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Uranium exploration supported in Canadian critical minerals strategy

The government’s newly released strategy maps out how Canada can seize the “generational opportunity” presented by a global energy transition underpinned by the exploration, extraction, processing, product manufacturing and recycling of critical minerals including uranium.

The Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy was released on 9 December by Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson, who said it will position Canada as “the global supplier of choice for the critical minerals and clean technologies needed for the green, digital global economy”.

Uranium appears on the list of 31 minerals currently considered by Canada to be “critical”. To be on the list, a mineral must either be essential to the country’s economic security and its supply is threatened; required for the national transition to a low-carbon economy; or a sustainable source of highly strategic critical minerals for Canadian partners and allies. The strategy is backed by up to CAD3.8 billion (USD2.8 billion) in federal funding to cover industrial activities from geoscience and exploration to mineral processing, manufacturing and recycling applications, including support for research, development and technological deployment.

The strategy considers opportunities at every stage along the value chain, from exploration to recycling, and is informed by “extensive consultations”. A new 30% Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit will help to support specified exploration expenditures. This tax credit is applicable to specific critical minerals including nickel, lithium, cobalt, graphite, copper, rare earth elements, vanadium and uranium.

The strategy is “clear, focused and action-oriented,” Pierre Gratton, president and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada said. “It articulates an end-to-end industrial strategy that starts with early exploration to mining through to critical manufacturing sectors essential to fighting climate change. It is arguably the most significant industrial strategy the country has seen in decades.”

The strategy aligns with the federal government’s April 2022 budget, in which it promised to establish an investment tax credit for investments in clean technologies, with a focus on net-zero technologies, battery storage solutions, and clean hydrogen, and the Fall Economic Statement released in early November.

Source: World Nuclear News