Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson participated in the Canada Investment Forum at PDAC.
Canada is working to ease the permitting process for mining companies so that it does not take several years, the natural resources minister told a conference on Monday.
Canada could consider tax reform offering incentives for investment in clean energy – similar to what the United States has done – in its upcoming budget in an attempt to attract investment to its critical minerals sector, Jonathan Wilkinson told the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference.
“We are reviewing Canada’s regulatory process for clean energy projects including critical minerals,” Wilkinson said.
Canada and its allies, in an attempt to rely less on China, have been looking to diversify their supply chains and find local sources for mining and processing critical metals such as lithium.
Citing the incentives for clean energy investments in the $430-billion Inflation Reduction Act in the United States, Wilkinson said Canada needed a similarly competitive tax environment.
At PDAC, one of the largest mining conferences in North America, mining companies are looking for clues on policy, especially as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration adopts a hawkish stance on China, one of the largest investors in mines around the world.
Some junior mining companies have expressed concerns that Canada’s move to restrict investments from certain countries such as China could hurt their plans.
Industry Minister Francois Philippe Champagne, who was also in attendance, responded that he was not concerned and that a record number of companies were interested in investing in Canada.
“The decision to block the Chinese lithium investments has been well received by our partners and allies around the world.” Champagne said.