Canada announces its first Critical Minerals Strategy

On 7 April, Canada announced the federal budget unveiling its plan to spend C$3.8 billion (€2.82 billion) to boost domestic production of lithium, copper and other strategic materials to push for the country to become a key part of the global electric vehicle supply chain.

The budget proposes up to CAN$3.8 billion in support over eight years, starting in 2022/2023, to implement Canada’s first Critical Minerals Strategy, as well as significant funding to make Canada a more attractive destination for investment and to secure agreements that would increase production of goods like electric vehicles and batteries.

There are a wide range of actions enclosed, including the following:

  • Commit CAN$80 million to public geoscience and exploration programs to help find the next generation of critical minerals deposits.

  • Double the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit to 30% for targeted critical minerals (i.e., nickel, copper, lithium, graphite, cobalt, rare earths elements, vanadium, gallium and uranium).

  • Allocate CAN$1.5 billion to invest in new critical minerals projects, with a priority focus on mineral processing, materials manufacturing and recycling for key mineral and metal products in the battery and rare earths elements supply chain.

  • Allocate CAN$144 million to critical minerals research and development to support the responsible extraction and processing of critical minerals.

  • Invests CAN$70 million for global partnerships to promote Canadian mining leadership.

  • Provide CAN$1.5 billion that will support critical minerals projects, with prioritisation given to manufacturing, processing, and recycling applications.

Canadian miners have welcomed Ottawa's Critical Minerals Strategy and believe it could help to further develop Northern Canada, which contains much of the country's minerals reserves.