Minister Wilkinson Releases Canada’s $3.8-billion Critical Minerals Strategy to Seize Generational Opportunity for Clean

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.

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