Accelerating mine development could be a pressing issue for the country’s left-leaning Liberal Party government as it looks to support the energy transition, said Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.
Wilkinson’s call to action at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto on mine timelines is a rare example of a top Liberal official calling for the need to fast-track more Canadian mining projects, after the government has made critical minerals a priority in recent years.
“Going forward, it simply cannot be the case that it takes up to 15 years to develop and bring into production new mines,” Wilkinson said during a June 13 keynote address.
Wilkinson framed the need to develop critical minerals as crucial to breaking the dominance countries such as China have on extracting and processing key commodities including lithium and rare earths. These critical minerals will be central to electrification amid a global push to curb climate change.