Joint Statement of Intent between Canada and the United Kingdom on Collaboration on Critical Minerals
Critical minerals are vital to almost every aspect of the modern world, from electronic equipment to renewable energy, to defence and electric vehicles. Their importance in the global net-zero transition means that they are increasingly sought-after: the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects that global demand for critical minerals will grow four-fold from 2020 to 2040 and beyond. It is clear that we must grow and secure the global supply of critical minerals, while ensuring the resilience and sustainability of our supply chains, which requires significant international collaboration. To further enhance this collaboration, Canada and the United Kingdom are pleased to announce the establishment of a Critical Minerals Supply Chains Dialogue.
Canada and the United Kingdom are committed to working together to tackle this challenge and seize the opportunities to support economic growth. We will therefore endeavour to collaborate closely to build resilient, sustainable, and transparent supply chains. We will work together to develop solutions to new global challenges including climate change, promote jobs and investment in both our countries, and deepen the already-strong ties between Canada and the United Kingdom.
Canada and the United Kingdom have each released national Critical Minerals Strategies, and there is a strong case for us to work in concert to achieve our aims. Both countries are committed to ensuring critical minerals markets are diverse, resilient, guided by fair market practices and underpinned by the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, along with demonstrating respect for Indigenous peoples’ rights and local communities. Both countries will also seek to ensure that the supply chains that bring these minerals from mine to end product are transparent and innovation-driven, including a focus on recycling and mineral circularity. The United Kingdom-Canada Critical Minerals Supply Chains Dialogue will be established, building on the enduring ties between our nations, demonstrated through the UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement (and ongoing negotiations for a high ambition, bespoke bilateral Free Trade Agreement), the March 2022 Leaders’ statement on collaborating on economic resilience and critical minerals, our joint work through Five Eyes, and our joint membership in the Minerals Security Partnership, the IEA’s Critical Minerals Working Party and the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance.
We will deepen Canada and the United Kingdom’s engagement and cooperation on critical minerals supply chain resilience and trade, ESG credentials, and Research and Innovation. We will capitalise on the respective strengths of both countries, and our shared commitment to growing the sector to strengthen international critical minerals supply chains, promote economic security, and contribute to meeting net zero targets.
Canada is a global mining leader and home to advanced exploration projects for battery minerals and metals such as lithium and graphite, as well as rare earths and other critical minerals that are vital inputs for EVs and the clean technology sectors. With high ESG credentials and one of the lowest ESG risks across global mining projects, Canada is a leader in community engagement, conservation, governance and Canadian critical minerals are carbon competitive. Canadian nickel, cobalt, copper, aluminium, uranium, and potash are some of the least emissions intensive in the world. With clean electricity and a mining industry’s commitment to sustainability, Canada has a global reputation as a secure partner across the critical mineral value chains for batteries, EVs, and other advanced technologies for the net zero and digital transition.
The UK is home to strong mining and engineering sectors, and is a global centre for financing, standards and metals trading. It has mining and mineral processing expertise, including various industrial clusters and Europe’s leading mining school, and its own pockets of critical minerals wealth. British advanced manufacturers are customers for critical minerals and play an important role in their supply chains. The UK also has a role as an international dealmaker, leveraging its expertise in regulatory diplomacy, its extensive engagement in multilateral forums and its strong relationships with mineral-rich producer countries and consumer markets.
Through the United Kingdom-Canada Critical Minerals Supply Chains Dialogue, it is intended that both countries will work together to pursue the following shared objectives:
- Promote and build secure and integrated UK-Canada critical mineral supply chains, including through information-sharing, facilitating investment, and building commercial relationships between Canadian and UK industries, and sharing supply chain resilience analysis.
- Drive higher ESG performance across all elements of the critical minerals value chain, through government signalling, active promotion throughout our respective industries and close collaboration in multilateral fora.
- Leverage the existing strengths of the two countries to promote skill-sharing and R&D between UK and Canadian industry, academia, and governments, along with other close international allies to spur supply chain innovation. This collaboration will build new linkages in upstream and midstream segments of critical mineral value chains, extending to downstream reuse and recycling.
Officials from Natural Resources Canada and Global Affairs Canada, and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), and Department for Business and Trade (DBT) will work closely together and with other participants of the United Kingdom-Canada Critical Minerals Supply Chains Dialogue to lead this work and identify an initial set of priorities for our collaboration.
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
United Kingdom Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade
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