Ontario wades into critical minerals sector but curbs enthusiasm on major investments – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 11, 2021)


Ontario is taking baby steps into the critical minerals sector, but a government minister cautioned that the province’s financial commitment will be small and measured.

Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Mines, Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs, said the province is starting a public consultation period on critical minerals, with a goal of reducing red tape and attracting more investment into the sector.

The consultation will be open to a range of stakeholders, including the mining industry, Indigenous land owners and investors.

The province hopes to have its critical minerals strategy in place by the end of the year. The minister made the announcement virtually at the annual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) mining conference on Wednesday.

Critical minerals, such as cobalt, lithium and graphite, are used in a range of industries, including defence, aerospace and high tech. Over the past few years, there has been a North American push to boost the production of critical minerals as fears of a Chinese stranglehold on global supply intensify.

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