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Consultation: Update of Canada's Critical Minerals list and methodology

Consultation status: Closed

The purpose of this consultation is to receive feedback on updated criteria that will define mineral criticality for Canada. These criteria will determine which minerals are placed on the Critical Minerals List.

This consultation targets only Canada’s Critical Minerals list, not the eligibility of specified critical minerals in funding programs or tax incentives (for example, Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund, the Critical Minerals Exploration Tax Credit or the Clean Technology Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit).

About this consultation

In March 2021, the Government of Canada announced the Canadian Critical Minerals List entitled Critical minerals: an opportunity for Canada, including 31 minerals that are either currently produced or have the potential to be produced in Canada.

It is important to note that the criticality of minerals can evolve over time in response to changes in technology, demand, supply chain dynamics, and geopolitical considerations. The assessment and identification of critical minerals is an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and evaluation.

Canada has committed to updating the Critical Minerals List, as necessary, to reflect changing circumstances. The next update will take place in 2024.

As part of the update to Canada’s Critical Minerals List, the Government of Canada is conducting consultations with provinces and territories, industry, Indigenous groups, and other interested or affected stakeholders. Furthermore, since the development of the original critical minerals list, several provinces have released their own lists. All provinces and territories’ priorities will be considered in the development of the updated national list.

For a mineral to be deemed critical for Canada, the proposed criteria specify the mineral meets one or more of the following:

  • essential to Canada’s economic or national security
  • required for our national transition to a sustainable low-carbon and digital economy
  • a sustainable and strategic source of critical minerals for our international allies

and both of the following:

  • its supply is threatened
  • it has a reasonable chance of being produced in Canada in the near- to medium-term

If everything is critical, nothing is critical

Many other countries or blocs have produced critical minerals lists that differ in their composition; however, there is a shared view that critical minerals:

  • are strategically important for industrial use, defense, or national security
  • extraction and processing are concentrated in few locations, which may be strategically vulnerable globally
  • are often in short supply

Canada can leverage its strong environmental, social, and governance credentials, and mining prowess to not only fulfill its domestic needs but also help fulfill needs of international partners.

Who we are consulting

Consultations will involve provinces and territories, industry, Indigenous groups, non-governmental organizations, and the Canadian public.

Targeted consultation sessions will be organized with:

  • provinces and territories
  • industry associations
  • Indigenous groups

Questions for consideration

To guide consultation, some questions to consider include:

  • Do you agree with the criteria?
  • Are all criteria needed?
  • Would any additional criteria be useful?
  • Are there specific methodologies that would be more useful to determine criticality?
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