Canada is unlikely to benefit much from the explosion in global demand for critical minerals because of a dearth of reserves, according to two Calgary academics, who also argue in favour of cutting red tape to make domestic miners more competitive.
“Most of North America’s critical transition minerals will have to come from reserves in South America, Africa and the Caribbean as well as Australia and China,” Philip Bazel, research associate at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, and Jack Mintz, a president’s fellow there, wrote in a report released on Tuesday.
“Canada’s participation in the energy transition mining market may hinge on the shape of its regulatory and taxation framework.”
Citing worldwide critical minerals reserves data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the authors point out that Canada is a bit player in lithium, cobalt, copper, graphite and nickel, all of which are used in low-carbon energy, such as electric vehicle batteries. Reserves are minerals in the ground whose economic viability has been proven.
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