Mining CEO suggests feds serve key role as buyer to establish a critical minerals stockpile
Ottawa sees a massive economic opportunity in creating a battery value chain for green energy and electric vehicles (EVs). Canada has a lot of what’s needed to gain a competitive advantage in this supply chain—the natural resources as well as research and industry expertise.
Still, it has a long way to go to overcome challenges including domestic development of the required critical minerals, which are mainly controlled by China, two mining CEOs say.
Among the 31 critical minerals identified by Natural Resources Canada are key raw materials for batteries like lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and the rare earth elements (REEs), the latter best known for use in making magnets for electronics.
But in developing these minerals to build a battery supply chain, “It’s pretty hard to get an operation started until you can actually get a firm commitment on buying it, because these [critical minerals] are not bulk exchange-traded commodities, which is basically all the Canadian mining industry has ever been historically,” said Donald Bubar, president and CEO of Avalon Advanced Materials Inc.