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Canada, France boost critical minerals co-operation

Proposed deal builds on previous Canada-EU agreements
Canada and France will seek mutual collaboration in industrial and academic research and development as part of a new agreement focused on critical minerals.

The governments of Canada and France have agreed to work on deepening their bilateral cooperation on critical minerals, the group of key metals and minerals necessary for the world to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Canada’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, and France’s Minister of Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, said their dialogue aims to achieve three main objectives.

The first is securing Canadian and French critical minerals supplies and promoting investment.

The countries also will seek mutual collaboration in industrial and academic research and development.

The third objective, they said, is to boost global environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards across the mining, processing and recycling of critical raw materials.

“Canada can be the global supplier of choice for critical minerals and the clean energy and technology they enable,” Minister Wilkinson said in a statement. “By deepening our collaboration with like-minded countries like France, we are securing important supply chains and supporting jobs and investment on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The proposed cooperation builds on previous agreements and supports the objectives of the Canada-EU Strategic Partnership on Raw Materials, established in June 2021.

Last week, Canada and Japan signed a similar deal to establish “sustainable and reliable global battery supply chains.”

Earlier this month, a unit of South Korea’s Solus Advanced Materials said it would build a copper foil facility in the province of Quebec, producing technology for EV batteries.

The announcement coincides with news of Swedish battery manufacturing giant Northvolt’s to build a multibillion-dollar electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Quebec, The facility will be the company’s first outside of Europe.