Matt Lennox-King

Forty Under 40 winner 2014:  President and CEO, Pilot Gold, Age 38

For Matt Lennox-King, it’s always been about the science – in his role at Pilot Gold, at university, even as a kid growing up.

“I guess you could say I’m second generation as far as mining goes. My father has been involved in the industry essentially my entire life. So I was exposed to it growing up; he’d bring cool rocks back from mine tours, he’d bring hard hats and belt buckles, that kind of thing.”

Despite being unsure about what he wanted to specialize in, he knew he wanted to pursue a science-based education.

“I took introduction to geology and loved it, and got a summer job in the bush and loved it, and here I am 20 years later,” he said. “That’s the simplest way to put it.”

Now president and CEO of Pilot Gold, Lennox-King said the keys to his company’s success have been “good science, great geology and making discoveries.”

“Because really, it’s not just about going out and looking at rocks and drilling holes in the ground and trying to find some gold: it’s about creating something of value.”

And while at the helm of a business that faces capital markets as rocky as the grounds it excavates, Lennox-King has created a lot of value.

Since its inception in 2011, Pilot Gold has raised $72 million and made seven new gold and copper discoveries in Turkey and Nevada. Lennox-King is also responsible for executing $100 million worth of exploration programs since 2002.

But a proven track record in raising capital isn’t the only way Pilot creates value. Some of the work Lennox-King is most proud of is his company’s sustainability and humanitarian efforts around its projects.

Whether at mines in Canada or Turkey, Pilot has poured effort into training local residents with the skills to work on the company’s projects, be it in tech positions or health and safety roles. Educational programs, ensuring clean water supply and bettering health and safety standards are all part of the package too.

“We make a difference in the market, we make a difference to our shareholders, but ultimately I’d love to translate that into something more meaningful, a more human difference.”

“I don’t just want a nice bio. I want to do something and help people.”