Minister Wilkinson Positions Canada as Supplier of Choice for Critical Minerals and Clean Technologies at PDAC
There is no global clean energy future without accelerated activity along the critical minerals value chain. 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 and the clean technologies they enable 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 supplies of these resources and technologies — produced in a way that is compatible with science-driven climate and nature goals and in meaningful consultation and partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
It is in this context that representatives from governments and businesses around the world gathered this week in Toronto for the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention — the world’s premier annual exploration and mining event.
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, along with the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry; the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development; the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor; the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario; and Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, participated in the convention in order to position Canada as the global supplier of choice for critical minerals and the clean technologies they enable. Over the course of four days, Minister Wilkinson announced:
● over $344 million for five new programs and initiatives under the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy and over $14 million for six projects under the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration program;
● over $700,000 in funding to the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council through the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships program for its critical minerals literacy project;
● an update on federal initiatives to improve regulatory processes for major projects in order to establish Canada as the global supplier of choice for clean energy in a net-zero world; and
● a deepening collaboration between Canada and the United Kingdom on critical minerals supply chain through a joint statement.
Additionally, Minister Wilkinson engaged in meaningful collaboration with:
● Indigenous representatives on international investment, economic prosperity and a values-driven approach to supporting direct foreign investment for Indigenous communities and industries;
● participants at the International Mines Ministers Summit, where Minister Wilkinson shared how Canada is a leader in responsible business practices and a secure source of supply to support the transition to a clean growth economy;
● representatives from Invest in Canada, the Mining Association of Canada and Rio Tinto at the Canada Investment Forum, where Minister Wilkinson highlighted Canada as an investment destination and outlined Canada’s global leadership in responsible mining;
● industry leaders on environmental sustainability in the mining sector;
● representatives from the provinces and territories, the U.K., Australia, Deloitte, Toronto Stock Exchange, Gowling, Rio Tinto, Vale and many others; and
● Japanese battery supply chain companies to promote investments in Canada.
Minister Wilkinson’s participation at PDAC builds on his visit last week to Thunder Bay and Sudbury, Ontario, where he engaged with students at Lakehead University on the role of research and innovation in advancing sustainable economic development priorities; met with representatives of the Thunder Bay and Sudbury Chambers of Commerce; chaired a roundtable with mining stakeholders on net-zero growth opportunities through critical minerals; announced a $100,000 partnership with Cambrian College to install EV chargers under the Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program; and announced a $35-million investment to deploy a combined heat and power facility using locally sourced wood waste to produce energy for Whitesand First Nation and the communities of Armstrong and Collins, Ontario.
This week’s announcements are part of a series of significant steps the Government of Canada continues to take to support good jobs and promote sustainable growth, including the launch of Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy and Canada’s founding of the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance last fall.
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.
“Critical minerals represent a generational economic opportunity for Canada. Canada is building on its global leadership in the mining industry to seize this opportunity, and the federal government is all in.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources
The Government of Canada is investing up to $3.8 billion into its Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy to increase the supply of responsibly sourced resources and support the development of domestic and global value chains for the green and digital economy. Over $344 million of this funding is supporting the following five new programs and initiatives:
Critical Mineral Technology and Innovation Program
Critical Minerals Geoscience and Data Initiative
Global Partnerships Program
Northern Regulatory Initiative
Renewal of the Critical Mineral Centre of Excellence
The Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy is part of Canada’s strengthened climate plan, 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy, which advances Canada’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
On March 6, 2023, the Government of Canada announced that the environmental mitigation measures proposed for the Lynn Lake Gold Project in Manitoba provide a sustainable path forward for the project to proceed. The Lynn Lake Gold Project is the fourth mining project that has been approved following the completion of a robust federal assessment process in the last year. The other mines are the James Bay Lithium Mine Project, the Marathon Palladium Project and the Valentine Gold Project.
- The Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy
- Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan
- Critical Minerals Centre of Excellence
- Canada’s List of Critical Minerals
- Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways (SREPs) program
- Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships program
- Countries Commit to the Sustainable Development and Sourcing of Critical Minerals
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
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