Richard Glenn Fifer Carles, born on January 23, 1957 in the Republic of Panama at Gorgas Army Hospital is recognized in his native country as the Father of Panamanian mining. Raised in the Isthmus of Panama, he has spent most his adult years dedicated to mining exploration ventures and development of the central provinces in the Republic of Panama.
He was the accomplished and educated son of Mr. Richard Glenn Fifer Witte (son of Anne Witte and Elzy Fifer) and a Panamanian mother, Mrs. Celina Carles Montenegro (daughter of Celina Isabel Montenegro and Jorge Isaac Carles).
He attended primary school at St. Mary’s School, transferred in 9th grade to Curundu Junior High and completed in 1974 his High School education In Balboa High School. After completing his elementary studies, Richard Fifer-Carles concluded his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Utah. He is also graded with a Geophysical Engineering degree from Rice University and a Master degree in Finance from Tulane University.
The U.S. trained geologist is recognized today as a pioneer in the mining industry in the Republic of Panama.
During his early professional years, Richard Fifer Carles led a group of scientists in developing new models for the oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina. He also expanded interpretation and processing centers related to the oil industry, all operational affiliates of PDVSA (Petroleos de Venezuela) including cities such as Caracas, Puerto La Cruz and Maracaibo, in PEMEX (Petroleos de Mexico), Trinidad and Tobago and HOCOL Company (Shell) in Cartagena, Colombia (1981- 1987). Through these experiences he was able to succeed in establishing business plans in diverse Latin American countries, though his deep professional interest was always rooted in the mining industry.
In 1986, the visionary engineer found the land where he would implement his main goal: to create a mining project in Panama which would bring tangible benefits to the country. He resorted to Canada, a North American nation with a well-establishing mining trajectory and convinced a group of investors there to support him. With the development of the mining industry in Panama, Richard Fifer Carles continued the search for financial support to formally begin his mining endeavor in the province of Cocle.
One year later, he created the Adrian Resources Company which carried out the detailed exploration task for the project. These efforts proved to be fruitful when between 1990 and 1995 two important gold and copper deposits were identified as well as areas containing significant amounts of silver and molybdenum. These findings proved the mineral claim for the company’s property and Richard Fifer’s dream became a reality even though it was not until 1997 that the government of Panama issued the company concession for the extraction of its resources and in 2004, the mining company Petaquilla Minerals Ltd. and its operations took off.
As former President and CEO of Petaquilla Minerals Ltd, Richard-Fifer Carles has been involved in the mining project since its commencement. He served on the Board of Directors of Petaquilla Minerals Ltd. on more than one occasion Petaquilla Minerals Ltd. is a Canadian-based mineral exploration company whose shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (PTQ) and in the United States on the OTC/BB Stock Exchange (PTQMF).
Richard Fifer Carles is a man of many talents who has contributed not only to the growth of the mining industry but different sectors of the Panamanian economy. In 1993, he became involved in politics and was elected Governor of the Province of Cocle during the presidency of Mireya Moscoso. While under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Panama, he was also the President’s Plenipotentiary Ambassador-at-large from March 2002 to September 2003. He later returned to the mining industry as President and Chairman of CODEMIN (Corporación de Desarrollo Minero), Panama’s State Mining Company. He also assumed the role National Security Advisor to the President of Panama from 1999 to 2002.
Mr. Fifer Carles is the founder of Groupo GEO formed by seven companies that provided services and products to diverse industries, such as Oil, Aviation, Mining, Reforestation, and Technology. He is also currently chairman and CEO of another enterprise, GEOINFO INTERNATIONAL, S. A., a company that operates in Panama through its affiliated company, GEOINFO, S. A., founded in 1992. Its main activities are the development of mapping technologies, the integration of Geographic Information Systems and business intelligence consulting in the Republic of Panama.
Recently, Richard Fifer Carles has created the Castilla Del Oro Foundation which promotes sustainable development of rural communities in the central provinces in Panama. It aims to promote projects and provide structures that will turn the region into a first class cultural tourism destination where the riches and well-being produced directly benefit its people. It is a non-profit entity named Castilla Del Oro because the initiatives it is currently developing take place in an area that the Spanish Crown nominated “Castilla de Oro” comprising of the following provinces of the Republic of Panama: Cocle, Veraguas, Herrera and Los Santos.