Nicholas Anthony Curtis has been a director of Lynas Corporation since 28 June 2001.
According to the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) as of April 2011, Mr Curtis is also a Director of the following companies; Conquest Mining; Forge Resources; Kumamba Mining Pty Ltd (since Oct 2010); Lynas Africa Holdings Pty Ltd; Lynas Corporation; Lynas Services Pty Ltd; Mt Weld Holdings Pty Ltd; Mt Weld Mining Pty Ltd; Mt Weld Rare Earths Pty Ltd; NOC Resources Pty Ltd, Nyco Pty Ltd; Riverstone Advisory Pty Ltd; Riverstone Capital Pty Ltd; Wilkes Holdings Pty Ltd; and Wilkes Minerals Pty Ltd.
Described by the Sydney Morning Herald as a “Corporate Titan” Nick Curtis has not only been in the media spotlight for the planned Malaysian rare earth processing plant (Lynas Advanced Materials Plant) but also for proposing the sub-leasing of the highly valuable rare earth deposit at Mount Weld in Western Australia which was eventually terminated following a shareholder revolt.
Meanwhile his son Oliver Curtis has been in the media for insider trading controversy with the corporate regulator, ASIC ‘treating an investigation of Mr Curtis, 25, on insider trading suspicions raised by a court judgment, as a priority matter.’
Former Chair of the Board of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Ziggy Switkowski, a well known pro-nuclear advocate, became a director of Lynas Corporation in early 2011.
The Mt Weld deposit was bought by Lynas Corporation from Anaconda Nickel, part-owned by Glencore International. Anaconda’s CEO at the time was Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, Australia’s richest man, who went on to start Fortescue Metals, the fourth-biggest supplier of iron ore to China.
Having developed an interest in rare earths whilst working with Madame Bai Jie, a former head of raw materials at China’s state planning commission, Nick Curtis also worked for six years from 1994 at a unit of China National Nonferrous Metals Industry Corp, which controlled all of China’s non-steel-related metals until 2000. His Chinese connections have undoubtedly helped the rise of chinese businessmen operating and investing in Australian rare earth companies.
Other companies associated with Curtis, particularly in his role as Founding Partner and Chairman of Riverstone Advisory (formerly known as Sino Resources Capital Pty Ltd,) have been “bridging the gap between western resource opportunities and the increasing Chinese demand for raw materials” including brokering deals which will open Tibet up for mining.