Ken Coates is a Munk senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.
Canadian access to these strategic minerals is crucial if we are to ensure the long-term viability of our technology sector
The Canadian mining sector has been a vital cog in the country’s economy during the pandemic, with the importance of the industry growing steadily over time.
Operations and exploration continued during the COVID-19 outbreak, collaborations with Indigenous communities expanded, technological sophistication accelerated, and, at a time when environmental assessment processes deter investment in Canada, international companies find this country a solid business environment.
With the rapid expansion of the global innovation economy, and given the foundational importance of selected elements, the availability of strategic minerals has become a critical element in the development of the 21st-century economy.
While Canada has a well-deserved reputation for producing industrial-scale minerals, like iron ore, copper, nickel, lead, and the like, and numerous precious minerals, including gold and diamonds, it does not yet have a strong presence in the strategic mineral sector.
These commodities, which include such minerals as lithium and a group of hard-to-find rare earth minerals, play a critical role in the development of 21st century commercial and industrial products, including many in the high-technology sector.
For the rest of this column: https://www.thesudburystar.com/opinion/columnists/mining-sector-needs-to-get-in-on-the-hunt-for-strategic-minerals