US, Canada and others enter pact to secure critical minerals
As demand for critical minerals continues to rise across the globe, the United States, Canada and other countries have established a new partnership aimed at securing the supply chain of the minerals that are essential for clean energy and other technologies.
The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that it will work with the partnership that includes Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Commission to secure minerals such as nickel, lithium and cobalt.
Massive amounts of these minerals will be needed to meet the United States’ emissions reduction goals, Jose Fernandez, under secretary for economic growth, energy and the environment at the State Department, told Reuters.
“You will need six times more lithium by 2050 than you use today in order to meet the clean energy goals,” Fernandez said. He said Canada “is an important supplier of critical minerals.”
These minerals are key inputs in batteries, electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, and are also used in products ranging from computers to household appliances.
The Minerals Security Partnership will aim to help “catalyze investment from governments and the private sector for strategic opportunities … that adhere to the highest environmental, social, and governance standards,” the State Department said in a statement.
The U.S. government has been working with Canada to boost regional supply chains to counter China’s dominance in the sector.
Critical minerals are “a generational economic opportunity for Canada if we get it right,” Canada’s natural resources minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, said in a phone interview. He spoke from Toronto’s Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference.