Our Team

Mike Rider

Mike was a former Royal Marine Commando serving mainly with 42 Commando he was involved in various operational tours of Northern Ireland to Interventions in Sierra Leone.

His commercial management skills were gained during continuous service within the Middle East operating and managing various high profile projects, including integral elements of the high profile US Department of State “Future of Iraq” project in post war Iraq.

Mike holds a Master’s degree in Business Continuity, Security and Emergency Management, and has been prestigiously awarded the ‘Freedom of the City’ of London in 2014 by recommendation.


Ben Smit is an entrepreneur, developer of projects and an early stage investor with a career spanning more than 30 years. He holds an MBA from the University of Liverpool and is a Lifetime Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management.

As the Lead Associate at Sutton Consulting International, he leads a multidisciplinary team of professionals in developing various businesses globally, from Exploration and Mining to Medical Care, Medical and Life Science technology, Renewable Energy and Environmental Technologies. However, his specific focus is the African continent where he has been actively involved in more than15 countries.

He has experience in the founding, early development & management of companies in natural resources, health care and biotech bringing a wealth of international corporate development and governance knowledge. Mr. Smit has been instrumental in the early stage development of many mineral resource projects from early stages of identification, through exploration and eventual development of producing mines.

Over the last 3 decades, he has served in various capacities such as Chairman, CEO, and NED and senior manager for both Private and Public companies listed on Securities Exchanges both in Canada and the UK.

He was involved in the development and success of companies such as LSE listed Petra Diamonds serving as Country manager for Angola and Rainbow Rare Earths where he served as a director leading up to its listing. AIM-listed Chariot Oil and Gas, and Goldplat where he served as Business development manager. TSX-V listed Mukuba Resources where he served as director and as CEO for a time.

His previous or on-going involvement in private companies includes Sutton Consulting, Piran Resources, Aurigin Resources, African Clean Energy Solutions, Provenance Health Care, Esya Labs, and Aegis Environmental Technologies.

He continues to employ his business management and leadership experience to assist existing and new start-up businesses reach their potential.

Michalis Poyatzis​

Mike holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the University of Westminster in London.

Mike originally from Cyprus is been leaving and working in Mozambique for the last 27 years. He has Mozambican nationality since 2009.

Mike currently manages Virane in Mozambique. Mike has good relations and contacts within the Ministry of Minerals and Energy in Mozambique and was instrumental in identifying the concession area and obtaining the mining license.

Mike alongside the management of Virane is managing two local companies operating in the Construction industry in Mozambique.

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