Doug Ford to unveil strategy for ‘critical minerals,’ worth $3.5B to Ontario economy – by Mike Crawley (CBC News Toronto – March 17, 2022)

EV batteries, smartphones and laptops drive growing demand for nickel, cobalt, lithium, platinum

Premier Doug Ford will unveil plans Thursday for Ontario to capitalize on the growing global demand for minerals that are crucial to technologies such as electric vehicle batteries, smartphones and laptops. The government provided CBC News with an advance copy of its “critical minerals” strategy, to be publicly released by Ford Thursday morning at a mine north of Thunder Bay.

Critical minerals — including nickel, cobalt, lithium, and platinum — are already a $3.5 billion-a-year industry in Ontario. They’re classed as critical because of their essential role in the production of specialized technologies. Their supply is also typically at higher risk than the rest of the mining sector because of geopolitics and market demand.

China, Russia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are currently among the biggest global sources of various critical minerals. Russia’s war in Ukraine and the sanctions slapped on the country’s economy, make Ontario’s announcement particularly timely.

The Ford government wants to position Ontario as a reliable supplier of critical minerals and calls its 53-page strategy “a comprehensive, five-year roadmap” to do that. “Global conflict has exacerbated these supply vulnerabilities and Ontario must step up to meet the soaring demand for critical minerals,” says Greg Rickford, the Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, in his introduction to the document.

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