Directors and Management

Fletcher Quinn

Non-Executive Chairman

Fletcher has over 35 years’ experience in venture capital, corporate finance and investment banking including extensive experience with both listed and unlisted companies, including public company development, management and governance. Fletcher was the foundation chairman for ASX entities Citadel Resources and Sirocco Resources.

Kris Knauer

CEO and Managing Director

Kris started his career as an exploration geologist before moving into investment banking, initially as a mining analyst. He is an experienced listed company CEO. He led the listing of a package of copper/gold assets in Saudi Arabia to create Citadel Resources (ASX: CGG) becoming the Managing Director for the first 18 months. Citadel completed a DFS on the Jabal Sayid copper project in Saudi Arabia prior to being taken over for $1 billion.

Sergio Rotondo

Executive Director

Mr Sergio Rotondo holds a Masters Degree in Economics from University of CEMA and an international MBA Degree from University of CEMA. Sergio has an extensive background in managing billion-dollar construction projects from design through completion, and has partnered with some of Argentina’s largest real estate developers and designers.

Pini Althaus

Non-Executive Director

Mr Althaus is based in New York and has been an Executive in the mining and resource sector since 2002. Pini was most recently the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of USA Rare Earth, which acquired and developed the Round Top heavy rare earth and critical minerals project in Texas. As CEO Pini transformed USA Rare Earth from a resource startup to one of the highest-valued rare earth companies in North America.

Additionally, Mr Althaus has experience in the gold sector as the former founder and CEO of Dominion Minerals Corp, which acquired and developed the Cerro Corcha Gold / Copper project in Panama. During his tenure as CEO, Dominion defined a significant open-ended gold and copper deposit with a project NPV in excess of US$500 million.

Brett Hackett

Non-Executive Director

Brett has 33 years of experience as an Australian diplomat. For the last 13 years, his principal focus has been on expanding Australia’s economic and political relationships with the counties of Latin America.

He has served as Ambassador on three occasions; as Australia’s first resident Ambassador in Afghanistan (2006-2008), as Ambassador to Brazil (2011-2014), and most recently as Ambassador to Argentina (2018-2023).

In Brett’s role as Ambassador to Argentina he accrued considerable experience in promoting Australian interests, particularly in Argentina’s mining sector. Brett is highly regarded on both sides of politics in Argentina and, as the most recently returned Ambassador, he maintains a current and enviable list of contacts in Argentina. As the Company moves through studies into negotiation of fiscal terms for the Hualilan Project at the National Government level Brett’s experience and contacts will be of great assistance to the Company.

Sonia Delgado

Country Manager Argentina

Dr. Sonia Delgado graduated with honours as a lawyer and has a Master’s degree in labour law from the National University of Cordoba. Her work experience in the private sector began in 2004 when she opened her own law firm specialising in Argentinian Labour law which she has maintained until her appointment by Challenger Exploration.

Over a distinguished career in the Argentinian public sector, Sonia has occupied positions including: Assistant Office of the State Prosecutor of the Province of San Juan; Undersecretary of Planning and Promotion of Mining Development; Chief of Advisors (Argentina National Mining Ministry) and, most recently, Secretary of Mining for the province of San Juan, Argentina.

Sonia was appointed as Vice President and local Director of the Company’s wholly owned Argentinian subsidiary in December 2022 and for the past 6 months Sonia has been consulting to Challenger Exploration via her private law firm, managing all non-geology related matters at Hualilan.

Michael Zivcic

Company Chief Operations Officer

Mike has dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Engineering (Mining) and Science (Geology) from the University of Queensland. He has spent the past 12 years in operational and technical roles in mines in Australia, West Africa, Papua New Guinea, and most recently Argentina. Mike is an Australian citizen and is a resident of San Juan, Argentina, where he has lived since 2020.

