The Canadian Critical Minerals and Materials Alliance (C2M2A), an industry association aimed at advancing resilient critical materials supply chains for Canada’s cleantech economy, was announced today. The launch of C2M2A builds on the earlier establishment of the Canadian Rare Earth Elements Network (CREEN) in 2013 and its success in building awareness on the growing importance of rare earth elements.
Recent geopolitical developments have underscored the importance of the critical materials supply chains necessary for clean energy, electric vehicles, communications, medical and aerospace applications. A coordinated supply chain consortium, which represents both upstream and downstream critical materials producers (e.g., rare earth elements, lithium, cobalt, graphite and others) will help support policymakers and industry players implement strategies that will enable full Canadian participation in the sector.
Other international jurisdictions including the European Union, Japan, the United States and Australia have already made announcements on their critical materials strategy. Alliance members agree that it is time for Canada to step up and move forward with its own strategy.
Ian London, C2M2A Executive Director, explains, “C2M2A is driven to help frame and implement strategies to establish secure and reliable critical material supply chains security in Canada and, in partnership with others, to ensure Canada’s economic competitiveness and growth.”
Canada is well positioned to implement its vision for a clean energy future because of its enormous critical minerals resource wealth; however, the country must implement a strategy to use this wealth to establish the downstream processing capacity to create the refined materials needed in electric vehicle and battery technologies.
The federal Industry Strategy Council, a forum of experienced business leaders from across Canada assembled by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), recently released the report Restart, recover, and reimagine prosperity for all Canadians. It details the needed focus and investments required to ensure Canada succeeds in a post-COVID global economy and illustrates the importance of investing in critical materials supply chains.
Recent announcements by the federal government with Ford Motors and General Motors on their plans to establish more electric vehicle manufacturing capacity in Canada confirm Canada’s commitment to a low-carbon future. C2M2A will help support further investments in this rapidly advancing sector of the economy, particularly in outlining the effort and costs to build value-creating materials chains in Canada.
“The launch of C2M2A is an important step forward in the evolution of Canada’s mineral industry. Our success as a 20th century economy was largely based on our mineral resource wealth and ability to produce traditional mined commodities at a low cost. But it is now time to recognize that the industry is transitioning to include a whole new group of critical minerals – for which the downstream processing to make the needed derivative products is key to serving the new clean economy. C2M2A can help show policymakers the most successful path forward,” states Don Bubar, President and CEO of Avalon Advanced Materials Inc., one of the Alliance’s founding members.
“From a macro perspective, revitalization and growth in a post-COVID global economic landscape is paramount, in a world that is in transition. Bold and aspirational industrial policies focused on driving climate-beneficial demand and providing security to the industry will attract mid- and upstream Canadian-based critical material supply chains,” notes Boyd Davis, Principal Kingston Process Metallurgy Inc., another of C2M2A’s founding members.
C2M2A is a non-profit, independent organization with a mission to foster and enhance Canada’s role as a leader in the production of critical materials manufacturing in support of the global transition to a low-carbon, clean-growth economy. By focusing on rapidly advancing the establishment of economic critical materials production and manufacturing capacity, Canada will grow its economy, compete globally and continue to protect the environment. C2M2A will enable stakeholders around the country to collaborate on shared priorities while respecting each jurisdiction’s needs and plans, including the need to ensure the continued competitiveness and viability of businesses.