Guiding a silver mining company through the slumping market is a daunting task for even the most experienced of leaders. At 35 years old, Brendan Cahill of Excellon Resources is the second-youngest CEO in the industry, although he does not put much emphasis on that statistic. “Most of the time, I truly forget I’m that much younger,” he said. “That’s part of the reason why I got into the mining industry – all of the guys here are young at heart and great to be around.”
The other part of that reason stems from Cahill’s early days at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP after graduating with a law degree from the University of Western Ontario. “I started working just as this crest of massive deals was hitting the market and got to advise on the multi-billion-dollar Barrick-Placer Dome deal,” he remembered. “After that, I was hooked.”
Over his short career so far, the learning curve has been steep. “The most valuable lesson I learned, and the best advice I can give to anyone, is how important it is to build a great team around you and weather the storm,” he offered. After stabilizing the frequent management turnovers since his arrival and pursuing talent for its operations in Mexico, Excellon has steadily cut down on both corporate governance costs and operating expenses at its fully owned La Platosa mine.
With plans to address the excess water issues at the mine, continue exploring the area’s mineral-rich system and acquire undervalued projects, Cahill is as comfortable leading his company through these times as anyone can be. “Things might be rough, but times like these are when the great companies are born,” he said. “We’ve managed to put Excellon in a good position to capitalize.”