Abacus found 88% of respondents wanted to see Canada increase its role in producing critical minerals for world markets; 86% wanted to encourage international investment into Canadian critical minerals and metals companies that were sustainability leaders; 83% wanted to encourage domestic production of critical minerals so Canada could compete directly with China; and 81% supported campaigns to promote interest in local critical minerals by drawing attention to the country's high sustainability governance standards.
"Canadians support growing our market share as a preferred global supplier of critical minerals, products and technologies that are essential to building a net-zero economy," said Natural Resources minister Seamus O'Regan. "As we work to emerge from the challenges and uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, Canada's critical mineral resources will lead us to a more competitive and prosperous industry."
Canada is a top-five country in global production of 15 minerals and metals, including several critical minerals essential to new technologies, such as cobalt, copper, precious metals, nickel, uranium.
"We have the potential to expand in lithium, magnesium and rare earths," said MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton.
Recently, Canada and the USA signed a Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration which, among other things, aims to attract greater local investment in mining projects and secure supply chains for important manufacturing sectors.
"Canadians may not all have a detailed knowledge about the mining sector, but they can clearly spot the chance to leverage our advantages in terms of abundant resources and the high standards of responsibility that our industry is known for. They know that winning a bigger share of this growing market means more well-paying jobs and stronger communities," said Gratton.
Demand for critical minerals is growing fast as new applications in the aerospace, defence, telecommunications, computing, and an array of clean-technologies such as solar panels and electric car batteries proliferate. China dominates global supply of the minerals.