Mining bodies and players welcome Canada’s new $3.8 billion Critical Minerals Strategy (CMS), which aims to boost production and processing of 31 critical minerals, but stresses that time is of the essence.
The strategy, announced Friday in Vancouver by Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, focuses on opportunities at every stage of the value chain, from exploration to recovery. The CMS outlines measures to accelerate the regulatory process at local, national and international levels; ensure meaningful and sustainable Indigenous partnerships across the value chain; and ensure that the strategy aligns with Canada’s ambitious climate and conservation goals.
Pierre Gratton, president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Mines, described CMS as the country’s most important industrial strategy in a decade, stressing that the plan must move forward quickly to deliver on this promise.
“Speed matters because Canada is not alone in vying for significant mineral opportunities,” he said in a statement Friday.
“Furthermore, there is no need to wait to tackle climate change, we will fail without the minerals and metals we need to tackle climate change. The challenges ahead of us are enormous, but this strategy puts us on the path to success,” Gratton said .
Michael Goehring, president and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia, agrees, emphasizing that Canada is not the only country with large mineral reserves.
“With this strategy, we have only a limited opportunity to demonstrate to our global allies and investors that Canada can execute on this strategy and make real progress at every stage. Part of the critical minerals value chain.”
Goehring also welcomed the government’s pledge to speed up the regulatory process. “We welcome the Government of Canada’s commitment to expedite project permitting and adopt the ‘one project, one assessment’ principle when conducting environmental assessments with provincial governments to improve timeliness, timing and process certainty for large-scale mine development.”
CMS is supported by up to $3.8 billion in federal funding allocated in the 2022 Budget. Funding covers a broad range of mineral processing, manufacturing and recycling applications, including support for technology research, development and deployment.
Alex Christopher, President of the Exploration and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), commented that CMS recognizes what PDAC said is the importance of investing in public geoscience and promoting exploration by how it provides targeted financing for exploration activities in junior mineral proposals excitation.
The PDAC’s top recommendation is to strengthen the outstanding share regime by doubling the mineral exploration tax credit to 30% for the exploration of significant mineral deposits. Tax credits apply to nickel, lithium, cobalt, graphite, copper, rare earth elements, vanadium and uranium, among others.
“While the focus on critical minerals may seem fast, PDAC and the industry have known this for years, and we’re excited to see how it prepares Canada – and the world – for the transition to a low-carbon future,” added Christopher road.