Fasken report: Critical minerals and Canada’s shift to clean energy

Among Canadian jurisdictions, Quebec stands out for its enthusiasm about creating a green economy. It has ambitions to reduce the province’s dependence […]
Fasken is publishing a series of articles about how federal, provincial and territorial government actions will affect the mining sector as it shifts to clean energy. Credit: redmal via iStock.

Among Canadian jurisdictions, Quebec stands out for its enthusiasm about creating a green economy. It has ambitions to reduce the province’s dependence on fossil fuels and provide critical and strategic minerals for the electrification of the economy, and is the only province or territory in Canada that has completed a plan dedicated specifically to critical and strategic minerals.

Quebec's plans are the subject of the latest in a series of articles from leading mining law firm Fasken on how Canada can pivot to critical minerals and clean energy sources.

Fasken’s reports are intended to bring fresh insights about clean energy in the context of the mining sector, the environment, Indigenous people, climate change, tax issues, and national security.

The latest series, titled “The Role of Critical Mineral in the Energy Transition: a Canadian Perspective,” will total seven articles, three of which are available on the Fasken website.

“In this series we review what the Canadian government and provincial and territorial governments have done and plan to do to ensure that Canada can produce enough of these critical minerals to help power the energy transition,” the authors write. They add that their focus is largely on the topic of regulatory certainty: “Can mining companies expect an expeditious permitting process, or will there be opposition to the development of lithium, cobalt or manganese mines similar to other mining projects? Will public authorities greenlight these projects quickly to support the energy transition or will we witness a business-as-usual approach?”

The first article provides an overview, examining the initiatives that the Canadian federal government has taken so far to encourage the exploration and mining of critical and strategic minerals. The second article examines what Quebec has done, and the newly released third article examines the initiatives taken by the Ontario, the most active mining jurisdiction in Canada.

Future instalments will examine what the governments of British Columbia, the Prairies provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba), the Atlantic provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia), and the territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) have done or propose to do.

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