James Xiang serves as Chief Executive Officer of North American Lithium (NAL).
North American Lithium is the second turnaround to be undertaken by James since his 2009 formation of China Mineral Resources Ltd., a private investment company dedicated to opportunities for Chinese investment in Canadian companies with global footprints.
In total, James has orchestrated more than $1 billion in investments on a non-broker basis in more than 15 projects, encompassing mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and equity and project financing. These projects have ranged from mining to water treatment and wind power, with James advising them as a board member and/or senior manager.
North American Lithium is the company that emerged, renamed, from the 2016 acquisition of RB Energy. James’ team partnered with Investment Quebec and new stakeholders from Asia, Europe and North America to address the liabilities and reconsider the technical issues to restart the project. North American Lithium’s site has been in full operation since August, meeting quality performance standards, with the first delivery of concentrates shipped on August 1.
James Xiang’s first turnaround of a mining operation was Canadian Royalties Inc. (CRI). One of his advisory companies had invested $1.5 billion in CRI, the largest, Chinese-owned mining company in Canada that was in financial distress due to poor management, planning and strategy.
While James advised CRI for a year, by 2013, the company’s situation had become increasingly dire. That year, James became fully involved in CRI as its CEO and moved into full management of the company.
Over the next two years, James rebuilt CRI’s management team and the corporate strategy, negotiating long-term payment plans with vendors and making good on them, while achieving commercial production. CRI forged James’ relationship with Investment Quebec, a company that granted CRI a $100 million, long-term loan for new projects in the Raglan region. Today, CRI is an established nickel-copper- PGE project that remains successfully cash-flow positive.
In 2005, James formed GobiMin Inc. from a northwestern, China-based nickel-copper project that was about to be listed on the TSX. James served as GobiMin’s CFO and formed and led the management team, as well as various financial and investor relations issues. In less than two years, GobiMin’s market cap had grown by a factor of ten and solid cash flow was being produced. Even with the 2008 financial crisis, the company was able to sell its main project to another Chinese group for cash.
James Xiang received his first degree, a bachelor’s in international economics, from Huazhong University of Science & Technology (HUST), one of China’s top universities. He worked as an oil trader after graduation before moving to Canada and earned his MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University.