Critical Minerals Emphasized in Canada-Indonesia Bilateral Economic Task Force
Bilateral Economic Task Force Update
In this crucial bilateral meeting, Canadian critical minerals were a priority discussed by the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, who co-led the Canada-Indonesia Bilateral Economic Task Force with Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesian Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs.
Important to both countries’ bilateral negotiations is the Canada-Indonesia comprehensive economic partnership agreement within Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. Minister Ng emphasized the progress made so far and the importance of establishing a rules-based investment environment for predictability.
The ministers exchanged ideas on using investments to drive economic growth and highlighted the significance of green technologies in reducing carbon emissions. Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy was discussed, and Minister Ng emphasized Canada’s increase in supplying responsibly-sourced critical minerals and the role this plays for Canada’s economic security. Minister Ng congratulated Minister Luhut on Indonesia’s ASEAN chairmanship and noted that the task force meeting showcased both countries’ commitment to fostering a strong trade and investment relationship. Critical minerals are already a priority for Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, with Canada pledging to strengthen critical mineral trade with Japan and the Republic of Korea. This most recent meeting could signal that Indonesia is joining the two other countries as strong critical mineral trading partners in the Indo-Pacific.
Efficiently Capturing Critical Minerals Goal of Mila and KPI Partnership
Turning to domestic partnerships, the Québec AI Institute, Mila, is partnering with KPI Mining Solutions to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning modelling to sustainably source critical minerals. Mila is an AI research institute, with over 1,000 machine learning research specialists and KPI is a global software development and consulting firm, specializing in mining, supply chains, manufacturing, and transportation consulting. KPI manages “strategic mine planning, scheduling, and design; risk assessment; and simulation algorithms.” ThisQuébec-based partnership parallels Ontario’s $77-million investment in the Vector Institute for AI and the Ontario Centre for Innovation, which aims to help SMEs in Ontario to develop critical technologies in sectors including mining, agrifoods, and advanced manufacturing.
In terms of how critical minerals will affect individuals and businesses, in the following months Canadians will be able to provide feedback to the Government of Canada on draft legislative proposals that prioritize growing a clean economy and ensuring tax fairness for individuals and businesses.
Importantly, Canadians will get to have a say on the Flow-Through Shares and the Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for Lithium from Brines. These consultations on Measures to Grow Canada’s Clean Energy will be run by the Department of Finance and they also include:
The Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) Investment Tax Credit;
The Clean Technology Investment Tax Credit;
Labour Requirements Related to Certain Investment Tax Credits;
Enhancing the Reduced Tax Rates for Zero-Emission Technology Manufacturers.
BC Budget 2024 Consultations: Suggestions Received on Critical Minerals
In the meantime, budget consultations, with a focus on critical minerals, have already been underway in the province of British Columbia. In August, the government’s dedicated Budget Committee released a report that overviews the suggestions they have been asked to integrate into the upcoming budget. The suggestions for Mining and Natural Resource Development are as follows:
The Association for Mineral Exploration recommended investing $50 million for the implementation of a critical minerals strategy with Geoscience BC;
The Association further explained that BC produces 16 of the 31 critical minerals on Canada’s list and called for greater emphasis on Indigenous co-ownership and equity positions in projects.
The suggestions for Recycling and Waste are:
As use of electric vehicles increases in BC, demand for recycling the critical minerals used in lithium-ion batteries will increase. Teck indicated that its Trail operations already recycles lead batteries but requested support in developing an electric vehicle battery recycling facility.
The Budget Committee concluded on the following:
Committee members highlighted the need to prioritize and fund the implementation of a critical minerals strategy given its vital link to supporting energy transitions, as well as the importance of partnering with industry stakeholders to ensure BC receives its share of federal funding.
And the Committee recommended the following for Budget 2024:
Sufficiently fund and prioritize the implementation of a critical minerals strategy including funding for geological research through Geoscience BC and other organizations.