The mining universe has lost not only a wise and generous leader, but also a true renaissance man.
Igor Levental, president of The Electrum Group and director of Novagold Resources and Gatos Silver, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on June 10. Igor’s mining career spanned more than 30 years, where he held numerous board and senior roles and was actively involved in many of our industry’s more notable deals and development projects.
For those of us who had the good fortune to spend time in his company — and there were many, as Igor went out of his way to make time for people — we quickly saw that this was a rare individual. His depth of knowledge, not only about mining but also cinema, opera, music, books, and pretty much any other subject that could arise, was matched only by his friendliness, humility and incredible sense of humour.
He was also a keen student of mining history, and was for myself a great source for background and colour about some of the liveliest people and most important deals in our industry’s long history.
Dr. Thomas Kaplan, Novagold’s chairman, wrote a worthy tribute to Igor entitled “Onwards and Upwards: A Tribute to a Cherished Friend, Igor Levental.” Out of the many strong memories, this one in particular stands out: