Canada and the USA last week reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening supply chains for critical minerals including uranium in their first working group meetings since finalising a bilateral collaboration agreement earlier this year.
Shawn Tupper, associate deputy minister for Natural Resources Canada, and Cynthia Kierscht, US deputy assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the supply chain for materials deemed essential to both countries’ security and economic growth at the Second Bi-lateral Critical Minerals Working Group meeting, which was held by videoconference.
The two countries discussed the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic on the mining sector and explored opportunities to collaborate on securing access to the critical minerals needed for key manufacturing sectors such as communication technology, aerospace, defence and clean technology, Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan said after the meeting.
“Both of our economies are better off when we work together. By advancing this Joint Action Plan, we are joining forces to secure access to the critical minerals – including uranium, rare earth elements and those needed for next generation batteries – that can play a key role in our economic recovery post COVID-19,” O’Regan said. “These efforts will not only boost our competiveness in global markets and create jobs for Canadians; they will also help to develop cleaner technologies to reach our net-zero targets.”
The bilateral efforts build on an agreement made in June 2019 by the countries’ leaders to develop reliable, integrated North American supply chains for critical minerals. The first meeting of the working group was held in Washington DC in October, and the Canada-US Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration was finalised in January of this year.