World Renowned Rare Earths Expert Geoff Atkins to Join the Critical Minerals Institute Board

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Atkins to Present Progressing from Resource to Production – The Rare Earth Conundrum at the CMI Summit II in Toronto on June 14-15, 2023

Toronto, June 1, 2023 – The Critical Minerals Institute (CMI), founded for education, collaboration, and to provide professional opportunities to meet the critical minerals supply chain challenges, is pleased to announce that Geoff Atkins, Vice President of Business Development of Ucore Rare Metals Inc. and Managing Partner of Strategic Minerals Group Pty Ltd., has joined the Board of Directors of the Critical Minerals Institute (CMI).

“Geoff Atkins is one of the giants of critical minerals,” said CMI Founder Tracy Weslosky, “long before people recognized the vital importance of critical minerals. Geoff is one of the few mining executives outside of China who has played a critical role in establishing two landmark rare earth operations – Mt. Weld with Lynas Rare Earths Limited and Nechalacho with Vital Metals Limited. He joins a growing team of distinguished experts and industry leaders as a Director of the Critical Minerals Institute and will participate in a number of panels at the upcoming Critical Minerals Summit being held on June 14-15, 2023, in Toronto.”

Mr. Atkins is a mining executive with over 30 years of experience, including over 15 years in the critical mineral sector, focusing on the development of rare earth projects. He was a key player in establishing Mt. Weld with Lynas Rare Earths Limited (ASX: LYC) and Nechalacho with Vital Metals Limited (ASX: VML l OTCQB: VTMXF). While at Lynas, he was responsible for a range of functions, including the construction of the Mt. Weld rare earth project, providing corporate construction oversight for the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Malaysia, and developing long-term strategic plans. Mr. Atkins founded Cheetah Resources, which was subsequently taken over by Vital Metals. Mr. Atkins finalized the acquisition of the Nechalacho rare earth project in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada, in 2019. Nechalacho was the first new rare earth project brought into production in nearly 10 years. In March of 2023, Mr. Atkins is the Managing Partner of Strategic Minerals Group Pty Ltd, where he is joined by his fellow Lynas and Vital Metals’ executives providing specialist advisory services to rare earths and other critical minerals development companies. He has also joined Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSXV: UCU | OTCQX: UURAF) to lead its feedstock acquisition efforts as part of its North American SMC strategy.

Presenting a keynote presentation at the upcoming Critical Minerals Summit II being held next month on June 14-15, 2023, in Toronto titled “Progressing From Resource to Production – The Rare Earth Conundrum”, Geoff is also hosting the panel on Day 01 titled: The Priority Critical Mineral Debate – From Selection Criteria to Ranking, Industry Experts Weigh In.

“Progressing rare earth projects from a defined resource, or feasibility, to an operational asset has proven extremely difficult for companies around the world over the past 15 years,” said Mr. Atkins. “This presentation will examine the unique challenges faced converting rare earth resources into operational assets and the traps that companies continue to fall into preventing success.”

The Critical Minerals Institute will be holding its second annual Critical Minerals Summit on June 14-15, 2023, in Toronto. This year’s Summit has the theme “Under Pressure: The Critical Minerals Industry Addresses EV 2030 Demands.” It will feature two days of panels and international speakers including keynote speakers Constantine Karayannopoulos, CEO & Director from Neo Performance Materials Inc. (TSX: NEO) on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, and Mark Chalmers, President, CEO & Director, Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU | TSX: EFR) on Thursday, June 15, 2023. The full schedule of panels will include representatives of Canadian and American governments. Details and registration for the Summit is now open at

The Critical Minerals Institute was created to offer education, collaboration, and an online resource to learn about critical mineral projects, emerging technologies, legislative initiatives, government funding, human capital needs, and capital market investment opportunities. There is no charge or sign up required for access to the Critical Minerals Institute website: A range of enhanced benefits are available to individual and corporate members of the CMI, including attendance at the CMI Summit, virtual events and additional resources. For details see:

For more information, please visit the Critical Minerals Institute website at or to secure a CMI Corporate Membership, please contact CMI Director Tracy Weslosky at [email protected].

