Parliamentary hearing witnesses call for more scrutiny over China in Canadian critical minerals after state-owned Zijin Mining buys Canada’s Neo Lithium – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 26, 2022)

Ottawa should mandate that state-owned firms that target Canadian companies are automatically subject to a full national security review, a security expert testified at a parliamentary hearing looking into the sale of a Canadian lithium company to a Chinese-government controlled firm.

The hearing was held on Wednesday, and called after The Globe and Mail reported the federal government gave the thumbs up to state-owned Zijin Mining’s $960-million acquisition of Canadian lithium development company Neo Lithium Corp. without conducting a formal security review.

The deal was announced in October and subject to a 45-day security screening, a process that can involve the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and consultation with the United States and other allies.

Toronto-based Neo Lithium plans to build a high-grade lithium mine in Argentina. The company’s 3Q project has enough reserves to produce battery-grade lithium for 50 years.

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