It’s estimated that China will control 67 per cent of global capacity to build lithium-ion batteries by 2030
OTTAWA — Mining executives and national security experts are warning the federal government about China’s domination of strategic mineral supplies, saying Ottawa needs to better protect supply chains for modern technology that relies on them like electric vehicles and smart phones.
In testimony before the House of Commons natural resources committee this month, experts described China’s decades-long efforts to control the market for critical minerals — including the 17 rare earth elements — by rapidly expanding its processing capacity or by acquiring foreign assets to dominate supply chains.
The minerals, which include magnesium, lithium and scandium, are used to develop such strategic products as solar panels, wind turbines, electric car batteries, mobile phone components and guided missiles.
Canada sits atop an abundance of such minerals, from a large deposit of neodymium in northern Saskatchewan (used in the manufacture of magnets) to the sizeable pockets of lithium found in Quebec.
That strategic advantage, experts said, makes it incumbent on Ottawa to help strengthen Canada’s supply chain and protect against China’s coercive foreign policy tactics.