Features

Carlos Castillo – Calibre 

Driving upward expansion for below-ground business  

As the general counsel for Calibre Mining Corp.’s Nicaragua division, Carlos Castillo is important in facilitating the company’s growth through strategic acquisitions and project management.  

During an interview with Vanguard in April, Castillo explained that this acquisition expands Calibre’s operational capacity and ensures a steady production of ounces for at least the next eight years, thus extending the lifespan of the company’s operations. 

Carlos Castillo | General Counsel, Nicaragua | Calibre 

Carlos Castillo | General Counsel, Nicaragua | Calibre

In addition to acquisitions, Castillo oversees various projects to expand Calibre’s footprint and enhance production. For instance, under his guidance, the company successfully opened operations on the Atlantic coast within nine months, contributing significantly to production growth. Also, the expansion of the La Libertad mine through the Volcano Project, which involved the acquisition of approximately 550 blocks of land, has bolstered operational capabilities and increased production output. 

“As we navigate through challenges, each acquisition and project serves as a cornerstone, fueling Calibre Mining Corp.’s growth and securing our future in Nicaragua’s mining landscape,” Castillo says. 

Future focus 

Navigating the legal landscape in Nicaragua presents its own challenges, with constant updates and amendments to laws and regulations, he says. Castillo acknowledges the importance of staying ahead of these changes to ensure compliance across Calibre’s subsidiaries. He highlights the significance of adhering to international standards, such as those set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), in combating issues like money laundering. 

Regarding integrating technology into legal practice, Castillo recognizes the potential benefits of artificial intelligence in streamlining processes and improving efficiency.  

Carlos Castillo | General Counsel, Nicaragua | Calibre 

“We’re still exploring the capabilities of AI, and we understand the need for continuous learning and adaptation to leverage technological advancements effectively,” he explains.  

Looking ahead to the rest of 2024, Castillo is focused on further expansion and diversification of Calibre’s operations. The recent acquisition of Marathon Gold and ongoing exploration efforts at the Valentine Gold Mine in Canada’s Newfoundland & Labrador region underscores the company’s commitment to growth and innovation. Additionally, strategic agreements and investments, such as issuing approximately 60 million shares for C$100 million, reflect Calibre’s ambitious goals for the future. 

Empowering teams for success 

Castillo oversees a multidisciplinary team of 14 professionals, including legal experts, engineers, topographers and compliance officers. In addition to legal affairs, Castillo’s responsibilities extend to managing properties, mining concessions compliance, and anti-money laundering efforts while overseeing external local counsels. 

Recruiting and retaining top talent is a priority for Castillo, who emphasizes hiring individuals with specific capabilities tailored to the team’s needs. Regular training, updates on new processes, and empowerment are key strategies to ensure the team remains at the forefront of their respective fields. Castillo fosters a culture of leadership, teamwork, and trust, providing unwavering support to his team members. 

Carlos Castillo | General Counsel, Nicaragua | Calibre 

Despite the challenges inherent in the mining industry, including its demanding 24/7 nature, Castillo finds fulfillment in his work’s dynamic and ever-changing nature. The constant action, various issues, and growth opportunities keep him engaged and motivated.  

“I value the camaraderie and support of my team, knowing that we tackle everyday challenges together,” he says.  

Reflecting on his career, Castillo acknowledges his numerous challenges, from personal upheavals during exile in the 80s to navigating diverse cultural and professional environments. However, he views these challenges as opportunities for growth and learning, each experience contributing to his resilience and preparedness for future endeavors. 

Despite the hurdles, Castillo remains optimistic and driven, embracing each new challenge with determination and purpose. With a talented team by his side and a wealth of experiences to draw from, Castillo continues to make significant contributions to Calibre’s success. 

Family influence 

Castillo’s journey into law was deeply influenced by his father, a legal practitioner whose footsteps he eagerly followed. Inspired by his father’s dedication and the multifaceted nature of legal work, Castillo pursued and completed his law degree at Universidad Catolica de Nicaragua. His early exposure to the legal profession, working alongside his father, instilled a profound respect for the law and a strong work ethic. 

After graduating and officially entering the legal profession, Castillo began his career as a junior partner at a reputable law firm. This role gave him invaluable experience handling diverse legal matters and serving various clients. His time at the firm honed his legal skills and nurtured his ability to navigate complex legal landscapes. 

Carlos Castillo | General Counsel, Nicaragua | Calibre 

Castillo’s career took a significant turn when he transitioned into the mining industry, joining B2Gold Corp., a prominent player in the sector. Over 12 years at B2Gold, Castillo’s role evolved, allowing him to leverage his legal expertise while gaining deep insights into the intricacies of the mining business.  

“My tenure at B2Gold gave me a comprehensive understanding of the industry, from regulatory compliance to strategic transactions,” he recalls.  

In October 2019, Castillo embarked on a new chapter in his career, assuming the role of general counsel for Calibre Mining Corp.’s Nicaragua operations. In this capacity, he oversees all legal affairs, providing strategic counsel to support the company’s operations and growth initiatives. Castillo’s transition to Calibre marked a natural progression in his career, building upon his extensive experience in law and the mining industry. 

Beyond his professional endeavors, Castillo’s background is as diverse as his career trajectory. Having lived in various countries, including Honduras, the United States and Panama, he brings a global perspective to his work. His educational pursuits, including an Executive Global Master in Business Administration from the University of Miami, reflect his commitment to continuous learning and self-improvement. 

“You should have a role model at an early age and develop discipline and consistency in all parts of your life to reach your goals, but remember that every time you reach a new step, you also need to extend your hand to bring someone up,” he says. “Always share your knowledge, experience and wisdom with those seeking them.” 

Published on: May 10, 2024

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