Darren M. Pylot, President and Chief Executive Office and a Director
Capstone Mining Corp.
2019 AMERICAN MINING HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
Darren M. Pylot is a mining entrepreneur and businessperson who founded Capstone Mining Corp. in 2002 and is its President and Chief Executive Office and a Director of the company
Under his leadership, Capstone has grown from an exploration company, into a single asset company operating the Cozamin Mine, and then a leading intermediate copper producer, developer and exploration company by merging with Sherwood Copper (Minto and Kutcho), acquiring Far West Mining (Santo Domingo), developing the strategic partnership with Korea Resources Corporation and acquiring the Pinto Valley Mine from BHP Billiton Ltd. Pylot has led the transformation of what was a small exploration company in 2002 into a billion-dollar copper producer with mines and projects in the United States, Mexico and Chile, and a portfolio of exploration properties.
Pylot was born in Kelowna and raised in Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada. In the mid-1980s, Pylot moved to Vancouver, where he attended Simon Fraser University. While there, he studied business and soon went on to work for PwC, a global network of firms delivering assurance, tax and consulting services. Shortly thereafter, he joined a local mining company as controller.
In the mid-1990s Pylot ventured into South America in search of precious metals, but his efforts turned up little and investor appetite for metals waned. In the early 2000s he re-formed his company and took it into Mexico in search of gold and silver. At the time the company was called Capstone Gold and had optioned a past-producing silver-lead-zinc mine with the intention to restart it. But exploratory drilling found abundant copper along with the silver, lead and zinc, so the company was able to refurbish the existing infrastructure and rapidly put Cozamin back into production for $30 million, with copper as the primary product.
In 2008, Pylot led a US $450 million merger between his company and Sherwood Copper, bringing Sherwood’s high-grade copper-gold Minto mine in Yukon, Canada into the Capstone fold. In 2011, Capstone purchased 70% of the Santo Domingo Project, a large-scale iron oxide-copper-gold development project in Chile. It is jointly owned with 30% holder, Korea Resources Corporation (KORES), the Korean state-owned resource acquisition enterprise. In 2013, Capstone purchased the Pinto Valley Operation for US$650 million. The Pinto Valley mine is a 54,800 tonne per day copper mine, located in the Globe-Miami mining district in Arizona.
In 2017 and 2019, Capstone sold its Kutcho project and Minto mine, to focus resources on opportunities that will have a more meaningful impact on the long-term growth of the company as it continues to advance.