Our critical minerals strategic partnerships

Building Canadian-based critical mineral value chains is a long-term, multi-stakeholder objective that requires full cooperation with industry, provincial, territorial, Indigenous and international partners. Our strategic partnerships inform the Government of Canada’s incremental approach to critical mineral development.

Critical Minerals Industry Engagement

Critical Mineral Industry Engagement aims to strengthen government-industry collaboration by enabling more reliable information sharing, fostering innovation in policy development and implementation, and informing a unified Canadian voice on the international stage.

Critical Minerals Indigenous Engagement Strategy

Canada recognizes that Indigenous peoples are the stewards, rights holders, and in many cases, title holders to the land upon which mineral development takes place. The success of Canadian critical mineral development is contingent on respect for Indigenous and treaty rights, and meaningful engagement, partnership and collaboration with Indigenous peoples.

The Critical Minerals Indigenous Engagement Strategy will ensure the unique rights, interests and circumstances of the First Nations, Métis Nation and Inuit are acknowledged, affirmed and implemented at national, regional and industry levels. Engagement is intended to be long-term and ongoing, with the goal of identifying and supporting Indigenous priorities related to critical mineral projects and value chains, and exploring opportunities to advance reconciliation and benefits sharing with Indigenous peoples. It builds on the success of the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan, which was informed by robust engagement with Indigenous Peoples across the country.

Consultations on specific projects will continue to take place in accordance with the Government of Canada’s constitutional duty to consult and industry’s procedural requirements outlined in legislation such as the Impact Assessment Act, 2019.

As Canada implements the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, NRCan will continue to work with Indigenous partners and industry to promote a mutually supportive climate for economic partnerships and sustainable critical mineral development.

Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance

Canada, along with Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, launched the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance to drive the global uptake of environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive and responsible mining, processing and recycling practices and responsible critical minerals supply chains.

Read the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance Statement

Critical minerals are essential inputs to the clean technologies – like solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicle batteries – needed for the global clean energy transition.

As countries around the world work to secure access to these resources, it is equally important that the path to net-zero emissions is built with a human rights-based approach, underpinned by a commitment to sustainability and the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.

In alignment with the G7 2030 Nature Compact commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, state actors have decided to launch the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance to drive the global uptake of environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive and responsible mining, processing and recycling practices and responsible critical minerals supply chains.


Building on existing work in this area in the multilateral sphere and elsewhere, members of the Alliance will voluntarily work towards developing sustainable and inclusive mining practices and sourcing critical minerals that:

  • Employ a nature-positive approach by encouraging industry practices or collaborating with industry on practices that prevent biodiversity loss, protect species at risk, support nature protection and minimize pollution, including driving towards net-positive benefits to the natural environment
  • Support local and Indigenous communities by respecting the respective rights and interests of local and Indigenous communities through engagement; promoting safe working conditions and responsible labour standards, diverse and inclusive workforces, supporting safe living conditions; and including members of Indigenous and local communities in economic benefits from mining that affects their well-being
  • Help fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and working towards achieving net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, and promoting mining, processing and recycling processes that advance sustainability through ESG standards
  • Restore ecosystems by adopting requirements for reclamation and remediation to close and return mine sites to their natural state where feasible, and holding responsible parties accountable for environmental harm
  • Build a circular economy by promoting material stewardship, including by-products and recovery from waste, keeping products in use longer as well as accelerating the reuse, and recycling of critical minerals, which may reduce the number of new mines required to supply the minerals needed
  • Foster ethical corporate practices through sustainability reporting to investors and the public, and by implementing due diligence in mineral supply chains as laid down in relevant internationally accepted guidelines

Call to action

Members of the Alliance welcome and encourage actions taken domestically and globally to advance the objectives of the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance.

This may include committing to parallel and related actions and initiatives that help advance the sustainable and responsible development and sourcing of critical minerals worldwide, such as:

  • government-to-government coordination through institutions like the United Nations Environment Assembly, the International Energy Agency, the World Bank, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development to support sustainable mining and supply chain practices and frameworks
  • support for international dialogue on sustainability expectations in mining and critical minerals supply chains as well as transparency on performance in the sector
  • participation in, and support to multi-stakeholder and industry initiatives that promote high standards in mining initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in the resource and energy sectors, such as the Equal by 30 Campaign
  • conservation-specific initiatives, to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, such as signing the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature and the conservation target of protecting 30 percent of the world’s land and seas by 2030 (30 X 30)

Members of the Alliance will work together through existing multilateral fora.  As a next step, members will examine the collaboration and alignment with existing multilateral fora and initiatives.

Finally, members of the Alliance call on national governments worldwide to join the Alliance.


  • Canada
  • Australia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Provincial and territorial cooperation

Mining is primarily within the purview of the provincial and territorial governments. Critical minerals exist in almost every province and territory, and several provinces have developed critical mineral strategies to support value chain integration in line with federal priorities.

The Government of Canada will continue to advance Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) cooperation through multilateral forums such as:

Bilateral engagements will address projects and issues of regional priority.

International partnerships

Canada is seeking to build more resilient critical mineral global supply chains by working with international partners to align policies; raise global economic, social and governance (ESG) standards; advance joint research and development; and encourage new investment opportunities, among other priorities.

Joint Statement by Canada and Australia on Cooperation on Critical Minerals

Joint Statement of Intent between Canada and the United Kingdom on Collaboration on Critical Minerals

The Canada-U.S. Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals was announced on 9 January 2020 to advance bilateral interest in securing supply chains for the critical minerals needed for strategic manufacturing sectors, including communication technology, aerospace and defence, and clean technology. The Action Plan is guiding cooperation between officials in areas such as industry engagement, innovation, defence supply chains, improving information sharing on mineral resources and potential, and cooperation in multilateral forums. Canada already supplies many of the minerals deemed critical by the United States. In 2020, bilateral mineral trade was valued at $95.6 billion, with 298 Canadian mining companies and a combined $40 billion in Canadian mining assets south of the border.

The Canada-EU Strategic Partnership on Raw Materials is the primary mechanism for engaging the European Commission and European Union Member States on Canada’s critical mineral and battery value chains. The overarching objective of the partnership is to advance the value, security and sustainability of trade and investment into the critical minerals and metals needed for the transition to a green and digitalized economy. Agreed areas of collaboration include integration of raw materials value chains; science, technology and innovation collaboration; and collaboration in international forums to advance world-class ESG criteria and standards.

The Canada-Japan Sectoral Working Group on Critical Minerals aims to facilitate commercial engagement between Canadian and Japanese businesses across the critical mineral value chain, strengthen government-to-government information sharing and encourage cooperation on international standard setting for critical minerals. It is part of the Canada-Japan Energy Policy Dialogue, where Japan is working to secure the critical mineral supply chains needed for its industrial base and broader green energy transition.

Through other multilateral engagements, Canada is pursuing collective action on critical minerals to support the global transition to green energy and more resilient supply chains. Notable multilateral organizations and initiatives include the G7/G20; the International Energy Agency (IEA); the World Bank; the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF); and the Energy Resource and Governance Initiative (ERGI).

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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