Ottawa wants to speed up the approval of mining projects linked to critical minerals

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Ottawa wants to speed up the approval of mining projects related to critical minerals

The federal government wants to encourage the start of mining projects related to the critical minerals sector.

As the environmental world gathers in Montreal for COP15 on biodiversity, Canada seeks to reduce bureaucracy in its mining sector.

The new Critical Minerals Strategy, including Radio -Canada has obtained a copy, to be unveiled Friday in Vancouver by Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.

The Trudeau government wants to accelerate the development of responsible projects in the critical minerals sector, the document reads, in order to attract more investors to a market of the future.

The main problem we are trying to solve is the delays that are slowing down mining projects, says a senior government source.

It can take 5 to 25 years from the discovery of a deposit to the start of a mine, she continues.

Ottawa wants to reduce these delays, but does not yet have objectives in mind on an acceptable target.

The whole process must be accelerated if Canada is to be competitive in a sector of the future, adds a government source.

It is not a question of relaxing environmental rules, adds this source, but rather of reducing bureaucracy, while protecting the environment and respecting indigenous peoples.< /p>

In particular, Ottawa wants to reach an agreement with the provinces and territories to better harmonize environmental impact studies. The federal government also wants to simplify the permit process at all levels of government.

Guy Laliberté, chef of the management in Quebec of the Australian mining company Sayona

An announcement that delights Guy Laliberté, CEO in Quebec of the Australian mining company Sayona, which operates a lithium mine in La Corne, Abitibi.

It takes us 29 different permits before we can open our mine, he says. The government wants to move towards innovation, continues Mr. Laliberté. He wants to help us develop the projects as quickly as possible.

Global demand for critical minerals is skyrocketing because they are essential for making batteries for electric cars and electronic devices, as well as building solar panels and wind turbines.

Critical minerals, such as cobalt, graphite and lithium, are important pillars of the 21st century economy.

Right now, however, China controls 80% of the refining of critical minerals and 77% of the capacity to manufacture battery cells for electric vehicles. The ore is mainly mined in Australia and South America.

Canadian soil is also rich in many of these minerals. But Canada has fallen far behind in exploration, exploitation and processing.

Canada's Critical Minerals Strategy therefore details the actions to be taken in Canada, with the aim of becoming a leader in the field, and of offering an alternative solution to European and American investors seeking reliable sources of supply. .

This is the opportunity of a generation that should not be missed, says the Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, in the preamble to the Strategy.

There are places like China and Russia, suppliers of these minerals, which are increasingly unreliable. There is an opportunity for Canada to provide the resources we all need in the transition to a carbon neutral world, Prime Minister Trudeau said on the sidelines of COP15 in Montreal on Tuesday.

Lithium is used in the manufacture of batteries, essential components of electric vehicles.

For example, a battery supply chain in Canada would have the potential to generate direct benefits of up to $24 billion by 2030 and support the creation of 80,000 jobs.

Taking into account related sectors, the indirect benefits could reach $59 billion and affect 333,000 jobs, the document reads.

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