Canada’s critical minerals

Critical minerals are the foundation upon which modern technology is built. They are used in a wide range of essential products ranging from mobile phones and solar panels to electric vehicle batteries, medical devices and defence applications. Canada’s critical minerals list identifies 34 minerals and metals.

First released in 2021, the list was updated in 2024 in consultation with provinces and territories; as well as exploration, mining and manufacturing industries and associations; and Indigenous organizations and communities. New to the list in 2024 are three minerals:

What makes them critical

To be considered a critical mineral in Canada, a mineral must meet both of the following criteria:

It must also meet one of the following criteria:

Our future depends on critical minerals

Critical minerals are the building blocks for the green and digital economy as they are used in products such as:

Canada’s critical minerals list supports three primary value chains outlined in the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy:
Advanced manufacturing

Clean technologies

Information and communications technologies

Critical mineral development across Canada

Critical mineral mines, smelters, refineries or advanced projects are located in all Canadian provinces and territories, except for Prince Edward Island.

Canadian critical minerals and sample uses
Text version
  • Alberta has advanced projects and smelters or refineries that are labelled as lithium, nickel, cobalt and titanium.
  • British Columbia has advanced projects, smelters or refineries, and mines that are labelled as molybdenum, niobium, aluminum, copper, zinc, bismuth, indium and germanium.
  • Manitoba has advanced projects and mines that are labelled as nickel, copper and cobalt.
  • New Brunswick has advanced projects that are labelled as tungsten and molybdenum.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador has advanced projects, mines, and smelters or refineries that are labelled as rare earth elements, nickel, cobalt, antimony and fluorspar.
  • The Northwest Territories has advanced projects that are labelled as rare earth elements, cobalt, bismuth, and copper.
  • Nova Scotia has advanced projects that are labelled as tin, copper and zinc.
  • Nunavut has advanced projects that are labelled as copper, nickel, cobalt, and platinum group metals.
  • Ontario has advanced projects, mines, and smelters or refineries that are labelled as chromium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, and platinum group metals.
  • Quebec has advanced projects, mines, and smelters or refineries that are labelled as lithium, magnesium, rare earth elements, graphite, nickel, cobalt, platinum group metals, vanadium, molybdenum, niobium, scandium and aluminum.
  • Saskatchewan has advanced projects and mines that are labelled as uranium, potash and helium.
  • Yukon has advanced projects and mines that are labelled as zinc, copper and tungsten.

Connect with us

Have questions or comments?

Email the Critical Minerals Centre of Excellence at cmce-cemc@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca

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