Ottawa’s crackdown on Chinese investment in the critical minerals sector left out major miners, critics say – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – December 24, 2022)

This past summer, Power Metals Corp. chief executive officer Johnathan More fielded questions from the federal government about the roughly 5-per-cent equity position Chinese state-owned Sinomine Rare Metals Resources Co. held in his tiny exploration company. What struck him was how naive some of the queries were.

“They were coming at us saying, ‘Oh, they’re buying your company, they’re taking you over?’” he said. “I’m like, ‘no.’ This is how uneducated the government is.” Patiently, Mr. More explained that Sinomine owned a tiny, non-controlling stake, worth a mere $1.5-million.

He told the government the same thing anyone with an internet connection and the most basic grounding in finance could ascertain in a couple of minutes: Power Metals is a very early-stage exploration company, drilling holes in the ground, and there is no guarantee it will ever become a critical minerals producer. (According to the Colorado School of Mines, only about one in 750 exploration projects becomes a mine.)

At the end of the correspondence with Ottawa, Mr. More was pretty sure that the matter was closed and that he’d never hear from anyone in the government again.

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