A business is the people who work for it. At SEMS Exploration we've invested in the best, so you can be sure that you've hired a team capable of tackling the most challenging assignments you can ask of us. Everyone who works for us lives locally, so we're able to operate effectively and efficiently. And, as we say: when you need the ground covered, we're here    


Simon Meadows Smith    IOM3

Managing Director - Geologist

Simon has been working for SEMS Exploration since its inception in 2002.  He is a key member of our geological consulting staff as well as being the company’s Managing Director.

Simon graduated from Nottingham University in 1988.  He has over twenty years' experience working in the Archean Terrains of Western Australia and the Proterozoic Terrains of West Africa.  In Australia Simon worked for several large gold mining and exploration operations in the Eastern Goldfields, as well as a number of nickel and base metal companies.

As the Managing Director of SEMS Exploration he has been closely associated with several large gold discoveries in West Africa.

     Steve Jones

Commercial Manager

Steve is a qualified accountant who has worked for twenty five years in the mining industry, with many different size companies and in many different countries.

Steve worked in the Australian mining industry until 1998, when he accepted his first expat assignment in Ghana, and has been working overseas ever since.

Steve has held positions as the Finance Manager or Commercial Manager with companies such as Newmont, Redback Mining, and Adamus Resources, where he has mainly specialized in project star-ups and systems development.

As our Commercial Manger Steve is responsible for the financial and commercial success of SEMS Exploration.


Joe Amanor        AusIMM

Ghana Administration Manager and Consultant Geologist

Joe is one of the most respected figures in Ghana’s mining industry and has many years experience in surface and underground exploration, as well as mineral resource evaluation.  For over twenty years Joe was the leader of the geological team at Anglogold Ashanti’s Obuasi gold mine which oversaw the successful flotation of Ashanti in the mid-1990s, and the acquisition of Cluff Resources, International Gold Resources (IGR) and Golden Shamrock Resources.

Joe has authored and co-authored eleven geological papers for major international publications.Joe is responsible for co-ordinating the company’s exploration activities in Ghana   and the supervision of mineral resource estimations.


John Coates


John is a graduate of Imperial College, London, from where he was awarded an MSc in Mineral Exploration. John started working in Africa in 1974 and moved to West Africa with BHP Minerals in 1988.

John remained with BHP for eight years, during which time he held the positions of Exploration Manager in both Ghana and Mali. He also worked as Principal Geologist in Burkina Faso.

John spent several years as the Business Development Manager and Quality Control Manager for Transworld / Intertek Laboratory in Ghana before taking up the position as Consultant Geologist and Projects Manager with SEMS Exploration. John has completed several Laboratory audits for our clients throughout West Africa.


Andrew Netherwood     Aus IMM

 Mining Engineer

Andrew is a graduate of Otago University and took up a position with James Askew Associates as a Mining Engineer in 1986.  Since 1992 Andrew has worked on a wide range of mining projects throughout Africa.

Andrew has over twenty years' experience, mostly associated with open pit gold mining in both technical operations and consultancy roles.  He places a particular emphasis on mine planning and evaluation, ore reserves management, long-range planning and strategy, training and development of local nationals.

Andrew is an advanced user of Datamine software, NPV Scheduler and Whittle optimisers.

     Harry van den Berg    IAMG

Database & GIS Manager – Consultant Geophysicist

Harry is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand and has worked and consulted for major  South African mining houses on projects ranging from general exploration and target generation to  environmental, hydro-geological and geothermal potential studies. He pioneered ground EM methods that lead to the discovery of the Khusib Springs copper deposit in Namibia. As consultant environmentalist for Anglo American he contributed to the award winning first environmental management plan for the Freestate gold mines.

Harry has over twenty years' experience, using and creating exploration & baseline environmental databases, publishing papers and posters on wireline log analysis, hyper- & multi-spectral remote sensing and favourability analysis on exploration databases. He has presented workshops and training for EU development projects in West Africa.


Stanislas de Stabenrath

Ivory Coast Country Manager – Geologist
Stan is a French national and holds an MSc in Georesources from the Institute EGID in Bordeaux, France. He has been living in Côte d’Ivoire for over seven years and has an in-depth understanding of Francophone cultures and governmental processes in West Africa. Stan has managed the SEMS Abidjan office since its inception in 2008.  He is an enthusiastic field geologist and is responsible for the coordination of field crews, logistics and client liaison in Cote d’Ivoire.

