Province’s first critical minerals strategy positions Ontario as global leader

Ontario releases new critical minerals strategy that will support a made-in-Ontario electric vehicle and battery supply chain.

In an exciting week for the critical raw materials manufacturing sector, the Australian government has supplied a large budget to this sector under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, and the providence of Ontario, Canada is also making headlines. As innovation and technology drive dramatic changes to the world’s economy, Ontario is positioning itself to be a global leader in supplying the critical minerals that will fuel that change with the release of its first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy.

“The Critical Minerals Strategy is our government’s blueprint to connect industries, resources and workers in our province’s North to the future of manufacturing in the South as we build up home-grown supply chains,” explained Premier Doug Ford. “Doing so has never been more important as we secure game-changing investments in our auto sector to build the electric vehicles and batteries of the future using Ontario minerals.”

Ontario’s critical minerals strategy

Ontario’s supply of critical minerals, processing capabilities, and proximity to North American manufacturing hubs makes the province an ideal place for mineral exploration and investment. The Critical Minerals Strategy is a five-year roadmap to better connect the mines in the North with the manufacturing sector in the South, in particular to Ontario-based electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturing. It will also tap into new and growing markets, including EVs, batteries, telecommunications, and national defence. Therefore, this will secure Ontario’s place in the global supply chain for decades to come.

The strategy focuses on six priorities:

  • Enhancing geoscience information and supporting critical minerals exploration;
  • Growing domestic processing and creating resilient local supply chains;
  • Improving the regulatory framework to make the mining industry more globally competitive;
  • Investing in innovation, research, and development;
  • Building economic development opportunities with Indigenous partners; and
  • Growing labour supply and developing a skilled labour force.

Investments to discover mines of the future

To ensure companies have the tools they require to discover future mines, the province is investing $24m over three years in Ontario’s Junior Exploration Program, which includes $12m for a critical minerals funding stream. Additionally, the province is also investing $5m over two years in a new critical minerals innovation fund that will support research for extraction and processing in the North.

“We believe there is an incredible opportunity to connect our Northern and Southern economies to build a made-in-Ontario supply chain for emerging technologies such as EVs,” commented Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “Our government is building an advanced manufacturing supply chain that will create economic opportunities for Ontarians across the province, including Indigenous communities. We want the world to know that Ontario is ready to supply our allies with a reliable source of critical minerals.”

Environmentally responsible critical material developments

Geopolitical forces are fuelling a surging demand for reliable sources of critical minerals in international and North American markets. Ontario’s world-class environmental, social, and governance standards make it the perfect destination for environmentally responsible investors. Ontario is ready to benefit from the global shift to a cleaner economy.

“Ontario has what it takes to develop and build the car of the future through emerging technologies and advanced manufacturing processes,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. “Through our Driving Prosperity plan and our first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy, our government is staking Ontario’s claim to the emerging North American EV battery industry and positioning the province to leverage its critical mineral wealth.”

Critical minerals have a variety of strategic uses, including smartphones, batteries for EVs, pharmaceuticals, and solar cells. The Critical Minerals Strategy will strengthen Ontario’s supply chains, attract new investment in the mining and manufacturing sectors, and build economic development opportunities for Indigenous partners.

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