Critical minerals

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As global uncertainty accelerates the race to Net Zero, Canada has emerged as a rare stable source of the raw materials needed to fuel the world's energy transition. 

Already regarded as global leader in mining, Canada is among the top five worldwide producers of over 14 different metals and minerals. When it comes to critical minerals, however, the country presents a uniquely compelling opportunity.

Below are just a few of the attributes that have begun to grab the attention of mining companies, investors and manufacturers the world over:

  • Abundant reserves: Canada is home to significant deposits of many of the raw materials needed to fuel the global energy transition. Of lithium alone, the country has proven reserves of 530,000 tonnes – enough to place it sixth in the global rankings and accounting for 2.5 per cent of the world's known reserves of the metal in 2020.
  • World leader in ESG: Canada continues to set a high global benchmark for environmental, social and governance standards surrounding mining, an increasingly attractive quality for global investors.
  • Level playing field: Canada has taken action in response to concerns over China's critical minerals supply chain dominance. Following the launch of a new Investment Canada Act policy targeting foreign state-owned companies, the government ordered three Chinese firms to divest from Canadian critical minerals companies. This potentially opens the door to other global players looking to fill the void.
  • Incentives for ­manufacturers: The United States' Inflation Reduction Act offers purchasers of electric vehicles (EVs) a US$7500 tax credit if 40 per cent of the critical mineral content in their vehicle's battery was extracted or processed in the US, or countries with which the US has a free trade agreement – including Canada. This threshold will increase to 80 per cent by 2026.

    In addition, the recent successful negotiations of leading EV manufacturers for significant government subsidies, principally directed toward the development of EV battery plants, gives manufacturers yet another reason to consider Canada for their operations.


In light of such opportunities, in 2022 Canada announced its $3.8-billion Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy – a clear testament to the country's intention of establishing itself as a reliable global supplier of choice.

Notably, among the key pillars of the federal strategy is a new 30 per cent critical minerals exploration tax credit, boosting Canada's position as one of the mining world's lowest effective tax rate jurisdictions.

Ready to learn more about critical mineral opportunities in Canada? Read our report, Mission critical: The role of critical minerals in facilitating and accelerating the global energy transition.

Let's begin a conversation.

We understand the importance of critical minerals for your business. And we're here to help.

A full-service law firm, Gowling WLG is equipped to advise on all aspects of Canada's critical minerals landscape – from initial exploration and financing to ongoing operational and regulatory issues. With 19 offices around the world, we are also uniquely positioned to help foreign companies discover the rewards of Canada's natural resources economy.

Contact a member of our team today to begin a discussion.