About the Critical Minerals Institute: The Critical Mineral Institute (CMI) is an international organization for companies and professionals focused on battery materials, technology metals, defense metals, ESG technologies and practices, the general EV market, and the use of critical minerals for energy and alternative energy production. Offering an online site that features job opportunities that range from consulting roles to Advisory Board positions, the CMI offers a wide range of B2B service solutions. Also offering online and in-person events, the CMI is designed for education, collaboration, and to provide professional opportunities to meet the critical minerals supply chain challenges.


Special Thanks to the Critical Minerals Institute Summit II Sponsors: Albany Graphite Corp., American Rare Earths Limited, Appia Rare Earths & Uranium Corp., Ara Partners, Auxico Resources Canada Inc., Avalon Advanced Materials Inc., Canadian Securities Exchange, Clean Air Metals Inc., Critical Metals PLC, Critical Minerals Americas Inc., Defense Metals Corp., dynaCERT Inc.,  Ebury, Elcora Advanced Materials Corp., Energy Fuels Inc., F3 Uranium Corp., First Phosphate Corp., Fjordland Exploration Inc., Geophysx Jamaica Ltd., Imperial Mining Group Ltd., Karbon-X Corp., Kraken Energy Corporation, Lithium Ionic Inc., Molten Metals Corp., Nano One Materials Corp., Neo Battery Materials Ltd., Neo Performance Materials Inc., Panther Metals PLC, Power Nickel Inc., Sage Potash Corp., Search Minerals Inc., Silver Bullet Mines Corp., Ucore Rare Metals Inc., VATIC Ventures Corp., WCPD Inc., and Westwin Elements Inc.


For more information, contact:

Tracy Weslosky, Managing Director for the CMI

[email protected]   |   D. +1 416 792 8228   |   Twitter   |   LinkedIn

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4 responses

  1. Rare Earths Investor Avatar
    Rare Earths Investor

    Hopefully, delegates will address head on the issue of the Biden Admin’ and RE. What is the outlook for US and CAD-based RE miners if there is no gov’ decision on backing several within-border RE miners (not the already strategically backed US processors like REEMF, MP and Lynas who have access to their own feedstock; REEMF?)?

    What if the US Admin’ leaves this mining political hot potato alone until after the late 2024 election (assuming they get back in and that’s another RE sector issue by itself)? Will private investment still move to support N. American miners without prior confidence from gov’ strategic support? After all, note N. American-based Vital, MP and REEMF (likewise, AUS – Lynas, Arafura, Iluka and ASM) already had strategic backing before major private support came a calling. Further, the likes of Energy Fuels and NEO already had a history with metals production and/or cash to support their recent RE moves.

    Seems money in hand, to a certain point, may beget further financier confidence, especially now you throw in the inflation ravages already highlighted by such as Vital, Hastings and Lynas (USA). So, really, just how many US and CAD miners will be needed to support N. American RE sector needs, in relation to the around 3 dozen RE mining projects already in N and S. America? Where is their downstream demand? Where are the N. American magnet makers and how many have we seen get US strategic support already (apparently Noveon and maybe the arriving VAC)?
    In fact, do we already have the majority of the RE prime/early movers who will likely to be in contention for those new ROW RE value chain slots or are we looking at years of future RE sector opportunity, IMHO we are not.

    Therefore, hopefully, attendees will hear some hard-hitting discussions from the experts that will help retail investors in their macro and micro analysis in this hyped-up, complex, clearly fast moving RE sector.

    GLTA – REI

  2. Alastair Avatar

    Congratulations Geoff and welcome to the team

  3. Joe O Avatar
    Joe O

    Isnt Geoff Atkins with UCORE now?
    Was hoping he could bring feds cash for their RSX CDP/ LA site but nothing so far. Its still way early though.

  4. joe ot Avatar
    joe ot

    answered my own question re reading article

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