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Government of Canada Releases Critical Minerals Strategy

Published on
December 9, 2022

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, released Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy in Vancouver.  

The Strategy is backed by up to $3.8 billion in federal funding allocated in Budget 2022, in addition to previous allocations made in 2021. The proposed funding covers a range of industrial activities, from geoscience and exploration to mineral processing, manufacturing and recycling applications, including support for research, development and technological deployment.

Specifically, allocations from Budget 2021 and Budget 2022 include the following:  

  • $1.5 billion for the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) to support critical minerals projects, with prioritization given to advanced manufacturing, processing, and recycling applications;
  • $1.5 billion for infrastructure development for critical mineral supply chains, with a focus on priority deposits;
  • $79.2 million for public geoscience and exploration to better identify and assess mineral deposits;
  • 30% Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for targeted critical minerals;
  • $47.7 million for targeted upstream critical mineral R&D through Canada’s research labs;
  • $144.4 million for critical mineral research and development, and the deployment of technologies and materials to support critical mineral development for upstream and midstream segments of the value chain;
  • $40 million to support northern regulatory processes in reviewing and permitting critical minerals projects;
  • $21.5 million to support the Critical Minerals Centre of Excellence (CMCE) to develop federal policies and programs on critical minerals and to assist project developers in navigating regulatory processes and federal support measures; and,
  • $70 million for global partnerships to promote Canadian mining leadership, such as promoting ESG standards and supporting bilateral and multilateral critical mineral commitments

The Strategy maps out how Canada can seize the critical minerals opportunity in a way that accomplishes five key outcomes:

  • Supporting economic growth, competitiveness and job creation;
  • Promoting climate action and environmental protection;
  • Advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples;
  • Fostering diverse and inclusive workforces and communities; and
  • Enhancing global security and partnership with allies.

The Strategy focuses on opportunities at every stage along the value chain for Canada’s  31 critical minerals, from exploration to recycling. Beyond the funding elements, the Strategy outlines concrete measures to accelerate regulatory processes at the sub-national, national and international levels; to ensure meaningful and ongoing Indigenous partnership throughout the value chain; and to ensure that the Strategy is in line with Canada’s climate and nature protection goals. 

Happy to help.

The comprehensive focus on funding and permitting critical mineral-related activities creates opportunity for Canadian businesses. As the Strategy notes, there is no global energy transition without accelerated activity in the critical minerals space.

Sussex is engaged in this evolving landscape and is keen to assist companies on the supply, processing, demand and enabling infrastructure sides of the critical minerals economy.  

Devin McCarthy, Senior Vice President and Federal Practice Group Lead

Mark Olsheski, Vice President, Energy

Dan Lovell, Senior Associate, Federal Government Relations

Roberto Chavez, Senior Associate, Federal Government Relations

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