Canadian critical minerals projects have been offered cash by the U.S. during Biden’s visit

Representative image of Canada’s Critical Minerals. Image credit: by USGS on Unsplash

Ottawa/CMEDIA: With a goal is to accelerate  development of a critical minerals industry in North America, funds would reportedly be delivered this spring by the U.S. military to critical minerals projects in both the U.S. and Canada, media reports said.

Intensifying rivalry with China, the U.S. has set aside hundreds of millions of dollars under a program called the Defence Production Act to reduce its reliance on its adversary for materials needed to power electric vehicles, electronics and many other products.

The Pentagon already has told Canadian companies they would be eligible to apply and added that the cash would arrive as grants, not loans.

Companies from both countries will be eligible this spring for money from a $250 million US fund, the White House and the Prime Minister’s Office announced.

Canadian officials have provided the U.S. with a list of at least 70 projects that could warrant U.S. funding.

Canadian semiconductor projects would be eligible, said Biden for access to another Defence Production Act program.

Billions of dollars to the sector have also been promised by Canada.

Biden suggested the value-added transformation jobs from this future sector would go to the U.S.

It is still unclear how quickly this sector will grow in Canada, and whether it would become a major player in providing raw materials for growing fleets of electric vehicles.

The Canadian government has been told by some business groups to speed up permitting times to ward of risking losing this opportuity.

Numerous measures have been proposed by the Mining Association of British Columbia, for example, to alleviate what it called interminable delays.

“The permitting and authorization processes that regulate mining projects are too cumbersome, untimely and inconsistent with the urgent need,” it was reported saying in a recent briefing paper.

The federal government has promised to speed things up.

“It cannot take us 12 to 15 years to open a mine in this country. Not if we want to achieve our climate goals,” Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson reported saying late last year.

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