May 22, 2024

Canada wants to accelerate mining of critical minerals – Energy Minister – February 13, 2024 at 6:22 pm

Canada plans to boost its energy security by cutting the time it takes to develop new critical minerals by nearly a decade through improved permitting processes, Energy Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told Reuters on Tuesday.

Ottawa focuses on six key minerals that are important for making electric vehicles and wind turbines: lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, copper and the so-called rare earths.

Mining and processing of critical minerals is currently dominated by China, Wilkinson said.

“(We're) looking at how we can streamline regulatory and permanent processes to shorten a process that used to take 12 to 15 years to five years,” he said.

“There are ways to do things smarter…there's no reason to do that than if you're doing different things one after another that are approved by the federal and provincial governments at the same time.”

Canada plans to reduce approval time for mining permits

The country must continue to import cobalt because resources of the metal are limited, Wilkinson said. China controls most of the world's refined cobalt and rare earth supplies.

To offset the costs, Canada is introducing investment tax credits to pay a “significant portion” of the capital for new mining and mineral processing projects, Wilkinson said.

There is also funding for infrastructure such as transmission lines and roads that will speed up the development of new minerals, he said.

The government is investing billions of dollars in battery factory projects for several companies in Canada, including Swedish battery maker Nordvolt and German automaker Volkswagen.

See also  Africa's vaccine catastrophe: vaccine shortages and poor health systems | DOMRADIO.DE

Wilkinson said a loan guarantee program would be introduced to give Aboriginal communities access to low-cost loans to help them participate in existing and future projects.

In July, a group of five First Nation communities protested mining plans in the so-called “Ring of Fire,” an area in northern Ontario's remote James Bay Lowlands that is considered the next frontier for mining metals such as copper, cobalt and nickel. is

Wilkinson said streamlining permitting processes and environmental impact assessments won't lead to austerity.

“I think environmentalists also realize that there is no energy transition without significant amounts of critical minerals,” he said. (Reporting by Forrest Grellin and Julia Payne, Editing by Mark Potter)