Ontario plans critical minerals strategy

The government of Ontario is developing a first-critical minerals strategy to benefit its transition to low-carbon energy.
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In 2019, Ontario produced 22% of the entire country’s mineral production. Photo: Vale/Ontario Mining Association

With a planned release date in Autumn, the province said it will be consulting with the industry and Indigenous communities. To inform its strategy, it will release a discussion paper for public consultation and input within the Environmental Registry of Ontario.

In 2019, Ontario produced more than C$10 billion in minerals, or about 22% of the entire country's mineral production. Government officials said Ontario is already well positioned to be a global supplier, producer and manufacturer of nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum group elements and more.

"By developing this strategy, we will strengthen Ontario's position as one of North America's premier jurisdictions for responsibly-sourced critical minerals, including rare earth elements," Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford said.

"We are confident this will generate investment, reduce red tape, create jobs and advance Indigenous participation in the sector. Local and global markets, including Ontario-based industries, are looking for reliable, responsibly-sourced critical minerals and we are ready to capitalize on this growing market demand."

Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, added that Ontario could be a leader in the future of electric vehicle and battery manufacturing as well thanks to an "abundance" of critical minerals found in northern Ontario.

"Recent proposed investments of almost $6 billion over the last several months in Ontario's auto sector will make our province a global hub for EV manufacturing, making us stronger and more resilient as we continue to work towards economic recovery," he said.

A full outline of Ontario's proposed critical minerals can be found here. The discussion paper now open for input can be found here.