Canada released its Critical Minerals Strategy with an aim to increase the supply of responsibly sourced critical minerals and support global value chains in the energy transition. The Strategy addresses the following five core objectives:
1. Supporting economic growth, competitiveness, and job creation;
2. Promoting climate action and environmental protection;
3. Advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples;
4. Fostering diverse and inclusive workforces and communities; and
5. Enhancing global security and partnerships with allies.
The Strategy is backed by $3.8 billion in federal support as announced in the National Budget of 2022. To attain the core objectives, Canada intends to focus on six areas.
1. Driving research, innovation, and exploration. The government will encourage critical mineral exploration in Canada by investing in geoscience technologies, modelling, and resource potential mapping. Information and data from mapping will be made available to facilitate investments and project development. To incentivise exploration, Canada will introduce a 30 percent Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for expenditures relating to the exploration of specific critical minerals including nickel, lithium, cobalt, graphite, copper, rare earth elements, vanadium, and uranium, among others.
2. Accelerating project development. Under this area, the government will provide financial and administrative support to strategic projects (critical mineral mining, processing, manufacturing, and waste reduction). The national budget includes items for critical minerals projects, favouring projects that will decrease or remove reliance on foreign critical mineral inputs. The government will also review and streamline the permitting and impact assessment process for major development projects.
3. Building sustainable infrastructure. The government will address gaps in enabling energy infrastructure by prioritising strategic infrastructure investments. It will provide financing for alternative energy sources in off-grid mining operations or look into installing CCUS technologies to decarbonize mining activities.
4. Advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Canada commits to continue consultation and engagement with Indigenous Peoples in developing mining projects, as compliant with its obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
5. Growing a diverse workforce and prosperous communities. This area involves the development of training programmes to grow the mineral workforce, specifically emphasising minority populations and the youth.
6. Strengthening global leadership and security. The government will continue to negotiate bilateral cooperation agreements and engage in international activities relating to the critical mineral value chain (e.g. Responsible Business Conduct, ESG standards, best practices in critical minerals-related activities, and human rights).
The annexes list Canada's identified 31 critical minerals, domestic value chains with high growth potential, provincial and territorial strategies and policies, a comparison of Canada’s critical mineral list with other countries, and critical mineral success stories in 2022.