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Ashley Zumwalt-Forbes

Ashley Zumwalt-Forbes

“I wasn’t groomed to be an international mining executive,” says Ashley-Zumwalt-Forbes, 29. Growing up in Choctaw, Oklahoma, she thought becoming a doctor or lawyer might punch her ticket out of her small town life. Then the shale fracking boom took hold, and she opted for the Black Gold game, studying petroleum engineering. After a stint at ExxonMobil, she found that being a worker bee wasn’t enough. After earning an MBA from Harvard, Zumwalt-Forbes joined natural resource firm Black Mountain. Within four months she pounced on an opportunity to get in on the battery boom and founded Black Mountain Metals. So far she’s raised $75 million to mine for high-tech ingredients like cobalt, nickel and copper. So far so good, as nickel prices are at cyclical highs and electric vehicles catching on. “My number one hurdle launching Black Mountain Metals was overcoming imposter syndrome,” says Zumwalt-Forbes. “But I know I’ve earned my seat at the table.”

Ashley Zumwalt-Forbes

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