Prior to joining the Company Mike was the General Manager of the Veladero mine. The Veladero mine is also located in the San Juan province of Argentina and is a 50:50 joint venture between the Canadian Barrick Gold Corporation (“Barrick”) and Chinese Shandong Gold Mining Corporation, and is operated by Barrick. Veladero is a large open pit mining and heap leach processing operation, which in 2022 produced just under 400,000 ounces of gold.  Prior to joining Barrick, Mike held mining technical and operational leadership roles in Papua New Guinea with Harmony Gold Corporation, and in Burkina Faso and Guinea-Conakry with Nordgold.

Mike holds a West Australian Quarry Manager’s Certificate of Competency, is a Member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), having completed the Company Director Course in 2010.

Mike’s extensive operational and technical mining experience, coupled with his recent leadership experience in Argentina and extensive local networks, provide an excellent foundation to lead the development of the Company’s Hualilan project, located in the same San Juan province of Argentina.

Scott Funston

CFO and Company Secretary

Scott is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary with nearly twenty years’ experience in the mining industry and accounting profession. His expertise is financial management, regulatory compliance and corporate advice. Scott possesses a strong knowledge of the Australian Securities Exchange requirements and has previously assisted a number of ASX listed resources companies as CFO and Company Secretary operating in Australia, South America, Asia, Africa, USA. Most recently he was CFO and Company Secretary of Avanco Resources, a Brazilian focussed copper and gold producer, that was acquired by Oz Minerals Limited.

Current annual demand for gold exceeds mine production with the shortfall made up from costly recycling.

Corporate Directory


Kris Knauer
Managing Director and CEO

Sergio Rotondo
Executive Director

Fletcher Quinn
Non-Executive Chairman

Pini Althaus
Non-Executive Director

Brett Hackett
Non-Executive Director

Company Secretary & Chief Financial Officer

Scott Funston

Registered Office

Level 1, 1205 Hay Street


(08) 6380 9235


45 123 591 382


Ernst and Young (EY)
11 Mounts Bay Road
Perth  WA  6000

Share Registry

Security Transfer Registrars Pty Ltd
770 Canning Highway
Telephone: (08) 9315 2333
Facsimile: (08) 9315 2233

Securities Exchange Listing

Australian Securities Exchange

183 pounds : the amount of copper in an electric car, five times that in a conventional car.

Corporate Governance

The role of Challenger Exploration’s Board is to set the Company’s strategic direction and objectives. It is collectively responsible for the governance of the Company and for promoting its success.

The Board delegates to management the responsibility for implementing the Company’s objectives and the day-to-day management of the Company, subject to certain limitations on such delegations. The limitations are primarily imposed by approved corporate budgets and corporate strategy which are set by the Board.

Code of Conduct

The Company is committed to ensuring that the Board, senior management and all employees always act with integrity and honesty when interacting with each other and all other key stakeholders, with these values embodied in the Company’s Code of Conduct. The Company will not make or accept any unethical financial inducement that would result in the Company, or an individual, gaining an improper advantage. Unethical financial inducements include bribe, kickbacks and other dealings of an unethical nature.

Share Trading

Directors and key management personnel may only trade in the Company’s securities if they have requested and received the approval of the Chairman prior to purchasing or selling securities and in accordance with the Company’s share trading policy.

Clear restrictions are also placed on the timing of any such transactions.

Continuous Disclosure and Market Communications

The Company has put in place mechanisms designed to ensure compliance with ASX Listing Rule requirements so that all investors will have equal and timely access to material information concerning the Company, including its financial situation, performance, ownership and governance. These processes also ensure that public announcements are factual and presented in a clear and balanced way, disclosing both positive and negative information.


The Company’s objective is to have a workforce that is representative of the countries and communities in which it operates. Our workforce is employed based on the right person for the right job regardless of their gender, age, nationality, race, religious beliefs, cultural background, sexuality or physical ability.

The Company is committed to increasing diversity amongst its employees as it grows, not just in relation to gender diversity, but in its operations in consultation with local community groups and BEE partners/advisors.

A comprehensive description of the Company’s governance practices is available in the Corporate Governance Statement, Charters and related governance policies below:


Corporate Governance

Policies & Procedures

Health, safety, environment and quality are paramaount.