In order to execute the Strategy, the Government of Canada will implement a whole-of-government approach that will be forward-looking, iterative, adaptive, and long-term. Collaboration and updates will be concurrent and ongoing at all levels in order to advance circular solutions and to account for the ever-changing industry considerations and geopolitical climate. Specifically, the six following objectives will be actively pursued:
Driving Research, Innovation, and Exploration
To unlock its potential as a leading critical minerals nation, Canada will expand its geoscience and exploration activities in order to find future deposits and locate the critical minerals in our vast landmass. Federal initiatives to support Canada’s development of innovative technologies and industrial practices that will optimize efficiency, cost competitiveness, and environmental stewardship include:
- $79.2 million for public geoscience and exploration;
- 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; and
- $144.4 million for critical mineral R&D, and the deployment of technologies and materials to support the development for upstream and midstream segments of the value chain
Accelerating Project Development
Following regulatory assessments, the federal government will provide financial and administrative support to accelerate the development of strategic projects in critical mineral mining, processing, manufacturing, and waste reduction. This support will stimulate the industry as most critical mineral industrial projects require large upfront investments that are higher risk and may generate a slower return. Additional federal government initiatives to accelerate project development include:
- $1.5 billion for the Strategic Innovation Fund to support critical minerals projects;
- $40 million to support northern regulatory processes for critical minerals projects; and
- $21.5 million to support the Critical Minerals Centre of Excellence to develop federal policies and programs to assist project developers.
- Further build upon the Mines to Mobility initiative to advance sustainable battery innovation and an industrial ecosystem.
Building Sustainable Infrastructure
Strategic investments into sustainable infrastructure that can navigate Canada’s remote and challenging terrain will be key in order for Canada to achieve its critical mineral potential and secure its position as a leading supplier. Federal initiatives that will support sustainable infrastructure include:
- $1.5 billion for infrastructure development for critical mineral supply chains;
- Investments in green energy and transportation to unlock critical mineral regions and drive emission reductions; and
- Additional support from existing complementary federal programming, such as the CIB.
Advancing Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
The federal government’s critical minerals efforts will be based on respect for Aboriginal and treaty rights and meaningful engagement, partnership, and collaboration with First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples and governments. It is projected that the development of the industry will present significant opportunities to advance reconciliation and for the Indigenous economy to grow. These considerations will be additionally supported by:
- $103.4 million from Budget 2022 to advance participation in the natural resource sector, including over $25 million to support early engagement in the Critical Minerals Strategy; and
- The development of a National Benefits Sharing Framework to help ensure that Indigenous communities directly benefit from major resource projects in their territories.
Growing a Diverse Workforce and Prosperous Communities
Through developing Canada’s critical minerals industry, jobs and prosperity will be created for communities across the country. To help ensure that there is a diverse and inclusive workforce to support the Canadian critical minerals value chain, the federal government will:
- Offer federal skills and training initiatives to help institutions and employers;
- Assist youth in developing skills and transitioning into the labour market;
- Present partnership opportunities with provinces and territories, Indigenous-led organizations and several stakeholders to create greater awareness and understanding of mineral literacy; and
- Continue collaboration on initiatives under the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan.
Strengthening Global Leadership and Security
The federal government recognizes the supply chain disruption and price inflation risks that have been ongoing due to limited overseas countries producing critical minerals using non-market-based practices. By becoming a responsible supplier, Canada will mitigate this concentration risk and further responsible, inclusive, and sustainable practices. Federal government initiatives to reinforce supply chain security and stability include:
- $70 million for global partnerships to promote Canadian mining leadership;
- Leverage and improve the Responsible Business Conduct, ESG standards, and international best practices; and
- Launch an initiative and further existing frameworks to drive the global uptake of ‘nature-forward’ mining practices.