Cut bureaucracy required for mining permits as Ottawa seeks decoupling from China’s vital mineral supply: expert

Experts say that as Ottawa plans to transition to clean energy and cut itself off from the supply chains of authoritarian nations like China, the government will reduce the bureaucracy involved in issuing permits for critical mineral mining projects. said it should be reduced.

so webinar Hosted by the Macdonald Laurier Institute (MLI) on January 17, Expert recently released Canada’s Critical Minerals StrategyAnnounced in December, $3.8 billion In funding Federal Budget 2022, the strategy serves as a guideline for Canadian mining and processing of critical minerals and rare earth elements.

One of the central aspects of this strategy is streamlining the mining permit process for critical minerals and rare earth elements that are key to the production of batteries and electric vehicles (EVs) for the green energy transition. International Energy Agency (IEA).

The strategy notes that in Canada it currently “takes five to 25 years to reach zero revenue before mining projects are operational and in production,” which requires significant upfront investment and It further impedes important mineral industry projects that can produce slow returns. .

“The instinct of the government is not to improve the permitting process, but to add money to make the bureaucracy a little faster, rather than just cutting the bureaucracy in the first place,” said MLI Senior Fellow Heather Exner- said Mr Pirot. webinar.

“This is a turbulent world, and at some point we need to not only help people get through them, but make these processes easier.”

Exner-Pirot said the strategy was a “good first step” to reduce the regulatory burden, but Ottawa could not be quick enough to build the mines needed to meet the Liberal Party’s net-zero emissions goal. He said it wasn’t working.

Exner-Pirot also explores how Canada and its G7 allies are building supply chains to process critical minerals that are independent of China, which currently controls the refining of most of the world’s critical minerals. I also dealt with the question of what to do. According to the IEA, China’s smelting share is about 35% for nickel, 50-70% for lithium and cobalt, and about 90% for rare earth elements.

Another senior fellow at MLI, Jeff Kucharski, agreed with Exner-Pirot’s view.

“We are expanding into domestic EV production in Canada, but it will be many years, even with a strategy, before we can actually provide all the elements needed for lithium batteries. [production]’, he said, while Canada has only one lithium mine, construction of a new lithium mine in Quebec is just announced January 16th.

“It’s going to be very difficult to get the quantity of products here in Canada and North America to build the entire value chain, which means we will continue to rely on China for years to come,” he added. rice field.

Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen is a reporter for the Epoch Times based in Toronto.