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Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan pictured with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in November 2019.
Canada Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan nched the first action plan under the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan (CMMP), detailing the measures put in place to ensure the mining industry seizes opportunities in the “clean-growth century”.

The plan includes specific actions that government is taking to establish Canada as the “leading mining nation in the twenty-first century” and to ensure that the domestic industry benefits from the global shift to clean energy.The CMMP was launched last year as a framework for Canada’s mining vision and targets. The 2020 Action Plan operationalises the CMMP, with similar plans to follow in 2021 and 2022, and thereafter every three years.

“The world needs more of Canada’s valuable, sustainably produced minerals and metals. This action plan begins our work to put Canadian mining on a track to benefit from the global shift to a cleaner and more digitalised economy,” O’Regan said.

 The launch of the action plan at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention, in Toronto, comes only days after the Fraser Institute’s latest Survey of Mining Companies was released. In this year’s survey, no Canadian jurisdiction ranked in the top ten for ‘investment attractiveness’, with the top ten dominated by Australian, US and European jurisdictions. This was the first time in ten years that no Canadian jurisdiction featured in the top.

The 2020 document sets outs initiatives under each of the six strategic directions identified in the CMMP. Among these is a plan for a new pan-Canadian geoscience strategy (PGS) to develop the country’s geological resources, including critical minerals.

Led by the National Geological Survey Committee, the PGS will be a nationwide framework that builds on current geological surveys and leverages next generation technology, big data and other disruptive technologies to develop the country’s resources.

“A country’s geological potential and public geoscience database are major considerations for mineral investment attractiveness. The availability of world-class geoscience knowledge reduces investment risk by allowing explorers to focus their work on areas with the highest probability of success.”

Canada has resources of nickel, cobalt, lithium and graphite – minerals required for lithium-ion batteries, which are key to reducing emissions in the transportation sector.

Other initiatives in the 2020 Action Plan include innovation prize challenges to help develop made-in-Canada solutions to global mining challenges, a mineral literacy hub and a “Canadians of Mining” campaign to build community support for sustainable mineral development and a “Canada Brand for Mining”.

The 2020 plan further includes a commitment to Indigenous procurement conferences and other measures to support Indigenous business development and help deliver long-term benefits for communities.