Stan is an accredited trainer of MapInfo and Discover software and provides basic or advanced training courses in both French and English throughout West Africa


David Byrne – MAIG

Senior Geologist, Ivory Coast

Dr David Byrne graduated from The University of Melbourne in 1984 and obtained a doctorate in structural geology from the University of Western Australia in 2000.

He has over 25 years experience working in the exploration industry for various mining companies and numerous consultancies. He has worked on projects in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Mexico, Ukraine, Zimbabwe and has spent 7 years in West Africa working in Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. While he has mostly worked on gold projects, he has also worked on Cu-Pb-Zn deposits of various types. Apart from being a structural geologist,

David has much experience designing and running drilling programs, compiling data into GIS and relational databases, interpreting data, geological modelling in 3D, and regional exploration. David is based in Abidjan but provides technical support to SEMS projects throughout the sub region. 


Ghislain Tourigny - APEG

Exploration Manager Burkina Faso

Dr. Ghislain Tourigny graduated from the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) in 1982 and earned a doctorate in Structural Geology in 1989 from the University of Montreal. Ghislain has over 20 years of experience in mining exploration.

During which time he worked as an ore deposit geologist for the Department of Natural Resources of Quebec in Val-d’Or and acted as a consultant structural geologist for various junior and senior mining companies in Canada and mostly throughout Africa.

He is SEMS Exploration Manager for SEMS Burkina Faso but provides consultancy support to the company throughout the sub region. Ghislain is a member of the Order of Geologists of Quebec, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEG), a member of the Geological Society of Canada, Canadian Tectonic Group, and a member of the Society of Economic Geologists and the Geological Society of South Africa.

   Paul Howe
Field Manager            

Paul joined SEMS as Field Manager for Burkina Faso in October 2011.

He is a Geotecnician with 30 years’ experience in all aspects of exploration and open pit mining throughout Africa. He holds an Anglo American Corporation Advanced Certificate in both Mineral Exploration and Open Pit Mine Survey . 

During this time he spent  20 years in gold, uranium and base metal exploration with Anglo American Prospecting Services . Notably he was a member of the exploration team that discovered and subsequently brought the Namakwa Sands project on stream.

Paul has spent the last ten years in diamond exploration and open mining in South Africa, Namibia and Angola. During this time he spent 5 years with Trans Hex International then 5 years with Techmina(Pty)Ltd.

Before joining SEMS he was the HOD Geology and Survey  at Projecto Camutue in North Eastern Angola.         


     Emmanuel Boakye

Finance & Accounts Manager

Emmanuel had his professional training at Deloitte and Touche and was involved in audits, acquisitions and mergers of a number of companies including Ghana Bauxite Company, Ashanti and Cluff Resources and European Union Micro projects.

Emmanuel has been working for SEMS Exploration since December 2003. He supervises the accounting function of all SEMS Exploration operations in West Africa. Emmanuel is well versed in the financial and fiscal policies of the West African Economies in which SEMS Exploration operates. He is involved in the design and implementation of accounting systems which ensures effective controls and timely financial reporting and liaises with Auditors, Tax authorities and Bankers for our Clients incorporated and operating in the West African economies.            



Szabolcs Sáfián 
Environmental Consultant 

Safi holds a technical diploma in Forestry as well as a BSc degree in Wildlife Management and an MSc in conservation. He has been studying butterflies and moths in West Africa since 2001 and has been involved in conservation research, eco-tourism and environmental studies throughout Africa.

  Safi maintains an extensive network of experts and independent consultants in conservation, forestry, zoology and botany to provide personalised packages for clients.



  Isabelle Guirma

Burkina Faso Administrator

Isabelle holds a Masters degree in English from Ouagadougou University and a certificate of translation from Lille University in France.

Isabelle has fifteen years experience as an office Administrator and in administration management in Burkina Faso and the Central African Republic. She has worked with large mining companies such as Placer Dome in Burkina and with junior exploration companies in CAR.

She is experienced in team management, co-ordination of large field crews and in government relations. Isabelle administers all our company’s activities in Burkina Faso.


 Joseph Collins

Liberia Country Manager – Geologist

Joe Collins is a Liberian Geologist with 20 years of professional experience with 18 of those being in the Birimian of Ghana and in south eastern Ivory Coast. He has worked on projects from grass roots straight through to discovery and mine development notably among them are the Ahafo gold deposit. Joe spent a year working on the epithermal gold system in Queensland Australia.

With a good working knowledge of the French language and excellent project management and mentoring skills, Joe adds to the group a hands on approach management style with emphasis on maintaining technical quality and developing younger geologist.