Canada sees China as less ‘dependable’ partner on critical minerals, minister says (Reuters – September 26, 2023)

LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Canada wants to reach deals with countries that are more “dependable” trading partners than China for the supply and processing of the critical materials needed to power the energy transition, a Canadian minister said on Tuesday.

“Much of the critical mineral resources around the world is controlled by China … We are in a geopolitical universe where China is a trading partner that is probably not as dependable as the countries with whom we share values,” Canada’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said at a Canada-UK critical minerals investment forum in London.

“We have made pretty clear that we have concerns about the state-owned enterprises investing in critical minerals in Canada,” he added. Canada in 2022 asked three Chinese companies to sell their stakes in Toronto-listed lithium explorers after a national security review, a move that raised questions about the future of other Chinese investments in the Canadian mining sector.

Lithium is used in batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), which are expected to eventually displace internal combustion engines.

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