Experts in Mining Innovation

Meet the talented and highly experienced team dedicated to developing bio-based chemistries that move the oil & gas industry forward.

Mining Leadership

VP Mining and Minerals Processing

Gabi Knesel

Gabi Knesel

Dr. Gabi Knesel is a well-rounded mining industry professional with global experience in R&D, mining exploration, operations, sales, and business development. After spending a decade in academia between her native Brazil and Australia, Dr. Knesel began her industry career with the Lhoist Group, a family-owned mining company, splitting time between its Global Research Center and HQ near Brussels, Belgium. Relocating to Lhoist North American, Gabi then held numerous positions in exploration, mine management, and sales. She later joined Nalco/Ecolab’s global mining division, driving business development in the areas of phosphate, precious metals, and mine tailings water. She now serves as Locus VP Mining & Minerals Processing. Locus Mining was formed to supply the industry with carbon neutral and biodegradable natural chemicals that boost ore recovery, especially from low-grade ores and traditionally uneconomical tailings. Locus technology supports mining decarbonization and the green energy transition, by improving efficient ore recovery in operations around the word. Dr. Knesel holds degrees in Earth Sciences (with emphasis on Geochemistry & Geochronology) from The University of Queensland (PhD) in Australia and University of São Paulo (BSc) in Brazil, as well as an MBA in Finance from Rome Business School in Italy.

Director of R&D and Metallurgy

Ronney Silva

Ronney Silva

Dr. Silva holds BS, MS and PhD degrees in Mining Engineering from Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil). He started his career in 2001 as a Process Engineer at the Research Center of iron ore giant Vale. Afterwards, Dr. Silva worked for the engineering firm Sandwell and as a Product Manager for GL&V. In 2008, he joined FLSmidth Brazil as Flotation Product Manager. The following year, Dr. Silva transferred to FLSmidth USA where he held the positions of R&D Engineer, Group Leader – Flotation, and Sr. Process Engineer. In 2014, he worked at Magnetation Inc. as a Sr. Process Engineer leading the research and analysis of new and existing technologies that would suit Magnetation’s ore beneficiation needs. In 2017, Dr. Silva went to Clariant as a New Business Development Manager responsible for development of the American market for flotation collectors and frothers in iron ore, sulfide and phosphate. He later returned to FLSmidth as R&D Project Manager II, and in 2021 moved to customer services as a Global Service Line Manager responsible for the productivity and audits for mining until July 2022. In July 2022, Dr. Silva joined Locus Mining Solution as the Director of R&D and Metallurgy. At Locus, he is responsible for overseeing development and optimization of the the next generation of bio-surfactant based products in mineral and metal beneficiation.

Director of Supply Chain

Franco Miller IX

Franco Miller IX

  • Responsible for supply chain
  • 9 + years in oilfield chemical supply chains, 17+ years of supply chain management across multiple industries
  • Previous VP Supply Chain (Valence Chemicals & Solugen), Director of Supply Chain O&G Innospec
  • Focuses on savings through contract negations, efficiencies, key market analysis and industry trends

Executive Leadership



Donald Kreager

  • Donald (Don) Kreager is our expert field supervisor overseeing all field engineers and pumping crews throughout the Appalachian Basin. Don has extensive E&P experience, drilling wells for leading E&P companies all across the Appalachian Basin, and also owns his own wells. He was the drilling supervisor at David R Hill Inc. for 9 years.


Corey Petro

  • Responsible for leading the Company’s activities in Permian Basin
  • 10 years+ experience with major oil and gas service companies inc. ChampionX

Innovative Biosurfactant Solutions, Backed by Science

Locus biosurfactants are formulated by world-class experts utilizing cutting-edge production processes and the scientific capabilities of our accelerator company, Locus Fermentation Solutions.

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