Canada needs a clearer and more co-ordinated mining strategy, and quickly – by John Turner, Krisztian Toth and Paul Blyschak (Globe and Mail – July 3, 2024)

John Turner, Krisztian Toth and Paul Blyschak are lawyers at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. The views expressed herein are those of the authors.

After years of underwhelming policy support, our federal government has finally awoken to the vital importance of Canadian mining. The alarm bell has been the critical minerals race and its integral bearing on the green energy transition and high-tech applications (including artificial intelligence) and, by extension, national and international security.

But the lack of foresight has left policy makers scrambling. We must make up lost ground, quickly, and with minimal politicking, or we risk the entire energy transition.

In the decade after the millennium, before critical minerals were “critical minerals,” the authors were busy representing Asian interests pursuing every copper and gold project available, whether in Canada or elsewhere (gold is considered a critical mineral in some countries, including China). Most project owners were eager sellers, believing the buyers were overpaying. Our clients were undeterred, inviting doubters to circle back in 20 years.

Our lead author, John Turner, repeatedly raised strategic concerns with senior Canadian politicians. The only attentive ear was Michael Ignatieff, then leader of the federal Liberal Party.

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