The Government of Canada has released Budget 2022. Among its measures is up to C$3.8 billion (US$3 billion) to implement Canada’s first Critical Minerals Strategy to capitalize on a growing need for the minerals used in everything from phones to electric cars.
The Budget also allocates more than $3 billion (US$2.4 billion) in funding to make zero-emission vehicles more affordable and to build a national network of charging stations. This includes $1.7 billion over five years to extend the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles program until March 2025 to help more Canadians get behind the wheel of zero-emission vehicles as well as $547.5 million over four years to launch a new purchase incentive program for medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs to help businesses upgrade their fleets.
Critical Minerals. Canada has an abundance of a number of valuable critical minerals; however, these require significant investments to exploit. In Budget 2022, the federal government intends to make significant investments that would focus on priority critical mineral deposits, while working closely with affected Indigenous groups and through established regulatory processes.
Critical Mineral Opportunities in Canada. Source: Budget 2022
These investments will contribute to the development of a domestic zero-emissions vehicle value chain, including batteries, permanent magnets, and other electric vehicle components.
In total, Budget 2022 proposes to provide up to $3.8 billion in support over eight years, on a cash basis, starting in 2022-23, to implement Canada’s first Critical Minerals Strategy.
Critical mineral mining projects are expensive and come with a unique set of challenges that can often include remote locations, changing prices, and lengthy regulatory processes. Specific measures proposed in Budget 2022 to support critical mineral projects include:
Up to $1.5 billion over seven years, starting in 2023-24, for infrastructure investments that would support the development of the critical minerals supply chains, with a focus on priority deposits;
$79.2 million over five years on a cash basis, starting in 2022-23, for Natural Resources Canada to provide public access to integrated data sets to inform critical mineral exploration and development; and
The introduction of a new 30% Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for specified mineral exploration expenses incurred in Canada and renounced to flow-through share investors.
The tax credit would apply to certain exploration expenditures targeted at nickel, lithium, cobalt, graphite, copper, rare earths elements, vanadium, tellurium, gallium, scandium, titanium, magnesium, zinc, platinum group metals, or uranium, and renounced as part of a flow-through share agreement entered into after Budget Day and on or before 31 March 2027.
To help critical minerals projects move forward in Canada, Budget 2022 makes important investments in improving regulatory processes:
Budget 2022 proposes to provide $10.6 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, to Natural Resources Canada to renew the Centre of Excellence on Critical Minerals, which works with provincial, territorial, and other partners, and that will provide direct assistance to help developers of critical minerals navigate regulatory processes and existing support measures.
Budget 2022 also proposes to provide up to $40 million over eight years, starting in 2022-23, to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to support northern regulatory processes.
The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) are the world’s primary listing venues for mining and mineral exploration companies, with more than 1,170 issuers in 2021. Between 2017 and 2021, almost $45 billion of the world’s total equity capital for these mineral exploration and mining companies was raised by companies listed on the TSX or TSXV.
Canada’s list of critical minerals