Government of Canada Releases Updated Critical Minerals List

News release

June 10, 2024                                                                   Sudbury, Ontario                                                 Natural Resources Canada

Critical minerals, and the clean technology and energy sources they enable, present a generational economic opportunity for Canada. Canada’s Critical Minerals List is a key resource in determining where to focus Canadian efforts related to sustainable mining exploration and extraction, advanced manufacturing, clean technology, as well as information and communications technologies and semiconductors. Critical minerals are the building blocks for the green and digital economy and demand for them will only grow throughout the global energy transition.

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced that the Critical Minerals List has been reviewed and updated following substantial consultations to focus our efforts in developing robust critical minerals value chains. To determine which minerals are considered critical, Canada released its first Critical Minerals List in March 2021 with a commitment to review the minerals identified as critical every three years. The list guides federal policy and programs and signals government areas of priority to stakeholders. Public consultations took place with provincial and territorial governments, other government departments, industry, Indigenous groups and other interested or affected stakeholders.

An analysis was undertaken to review all minerals included in the 2021 Critical Minerals List and consider potential candidates for addition. These analyses resulted in an updated Critical Minerals List that retains all 31 minerals from the 2021 list and an additional three minerals, namely high-purity iron, phosphorous and silicon metal, for a total of 34 critical minerals. These materials are integral to a variety of products, critical to the energy transition are often those in short supply and they are those that are critical to our future economic prosperity.

For example, silicon metal is essential to the manufacture of chips and semiconductors, used in almost any and everything electronic. High-purity iron ore is essential to green steel and integral to decarbonization. Phosphorus combined with potash is essential for food security through the production of fertilizers. Phosphorus can also be used in Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries, another strategic opportunity in the EV value chain for Canada.

Critical minerals are the foundation on which modern technology is built upon. They’re used in a wide range of essential products, from mobile phones and solar panels to electric vehicle batteries and medical applications. By building critical minerals value chains, we can be the global supplier of choice for critical minerals and the clean energy and technology sources they enable. 


“By updating Canada's Critical Minerals List, we are taking a proactive step to ensure that Canada's efforts to seize the generational economic opportunity presented by our critical minerals wealth is well informed by the most accurate market trends, geopolitical factors and science. Investments in critical minerals projects create good jobs for workers, more avenues for Canadian innovation and lower emissions across the country — all of which form an important part of our plan to build a cleaner Canada and a prosperous, sustainable economy.” 

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources 

Quick facts

  • Canada’s 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. 

  • In March 2021, the Government of Canada announced the Canadian Critical Minerals List entitled Critical minerals: an opportunity for Canada, including 31 minerals that are either currently produced or have the potential to be produced in Canada.

  • As part of the update to Canada’s Critical Minerals List, the Government of Canada conducted consultations with provinces and territories, industry, Indigenous groups and other interested or affected stakeholders. All provinces and territories’ priorities have been considered in the development of the updated national list. The consultation on Canada's Critical Minerals List and its methodology was launched on December 11, 2023, and remained open until February 16, 2024.

  • There is no global definition of critical minerals so, as part of the List’s review, an updated set of criteria has been created. To be deemed a “critical mineral” in Canada, a mineral must meet both of the following criteria:

    o    the supply chain is threatened; and

    o    there is a reasonable chance of the mineral being produced by Canada

          as well as one of the following criteria:

    o    essential to Canada’s economic or national security; or

    o    required for the national transition to a sustainable low-carbon and digital economy; or

    o    positions Canada as a sustainable and strategic partner within global supply chains.

Related products


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Carolyn Svonkin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Canada

Follow us on LinkedIn

Page details

Date modified: