N.W.T. MLA says sentiment amounts to call for deregulation of mining
Speeding up the regulatory process for critical mineral mines in the North is a goal of the federal government, according to Canada’s natural resources minister.
“Critical minerals are essential for us to be able to successfully execute an energy transition,” said Jonathan Wilkinson. If Canada doesn’t mine more critical minerals, he said, it can’t make batteries for electric vehicles needed to reduce emissions from transportation.
Rare earths, for example, are a critical mineral said to be crucial in technology like computers, LED displays, wind turbines and electric vehicles. Canada’s first rare earth operation is the Nechalacho mining project in the N.W.T. Of the 31 minerals deemed critical by the federal government, 23 can be found in the N.W.T. and 25 are in the Yukon.
“We have to find ways to expedite [these projects] in a manner that’s consistent with environmental sustainability,” said Wilkinson. He also said getting such projects down to zero emissions or close to zero emissions is important, and suggested biomass, biofuels or synthetic fuels as an option for mines that can’t connect to hydroelectric power.
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