Mr. Blakestad was Senior Vice President, Exploration and Chief Geologist for Golden Minerals Company from March, 2009 until his retirement on February 29, 2012. He served as Vice President, Exploration of Apex Silver Mines Limited from November 2004 to March 2009. Prior to joining Apex Silver Mines Limited, Mr. Blakestad served as Chief Executive Officer of International Taurus Resources from May 1998 until November 2004. He was Vice President Exploration for Amax Gold from 1996 to 1998 and Exploration Manager for Cyprus Amax Minerals Company from 1990 until 1996. He held various positions at Homestake Mining Company from 1979 until 1990, beginning as a Senior Geologist and rising to the position of Manager, U.S. Reconnaissance. Mr. Blakestad holds a B.S. in Mining Engineering from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and an M.S. in Geology from the University of Colorado. He is a member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers and of the Society of Economic Geologists. He holds professional certifications from the State of Washington and the Province of Nova Scotia.