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Canada expands critical minerals list

Metal Tech News - June 10, 2024

Natural Resources Canada

Canada's critical minerals list was assembled from the viewpoint of a mining powerhouse positioning itself as the global supplier of choice for the minerals and metals essential to modern living.

Adds silicon metal, high-purity iron ore, and phosphorous to 31 materials already on the list.

Toward the goal of positioning itself as the "global supplier of choice" for the minerals and metals essential to modern technologies, especially the enormous quantities of raw materials being demanded by a world transitioning to clean energy, Canada has assembled an updated and expanded list of minerals critical to the northern nation.

"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," Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson said during the June 10 unveiling of the updated critical minerals list.

Canada introduced its original list of 31 critical minerals in 2021. Unlike similar lists assembled by the United States and European Union, which measured mineral criticality from the perspective of consumers concerned about inadequate supply, Canada's 2021 list was built from the viewpoint of a mining powerhouse positioning itself to meet the demand for future-leaning minerals and metals.

This viewpoint was codified with new critical minerals criteria established ahead of the 2024 update.

To be deemed a critical mineral in Canada, a mined material must have a supply chain that is threatened and a reasonable chance of being produced by Canada, plus one of the following criteria:

Essential to Canada's economic or national security.

Required for the national transition to a sustainable, low-carbon and digital economy.

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

Under this framework, there are now 34 minerals deemed critical to Canada. This includes the 31 critical minerals on the 2021 list plus three new mined commodities that are critical to the energy transition, often in short supply and considered vital to Canada's future economic prosperity.

The new additions to Canada's critical mineral list are:

Silicon metal – is essential to the manufacturing of microchips and semiconductors and is used in almost all electronics.

High-purity iron ore – is essential to green steel and integral to decarbonization.

Phosphorus – is essential for food security through the production of fertilizers and is also used in lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries powering EVs and storing renewable energy.

Natural Resources Canada

Canada's original list of 31 critical minerals.

These and the original 31 minerals and metals deemed critical to Canada are used in a wide array of products essential to modern living, from smartphones and solar panels to EV batteries and medical equipment.

By building value chains for these critical minerals, Canada aims to be the global supplier of choice for these 34 mining commodities and the clean energy and other future-leaning technologies they enable.

"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," Wilkinson said.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News

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With more than 16 years of covering mining, Shane is renowned for his insights and and in-depth analysis of mining, mineral exploration and technology metals.


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