Can Canada lead a global mining boom without any prominent global miners?
Swiss commodities giant Glencore PLC‘s unexpected bid to absorb Vancouver-based Teck Resources Ltd. is forcing Canada’s mining sector and government to confront an existential question: can this country lead a global mining boom without any prominent global miners?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has repeatedly emphasized that it sees Canadian miners as essential players in the energy transition and Canada’s future economy. Last year, it published the country’s first critical minerals strategy and it has expanded tax credits for critical minerals exploration.
“Canada is uniquely positioned to be the world’s cleanest supplier of metals and minerals,” Trudeau said in 2020 at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto, one of the largest mining conferences in the world. “You all have an integral role to play in making this a reality.”
As Canada’s largest diversified miner, Teck is positioned to be a flag carrier for Canada’s aspirations as a clean technology power — assuming its flag is the maple leaf. That’s not a guarantee. Recent history shows that when global mining enters an up cycle, the biggest fish head to Canada, where the combination of attractive assets and an open economy makes bulking up to take advantage of soaring prices fairly simple.
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