Quebec will pump $90 million through 2025 into mining companies in an effort to become a big player in the global market for critical and strategic minerals. Details are spelled out in the “Québec Plan for the Development of Critical and Strategic Minerals 2020-2025”, which was released on October 29, 2020. The announcement makes good on a commitment in the March 10, 2020 provincial budget.
Minerals like rare earth elements, lithium and niobium are needed in the manufacture of everything from electric vehicles to mobile phones, and the Quebec government believes they can be mined and processed profitably and responsibly within the province. It has released a list of 22 minerals that it believes hold the most promise.
Elements of the new plan include:
- exploring Quebec’s critical and strategic mineral potential through mapping and data collection
- creating a research and development network that will unite all the stakeholders in the field
- financially supporting projects in exploration, transformation, recycling, artificial intelligence as well as research and development
- developing and consolidating transportation, energy and telecommunications networks
- recycling and reusing critical and strategic minerals
- promoting Quebec internationally as a responsible partner for the supply of strategic and critical minerals
- raising the population’s awareness on the importance of strategic and critical minerals in their daily lives.
The Québec Mining Association believes Quebec is well positioned to take advantage of this emerging market. In a statement, the Association boasts that Quebec has some of the world’s richest mineral resources and qualified workers, and its ethical, responsible and respectful approach to mining will make it attractive to investors and consumers of these minerals. The Association also applauds the government’s decision to focus on data collection, research and development.
“If battery and electric vehicles manufacturers are serious about sourcing products from responsible sources, Québec is an obvious choice. The action plan provides extra leverage, since it confirms that the government will support efforts to promote Québec’s mining sector and assist people who choose to invest in Québec,” said Association President and CEO Josée Méthot in a statement.