NEWS RELEASE: Minister Wilkinson Launches Discussion Paper to Inform Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy (Natural Resources Canada – June 14, 2022)

TORONTO, June 14, 2022 /CNW/ – Critical minerals are essential to powering the green, digital economy of tomorrow. Increasing demand and constrained supply of these all-important minerals are presenting Canada with a generational economic opportunity, and the Government of Canada is committed to seizing that opportunity while delivering on its ambitious climate and nature goals.

Building on the government’s nearly $3.8-billion commitment on critical minerals in Budget 2022, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, released the Government of Canada’s Discussion Paper to inform Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy.

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Internal DND study calls green technology minerals 21st-century ‘oil weapon’ – by Chris Arsenault and Philippe Le Billon (CBC News Business – June 20, 2022)

Skyrocketing demand for copper, lithium and rare earths sparks geopolitical race, worrying environmentalists

Minerals needed to power the green transition from fossil fuels could become “the 21st-century version of the ‘oil weapon,'” warns an internal study commissioned by Canada’s Department of National Defence.

There is widespread agreement among scientists that drastic cuts in fossil fuel consumption are needed to stave off catastrophic climate change — and a transition to electric cars, wind and solar power form key pillars of this shift.

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Yellen Urges Less Dependence on Other Nations for Key Supplies – by Christopher Condon and Danielle Bochove (Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg – June 20, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the US should work on shifting its dependence away from some rival nations for supplies of critical inputs as global supply-chain logjams have hurt the domestic economy.

“We saw during the pandemic that our supply chains were very brittle and really lacking in resilience,” she said Monday.

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More than 17,000 converge on Toronto for first PDAC mining conference in two years – by Neils Christensen (Kitco News – June 17, 2022)

(Kitco News) – After two years of webinars and zoom meetings, investors, mining executives and market analysts were able to meet for the first time face-to-face at the world’s largest mining conference in Toronto, Canada.

According to the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, more than 17,000 people attended its annual convention this week, the first time it was held since March 2020.

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World cannot allow Russia, China to dominate critical minerals market: Wilkinson – by Mia Rabson (Victoria Timines Colonist/Canadian Press – June 16, 2022)

OTTAWA — The strategic mistake made in allowing Russia to have global dominance in oil and gas cannot be repeated as the world looks to massively ramp up production of critical minerals, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson asserted this week.

Demand for critical minerals and metals — such as lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt and copper — is exploding as demand climbs for everything from smartphones and laptops to wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars.

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‘Rapid development’ of mines ‘urgently required’ – Canada’s resources minister – by Kip Keen ( – June 14, 2022)

Accelerating mine development could be a pressing issue for the country’s left-leaning Liberal Party government as it looks to support the energy transition, said Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

Wilkinson’s call to action at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto on mine timelines is a rare example of a top Liberal official calling for the need to fast-track more Canadian mining projects, after the government has made critical minerals a priority in recent years.

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PDAC 22: Canada places bets on critical minerals – by Jax Jacobsen (Mining Magazine – June 14, 2022)

Canada committed to building an end-to-end supply chain, says minister

The global drive towards electrification and electric vehicles places Canada in a prime position to provide critical minerals, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) on June 13.

“Canada is home to almost half of listed companies in the mining and minerals space, with a combined market cap of C$520 billion, and ranks in the top five producing countries for critical minerals,” Wilkinson said.

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Indigenous groups say UN declaration improving relations with Canadian mine operators – by Denise Paglinawan (Financial Post – June 14, 2022)

First Nations leaders involved in two Canadian mining projects say their communities “finally have a voice” since Canada’s implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDRIP) came into force almost a year ago.

“UNDRIP opens a lot of doors,” Chief Theresa Nelson of Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek First Nation, the lead negotiator with the Greenstone Gold project in Northern Ontario, told a panel at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in downtown Toronto on Monday.

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Deal-Hungry Miners Return to Toronto With EV Metals in Focus – by Yvonne Yue Li and James Attwood (Bloomberg News – June 13, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — As the mining industry gathers in Toronto this week for one of its biggest annual events, the focus will be on two groups of metals: one that’s seeing soaring demand across the world, and another with almost no industrial utility.

Thousands of investors, executives, bankers and government officials are set to converge on the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference at the biggest mining hub in the Americas.

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Russian government slashes sale price of Kinross mines in half – by Andrew Willis (Globe and Mail – June 15, 2022)

Kinross Gold Corp. is selling its Russian mines for US$340-million – half the previously negotiated price – after Moscow imposed limits on the size of the sale. In March, Kinross suspended operations at its two properties in Siberia in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In April, Canada’s third-largest gold producer announced it would sell the mines to Highland Gold Mining Ltd. for US$680-million, with US$100-million up front and the remainder to be paid over five years.

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A way forward for mineral explorers and Indigenous Peoples – by Michael McPhie and Christy Smith (Northern Miner – June 13, 2022)

Global mining news

Relationships between the mineral exploration and mining sector and Indigenous peoples within Canada and around the world vary across a broad spectrum — from respectful and mutually beneficial to antagonistic and harmful.

We see these diverse variations play out on a global stage and how companies navigate this increasingly complex socio-political environment is a primary factor in whether a project advances. Leading companies have embraced this reality and recognize the importance of effectively engaging, building and sustaining meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities.

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Barrick facing new allegations of contamination near Veladero mine in Argentina – by Gabriel Friedland (Financial Post – June 13, 2022)

Toronto-headquartered Barrick Gold Corp. is once again facing accusations that its high-altitude Veladero mine in Argentina is releasing toxins into the local water supply — after similar incidents years ago spurred the country to pass legislation and forced the mine to temporarily close.

Located in the Argentinian Andes, Veladero is operated by Barrick but it is jointly owned on a 50-50 basis with China’s Shandong Gold. The mine has faced criticism related to toxic spills in water dating back to at least 2015.

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Canada set to ramp up protectionism against China in critical minerals amid domination by Asian superpower in key metals for clean energy transition – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – June 15, 2022)

Canada is set to take a far more protectionist trade stance against China, as it teams up with the United States and other Western countries in a concerted effort to secure supplies of critical minerals that are key to a lower carbon future.

Since the early 2000s, China has directed its state-owned companies to invest abroad to secure long-term supplies of critical minerals and it has invested billions in Canada as part of that program.

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Gold Fields CEO says investors misunderstand rationale for Yamana takeover as shares swoon – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – June 6, 2022)

Drop in Gold Fields stock leading analysts to question the deal

Gold Fields Ltd. chief executive Chris Griffith called his purchase of Yamana Gold Inc. the “optimum solution” to support his new business strategy. Investors aren’t so sure. Gold Fields shares dropped 23 per cent after Griffith announced his proposed $6.7 billion acquisition of Toronto-based Yamana last week, putting management on the defensive.

Griffith, who was appointed CEO of Gold Fields a year ago and has been leading mining companies since 2008, insisted that investors and analysts have failed to grasp that none of the typical reasons given for industry mergers apply to this deal.

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What is economic reconciliation? – by Michael McPhie and Christy Smith (CIM Magazine – June 03, 2022)

A way forward for Indigenous Peoples and the mining sector

Relationships between the mining sector and Indigenous peoples within Canada and around the world vary across a broad spectrum – from respectful and mutually beneficial to antagonistic and harmful.

Despite these diverse variations, the ways in which the mining sector engages with Indigenous communities is getting better and the future holds significant promise for those companies and individuals who understand how to build and sustain meaningful relationships.

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