Highly experienced team with an exceptional network

Directors & Management

Dirk Harbecke

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Harbecke has more than 25 years of experience as a manager, entrepreneur and investor with international activities in Africa, China, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. He also worked at the Boston Consulting Group and was the co-founder and CEO of ADC African Development Corporation AG (“ADC”), a German-listed investment group. Under his leadership, ADC became a leading pan-African financial services group. Mr. Harbecke holds an MBA degree from St. Gallen University in Switzerland.

Stefan Krause

Vice Chairman of the Board & Acting Chief Financial Officer
Stefan Krause is a former Chief Financial Officer of BMW. He has extensive experience in the automotive industry, especially in the e-mobility sector. After heading the finance organization at BMW Group, he held the same position at Deutsche Bank. He also held senior positions at e-mobility companies Canoo, Fisker and Faraday Future. Recently, as Chief Investment and Financial Officer, he listed Levere Holdings, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) focused on the mobility industry in Europe, on the Nasdaq.

Klaus Schmitz

Mr. Schmitz possesses broad and global operational expertise including comprehensive experience in the field of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) for both conventional and renewable power generation and industrial plants. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chairman of the Management Board for Hitachi Power Europe and the Executive President and Head of the Power Division for Bilfinger SE. Additionally, Mr. Schmitz has served as an advisor for Dussmann, McKinsey, Nippon Denka Kogyosho, Osaka, INP and DSD Steel Group.

Dr. Peter Kausch

Dr. Kausch holds Doctorate and Masters of Science degrees in Mining Engineering and has over 40 years of experience in the natural resources sector. He has worked as an advisor to the United Nations Seabed Committee and held a variety of progressive positions with Rheinbraun AG (now RWE Power AG), including managing director of Rheinbraun US GmbH and chairman of Rheinbraun Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Voigt

Mr. Voigt is Professor Emeritus in Inorganic Chemistry at the Technische Universität Freiberg, Germany. His research focus for the last 20 years has mainly centered around salt chemistry, particularly lithium chemicals. He has previously been engaged in several brine and hard rock lithium projects around the globe and combines technical knowledge of proven processes with innovative technological concepts for more efficient spodumene conversion.

Simon Bodensteiner

Mr. Bodensteiner is a mining engineer with over 15 years of professional experience in Germany and Australia. He gained extensive knowledge in corporate, operational and technical roles, and worked for both world-class firms, including Rio Tinto and the Boston Consulting Group, as well as junior mining companies. He has a record of success in project management and deal negotiation, in open pit and underground environments, with a focus on mine strategy improvements.

Stephan Egle

Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Egle has extensive international experience in the execution of large-scale industrial plants in the oil
& gas (Refinery), petrochemical (Fertilizer Plant) and energy (Combined Cycle Power Plants) industries. He has held management positions with companies such as Siemens, Toyo Engineering (Mitsui Group), MAN AG/Ferrostaal and Japanese Gas Corporation/JGC (Japan).

Don Stevens

Chief Technology Officer
Don Stevens is a chemical process engineer with a career spanning almost 30 years across a variety of industry sectors, including leadership positions as VP Processing at Tata Steel Minerals Canada and GM Operations at Vale Base Metals. Mr. Stevens has extensive experience in process and project development in the extractive metallurgy industry and possesses expertise in research and development, process engineering, project management and operational leadership.  He prioritizes value chain optimization and sustainable development through appropriate technology implementation and excellence through teamwork.  

Olaf Schulze

Head of Engineering
Mr. Schulze has extensive international experience in the operational and technical management of
large plants (EPC) with a focus on processing, implementation, budgeting and meeting timelines. He
held several management positions with Mitsubishi, Hitachi and Babcock Borsig and has been living and
working in Germany, Spain and South Africa.

Brad Barnett

Corporate Secretary
Mr. Barnett has been with Rock Tech Lithium since 2010. He has extensive experience in the areas of regulatory filings, compliance and finance and holds a Master of Science in Corporate Finance, a Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) and a Diploma in Financial Management (Honours).

Robert MacDonald

General Manager, Georgia Lake Lithium Project
Mr. MacDonald is a mining engineer with an accomplished career spanning almost 40 years. He has held a broad range of operational and technical roles with recent positions including General Manager, Ontario Operations for McEwen Mining Inc.’s Black Fox Complex; General Manager, Macassa Complex at Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd and Operations Manager, Red Lake Gold Mines at Gold Corp Inc. Mr. MacDonald has extensive experience in managing producing mines, developing new mineral projects and optimizing the performance of mine and mill operations.

Technical Advisor

Dr. Jingyuan Liu

Mr. Liu is a world leading mining and processing engineer who has overseen the planning, construction and operation of downstream lithium plants and consulted to various high-profile lithium projects around the world. He holds a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Newcastle, Australia. Mr. Liu is currently Principal of Process Engineering at Wave International, a renowned Australian resource consultancy and engineering firm with a key focus on lithium projects and further acts as General Manager, Operations for Altech Chemicals Ltd. (ASX:ATC).

Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Heinz Riesenhuber

Prof. Riesenhuber served as Member of the German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) from 1976 to 2017. He is still acting President of the German Parliamentary Society (Deutsche Parlamentarische Gesellschaft). From 1982 to 1993 he served as Minister of Scientific Research and Technology. Before, he held several management positions in the German Metallgesellschaft AG, formerly one of Germany’s largest industrial conglomerates with over 20,000 employees and revenues exceeding US$10 billion, specializing in mining, specialty chemicals and commodity trading. Riesenhuber served as Director on the Boards of EVOTEC (as Chairman), Henkel, Altana and Mannesmann.

Carl-Peter Forster

Carl-Peter Forster started his career at McKinsey & Company as a management consultant. After four years there, he joined BMW in Munich, where he became a member of the Executive Board in 1999 as head of global manufacturing. In 2001, he joined the European division of General Motors and became Managing Director of Opel and Vice President of GM Europe. In 2006 he became CEO and President of GM Europe and joined the parent company’s Global Automotive Strategy Board. After leaving General Motors, he became Group CEO at Tata Motors.

Norbert Steiner

Norbert Steiner acted as CEO of the German MDAX company K+S Aktiengesellschaft from 2007 to 2017, the largest mining company in Germany. Amongst other topics, he was responsible for Corporate Development, Governance, Risk, and the Business Units Salt, Potash and Magnesium Products. K+S had revenues from 2013 to 2015 between €3.8 billion and €4.2 billion, operating earnings (EBIT) through the same period between €640 and €780 million and almost 15,000 employees worldwide, thereof 10,000 in Germany.

Prof. Jens Gutzmer

Prof. Gutzmer is the Founding Director of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology and Professor of Economic Geology and Petrology at the Department of Mineralogy, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Germany. As coordinator and founding CEO he was involved in 2014 and 2015 setting up the EIT Raw Materials, an EU-funded Knowledge and Innovation Community that has become the world’s leading partnership for innovation and education in the raw materials sector.