Ottawa, Washington join forces to fund junior Canadian critical-minerals companies in face of trade war with China – by Naill McGee (Globe and Mail – May 17, 2024)

Ottawa and Washington have teamed up for the first time to invest in two Canadian mining exploration companies, as both governments attempt to bolster the North American critical-minerals supply chain in the face of an escalating trade war with China.

Ontario cobalt developer Fortune Minerals Ltd. and Quebec graphite exploration company Lomiko Metals Inc. have been awarded about $32.4-million in combined funding, the U.S. and Canada said in a joint statement Thursday. The Canadian contribution is part of the $3.8-billion in funding for the critical-minerals sector that was unveiled in the 2023 federal budget and is coming from Natural Resources Canada.

The U.S. funds are from the Department of Defence under the auspices of the Defence Production Act. U.S. President Joe Biden invoked the act in 2022 to spur North American investment in critical minerals such as lithium, cobalt, graphite and battery-grade nickel, all of which are essential components in low-carbon energy.

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