The demand for critical minerals including lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, copper, rare earth elements, potash, uranium and aluminum is increasing as the world moves towards a global net-zero economy and the adoption of clean technologies such as solar panels and electric vehicle batteries. These minerals are not only essential for clean technology, but also play a crucial role in creating middle-class jobs and a strong, globally competitive Canadian economy.
In response to this demand, the Canadian government has announced a critical minerals strategy, backed by up to USD 3.8 billion in federal funding, to support the exploration, extraction, processing, product manufacturing and recycling of these minerals.
The strategy, released by the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, aims to accomplish five key outcomes: supporting economic growth, competitiveness and job creation; promoting climate action and environmental protection; advancing reconciliation with indigenous peoples; fostering diverse and inclusive workforces and communities; and enhancing global security and partnership with allies.
Why it matters
The strategy focuses on opportunities at every stage along the value chain for Canada’s 31 critical minerals and includes measures to accelerate regulatory processes, ensure meaningful indigenous partnership throughout the value chain, and align with Canada’s ambitious climate and nature protection goals.
Geopolitical dynamics have also encouraged like-minded countries to consider the importance of stable and secure resources and the clean technologies they enable, making the exploration, extraction, processing, product manufacturing and recycling of critical minerals a generational opportunity for Canada. The strategy builds on the government’s ongoing efforts in this area, including investments in the critical minerals value chain and the recent approval of a palladium mine.