Infrastructure Policy Trends: Critical Mineral Mining in Canada


  • Alaz Munzur



Critical minerals are commodities with few effective substitutes like nickel, uranium, copper and cobalt. Their “criticality” depends on factors like market volatility, supply risk, environmental impact and priorities regarding economic development and national security. It is an evolving term and a mineral commodity considered critical now may be less so in the future. These minerals are essential for a functioning economy since they are vital inputs in almost all industries from defence to telecommunications, manufacturing and healthcare, and in clean technologies like electric vehicle batteries and motors, solar panels and nuclear reactors. Historically, China has dominated the marketplace as the major supplier, distributor and processor of critical minerals. This over-reliance on a single supplier has placed countries importing critical minerals at a distinct disadvantage in terms of establishing secure access to a vital group of inputs. However, with the ever-rising global demand for reliable suppliers with high environmental, transparency and anti-corruption standards, Canada is well positioned to become a preferred source of critical minerals for its key trading partners.