Ottawa drove China out of Canada’s lithium industry, but questions linger over costs – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – May 23, 2023)

Here’s what you need to know about the move’s impact on miners, critical minerals and even the TSX

Last November, the federal government ordered three Chinese companies to divest from three junior Canadian lithium explorers. The step was taken amidst an increasing demand for critical minerals such as lithium and copper that are expected to play a key role in the world’s shift away from fossil fuels.

The move seemed to be a part of a larger step taken by Western nations to offset China’s dominance in the critical minerals sector and divert supply chains towards friendlier countries. It’s been about half a year since Ottawa’s surprise announcement, and the three Canadian miners who were impacted have now managed to fill the gaps left by the ban on Chinese capital.

The solutions each company found shed light on how abstract notions such as “geopolitical tensions” play out in real life. Vancouver-based Power Metals Corp. replaced Sinomine Rare Metals Resources Co. with Australia’s Winsome Resources Ltd. in December; Calgary’s Lithium Chile Inc. replaced Chengze Lithium International Ltd. with Toronto’s Gator Capital Ltd. in February; and on May 17, Vancouver’s Ultra Lithium Inc. said that it was going to develop its lithium project jointly with Australia’s Power Minerals Ltd. instead of Qinghai-based Zangge Mining Co. Ltd.

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