Minister Wilkinson Releases Canada’s $3.8-billion Critical Minerals Strategy to Seize Generational Opportunity for Clean, Inclusive Growth
December 9, 2022 Vancouver, British Columbia Natural Resources Canada
Critical minerals are not just the building blocks of clean technology like solar panels and electric vehicle batteries – they are a key ingredient for creating middle class jobs and growing a strong, globally competitive Canadian economy. The move toward a global net-zero economy is generating a significant increase in demand for critical minerals around the world, creating a generational opportunity for Canadian workers and Canadian businesses. Concurrent geopolitical dynamics have caused like-minded countries to reflect on the need to have stable and secure resources and the clean technologies they enable. There is no global energy transition without accelerated activity in the critical minerals space.
It is in this context that the exploration, extraction, processing, product manufacturing and recycling of critical minerals presents a generational opportunity for Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to seizing this opportunity in a way that creates good jobs and economic opportunity in every region of the country while achieving Canada’s ambitious climate goals and advancing reconciliation, and contributing to global security and supply chain resilience.
Today, in Vancouver, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, released Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy, backed by up to $3.8 billion in federal funding allocated in Budget 2022. The proposed funding covers a range of industrial activities, from geoscience and exploration to mineral processing, manufacturing and recycling applications, including support for research, development and technological deployment.
The Strategy maps out how Canada can seize this generational opportunity in a way that accomplishes 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.
The Strategy focuses on opportunities at every stage along the value chain for Canada’s 31 critical minerals, from exploration to recycling. It is the result of extensive consultations that have validated the Government of Canada’s approach to date — including with respect to the opportunities from lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, copper, rare earth elements, potash, uranium and aluminum as outlined in June’s Discussion Paper.
Critically, the Strategy outlines concrete measures to accelerate regulatory processes at the sub-national, national and international levels; to ensure meaningful and ongoing Indigenous partnership throughout the value chain; and to ensure that the Strategy is in line with Canada’s ambitious climate and nature protection goals.
The Strategy builds on work already underway within the government, including historic investments over the past year throughout the critical minerals value chain and a recent approval of a palladium mine in the critical minerals space that delivers on our key desired outcomes.
Today’s announcement is one of a series of significant steps the Government of Canada continues to take to support sustainable jobs and protect the environment. Minister Wilkinson will continue to work with all partners to establish Canada as the global supplier of choice for clean energy in a net-zero world — ensuring a prosperous and clean future for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
“Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy will enable this country to seize the generational economic opportunity presented by critical minerals, creating sustainable, well-paying jobs while growing our economy. It will position Canada as the global supplier of choice for the critical minerals and clean technologies needed for the green, digital global economy — and it will help advance economic reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. I would like to thank those who have contributed to the development of this Strategy, and I look forward to working with provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, labour groups, industry and stakeholders in its implementation.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources
“With our government’s Critical Minerals Strategy, we are taking this generational opportunity to put our vision into action — from mines to manufacturing to recycling. It will help us build a strong and resilient ecosystem while also supporting innovation and well-paying jobs. Through this ambitious strategy, Canada is seizing the moment to be a leader in the low-carbon economy and the world’s green supplier of choice for critical minerals.”
The Honourable François-Phillipe Champagne
Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development
“Our government continues to support a strong and sustainable natural resource development sector in the North and Arctic that protects the environment, creates jobs Canadian workers can count on and respects Indigenous rights. The region has tremendous mineral resource potential and will play an important part in Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy and the transition to a greener and more sustainable economy. Indigenous and northern communities will be key partners in this strategy as the world looks to Canada to fulfil its critical mineral needs, helping these communities benefit from good, high-quality local jobs, opportunities and the investments that go along with it.”
The Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor
Canada currently produces 60 minerals and metals at 200 mines and 6,500 sand, gravel and stone quarries across the country.
Canada is home to almost half of the world’s publicly listed mining and mineral exploration companies, with a presence in more than 100 countries and a combined market capitalization of $520 billion.
The Government of Canada has invested significantly in the critical minerals value chain throughout the past number of years, including but not limited to:
The Government of Canada recently provided additional clarity on how the Investment Canada Act will be applied to investments in Canadian entities and assets in critical minerals sectors from foreign state-owned enterprises.
The World Bank forecasts a 500 percent increase is required — by 2050 — in the production of minerals like cobalt just to feed the clean energy transition to batteries. For minerals such as lithium and graphite, demand could increase by as much as 4,000 percent.
The Regional Energy and Resource Tables will act as a forum to align federal and provincial resources toward the development of key regional economic opportunities, including opportunities in the critical minerals sector. Tables have been set up with British Columbia, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
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