Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources says mining’s moment is here

William Gleason

March 1, 2020

As the world moves toward a low-emission future, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan, said he believes that his country will lead the way by supplying the minerals and metals that will be in strong demand.

Speaking at the opening ceremonies of the 2020 Prospectors and Developers Convention (PDAC) in Toronto, Canada on Sunday, O’Regan spoke about the country's ambitious plan to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, while also supporting the industries that are critical to Canada’s economic well-being.

“I learned long ago how essential the minerals and metals sector is to Canada, to our economy and to our future. As our planet tackles a changing climate, we are beginning to see how essential this sector is to the world,” O’Regan said. “Canadian miners are quickly becoming the suppliers of choice for critical minerals, which represent a generational opportunity for Canada to build value-added industries and good homes here — to drive the energy transition the world over, to add to the well-established significance of critical minerals for innovative technologies and national security. You can see why Canada and the United States recently finalized a joint action plan to collaborate on critical minerals to bolster the security of supply chains. It’s not just the United States that is looking to Canada as a trusted partner; we are also in new talks with the European Union and Japan. Mining’s moment is now.”

The rise in popularity of electric vehicles as well as the global push to lower carbon emissions and through a transfer from fossil fuels to renewable energy will be dependent on critical minerals such as rare earths, lithium, nickel, copper, cobalt and others.

“The world needs your sector, more than ever, to play a significant, central role in tackling climate change by supplying the critical minerals for renewable energy, smart grids, LED light bulbs, advanced batteries, solar panels, electric motors, small modular reactors and electric vehicles,” said O’Regan. “While there has been great deal of interest in battery materials, less attention has been paid to the power plant of these batteries, which is a permanent magnet electric motor. Canada can become a leading supplier of rare earths to feed the growing demand for permanent magnetic electric motors.”

The opening ceremony kicked off a four-day conference that includes technical programing, an exhibit floor and an investor’s exchange. The annual conference attracts more than 2,500 investors and about 25,000 attendees.

In addition to the Investors Exchange and the programming focused on capital markets and investing, PDAC also includes programing on exploration highlights, cutting-edge technology and indigenous issues.

“Many of you have been to the North and have seen the North and many of you have seen the living conditions of the indigenous people and know that it should not be that way,” said O’Regan. “How do we lift people up? The answer is economic development, done in a good way. And that is what we are determined to do now.”


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