The federal government has published The Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy, a 52-page document outlining the country’s comprehensive action plan to transform into a more energy-efficient and sustainable nation.
The document was unveiled on Friday by Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson. The strategy will be backed by up to $3.8 billion in funding from the country’s budget plan devised in April this year.
The proposed funding will cover a range of industrial activities, everything from mineral processing to geoscience and exploration, methods of manufacturing and recycling, and technological deployment.
Critical Minerals are the building blocks of the low carbon economy, enabling the clean energy and technology we need to reach #NetZero by 2050.
That’s why we are delivering Canada’s #CriticalMineralsStrategy.
— Jonathan Wilkinson 🇨🇦 (@JonathanWNV) December 9, 2022
The strategy outlines critical measures for accelerating regulatory processes at a sub-national, Canada-wide and global level to maintain valuable Indigenous partnerships throughout the value chain.
Additionally, it contains concrete measures to help ensure the strategy adheres to Canada’s climate protection and environmental sustainability goals.
The strategy will have five key outcomes:
“Our government continues to support a strong and sustainable natural resource development sector in the north and Arctic that protects the environment, creates jobs Canadian workers can count on and respects Indigenous rights,” said Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs.
Vandal added that northern and Indigenous communities would be key partners for the strategy as many nations look to Canada for the fulfillment of their critical minerals needs, aiding those communities with employment opportunities and other related investments.
Natural Resources Canada says the new strategy hones in on opportunities for the country’s 31 critical minerals at every phase along the value chain, from exploration to recycling. This includes lithium, aluminum, graphite, uranium, nickel, potash, copper and other rare elements found in the earth.
“Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy will enable this country to seize the generational economic opportunity presented by critical minerals, creating sustainable, well-paying jobs while growing our economy,” said Jonathan Wilkinson.
“It will position Canada as the global supplier of choice for the critical minerals and clean technologies needed for the green, digital global economy — and it will help advance economic reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”
Canada currently produces an assortment of 60 different metals and minerals at about 6,500 stone, sand and gravel quarries throughout the country and 200 mining operations.
The country is also home to nearly 50 per cent of all publicly traded mineral and mining exploration companies globally with a presence in over 100 countries and a total market capitalization of $520 billion.
The World Bank estimates that a 500 per cent increase in the production of minerals like cobalt needed for batteries will be required by 2050 to help facilitate the phase-out of fossil fuels. The bank also predicts that the demand for graphite and lithium could skyrocket by as much as 4,000 per cent by then.