Canada Announces Critical Minerals List

News release

March 11, 2021                                                     Ottawa, Ontario                                       Natural Resources Canada                   

Global demand for critical minerals is increasing to support the transition to a low emissions global economy. Canada can leverage its mining and processing expertise and world leading environmental, social and governance credentials, and become the global supplier of choice for clean and advanced technologies.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., today announced the release of a Canadian critical minerals list during the virtual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) 2021 Convention.

The list includes 31 minerals considered critical for the sustainable economic success of Canada and our allies—minerals that can be produced in Canada, are essential to domestic industry and security and have the potential to support secure and resilient supply chains to meet global demand.

The critical minerals list is a result of collaboration with other federal departments, exploration, mining and manufacturing industries, and extensive consultation with the provinces and territories over a period of five months. The list prioritizes building an industrial base for the low-carbon, digitized economy, and provides greater certainty and predictability to industry, trading partners and investors on what Canada has to offer.

For example, Canada is the only Western nation that has an abundance of cobalt, graphite, lithium and nickel, essential to creating the batteries and electric vehicles of the future.

And there are other areas where Canada’s minerals can play an important role in global markets, through its ‘mines to mobility’ approach. Canada is the world’s second largest producer of niobium, an important metal for the aerospace industry, and the fourth largest producer of indium, a key input in semi-conductors, as well as many of the materials needed for advanced vehicle manufacturing.

As a leading mining nation backed by a rich endowment of resources, supported by free markets, political stability and preferred access to global markets, will lead in supplying the world with products made from critical minerals, and power the economy of the future. 


“The 31 critical minerals on Canada’s list are used to develop clean technologies, from solar panels to EV batteries. They’re all essential to lowering emissions, increasing our competitiveness, and strengthening our energy security. Canada’s list signals to investors where Canada will focus and where Canada will lead. Critical minerals will get us to net-zero.”

Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“Demand for minerals and metals continues to grow with an increasing focus on critical minerals – vital in aerospace, healthcare, telecommunications and an array of clean technologies such as solar panels and electric car batteries. We’re confident that, with Canada’s leadership in sustainable mining standards and the government’s commitment to critical minerals development, the mining sector has the tools, skills and support to provide the responsibly sourced minerals vital to industries in Canada and around the world.”

Pierre Gratton
President and CEO, Mining Association of Canada

“Our expertise in mineral exploration, our vast resources, potential for further discoveries, and leadership in sustainable practices means Canada is in an excellent position to become the global “supplier of choice” for the critical minerals that will drive the transition towards a low-carbon future. Government support through the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan and in defining a critical minerals list are essential pieces in realizing this goal.”

Felix Lee
President, Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada

“Globally, Indigenous People hold the lands, resources, and waters as sacred. At the same time, we know that the earth sustains all life. Knowing this, we understand that we can only take what the earth provides us in a sustainable manner. The announcement that Canada has identified key critical minerals that are needed to help sustain life is great news. Now if we can extract only what is needed in a environmentally-conscious and sustainable way that is inclusive of the people most impacted, then we will be on the right track when it comes to balanced resource development.”

Dawn Madahbee Leach
Vice-Chair, National Indigenous Economic Development, General Manager of the Waubetek Business Development Corporation

Associated links


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources


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