gold deposit, Asunción Mita, Guatemala.  Mar West Resources, Inc., the property owner, was acquired by Glamis Gold Ltd. in 1998.  

  • Taware River and Binebase acid sulfate epithermal gold deposits, Sangihe Island, Indonesia.  Current owner is East Asia Minerals Corp.

© 2019 by BlackBerry Ventures I, LLC

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