Australia-Canada unite on critical minerals front 

Australia and Canada have united to improve transparency in critical minerals supply chains and promote recognition of strong environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards across the sector. 

The handshake agreement follows talks between Australia Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King and Canada’s Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson in Toronto — which was host to this year’s Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) during 3-6 March 2024.

In a joint statement released on 5 March 2024, both ministers outlined a suite of shared priorities of the global mining industry built on promoting better ESG standards, which King says needs to be understood by consumers and investors looking to reduce their carbon footprint. 

King adds prices paid for Australian minerals need to recognise that Australian workers enjoy the best conditions and the highest safety standards. 

“Australia and Canada have a shared interest in promoting open and transparent markets for critical minerals which are crucial for clean energy technology that will help the world lower emissions and address climate change. 

Following our talks in Toronto, our two countries have agreed to advocate for robust ESG credentials to be built into global critical minerals supply chains and drive transparent and traceable supply chains.”

In a statement posted to X (formerly Twitter) yesterday (6 March 2024), Wilkinson stated both countries will work to “secure essential mineral supply chains, fight climate change, and create sustainable jobs in both countries”.

According to King, both nations have also agreed to explore joint research and development exchanges and investment, and to share information and best practices on shared priority economic inclusion and benefit sharing with Indigenous peoples. 

Other key takeaways from these discussions include the support of bilateral mining and service sector trade and investment, as well as ensuring that common values are accurately reflected through multilateral fora to avoid overlap and ensure complementarity. 

Canada’s Department of Natural Resources and Australia’s Critical Minerals Office within the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, will lead the aforementioned work, as well as coordinate policies and investments to support the shared priorities.   

Canada and Australia are both global leaders in minerals extraction and home to advanced exploration projects for battery metals, such as lithium and graphite, as well as rare earth elements and other critical minerals that are vital inputs for electric vehicles and the clean technology sectors. 

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: DISR
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.