Expediting mine development in critical minerals and the Ring of Fire on the new minister’s radar
“We can’t be green if we’re not mining.” Ontario’s new mines minister, George Pirie, mentioned that phrase a handful of times during an interview this week in commenting on the desire of governments in Canada and globally to rapidly transition into net-zero emission economies over the next decade.
With major multi-billion-dollar investments being made into electric vehicle battery component plants in Windsor and Kingston, Pirie said mining is crucial to supply these facilities with the necessary raw materials to build these clean technologies. “None of this is gonna happen unless we mine the battery minerals, if we’re going to be successful.”
The former Timmins mayor and mining industry veteran eases into the new job after the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines was split off into new portfolios in the naming of Premier Doug Ford’s new cabinet in late June. Pirie was handed the mining file; Greg Rickford will focus on Northern development and retains Indigenous affairs.
A special mandate for Pirie will be to develop the Ring of Fire in the James Bay region. The remote, untapped Far North mineralized region contains many of the so-called critical minerals needed to produce batteries for electric vehicle manufacturers.