One-half of the critical minerals story – by Sander Grieve, Steven D. Bennett, Zirjan Derwa, and Martin Ignasiak (Canadian Mining Journal – January 9, 2023)

While it is not clear the world has changed, a recent frenzy of activity demonstrates the way Ottawa sees the world has vastly changed. Observers of Canada have borne witness for many years to many foreign and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) sizing up middle powers like Canada with increasing appetite.

The Government of Canada has come to the public revelation that critical minerals are, for lack of a better word, critical to economic growth, energy transition and transformation and the security of Canada and its allies.

New announcements, and new questions

On Oct. 28, 2022, the federal government published its policy update on SOE investments in critical minerals. This policy makes it clear that going forward, the government will closely scrutinize investments by foreign SOEs and foreign-influenced private investors in Canada’s critical minerals sectors, across all stages of the value chain.

In particular, the policy states that significant transactions by foreign SOEs in Canada’s critical minerals sectors will only be approved (on the basis that they result in a net benefit to Canada) on an exceptional basis.

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