2021 Q2 Updates from C2M2A:
The Federal Government presented its first budget in two years on April 19th. While there was a general expectation that Cleantech, EVs and critical material supply chains would receive a higher profile, it was recognized that the Government is still fighting a pandemic economy with an eye of revitalizing and building Canada’s future economy. C2M2A, along with others in these sectors, found the strategies and plans somewhat tepid. There are however several investment-funding streams, including providing the ISED’s Strategic Innovation Fund with an incremental $7.2 billion over seven years on a cash basis. This funding is intended to support innovative projects across the economy—including in the life sciences, automotive, aerospace, and agriculture sectors ($2.2B), and $5B to increase funding for the Strategic Innovation Fund’s Net Zero Accelerator, with a focus on scaling up its support for projects that will help decarbonize heavy industry, support clean technologies and help meaningfully accelerate domestic greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030.
The Budget also includes tax incentives for those adopting clean technologies, R&D ($36.8 million over three years to Natural Resources Canada) and national critical material coordination (initially titled ‘Critical Battery Minerals Centre of Excellence) at Natural Resources Canada to coordinate federal policy and programs on critical minerals, and work with provincial, territorial, and other partners. The Centre would also help implement the Canada-U.S. Joint Action Plan). The Federal Budget can be found at https://www.budget.gc.ca/2021/home-accueil-en.html
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources & Critical Materials
C2M2A’s Executive Director appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on February 19th, along with senior representatives of NRCan, MAC and PDAC Mining Association of Canada. The Standing Committee is undertaking a study on positioning Canada as a responsible source in critical minerals and battery value chains in support of renewable energy and clean technology in the post-COVID-19 economy. C2M2A member Avalon Advanced Materials’ Don Bubar appeared at the session, along with the Battery Metals Association of Canada (BMAC) and Benchmark Minerals Intelligence on February 22nd. The Committee has met six times on the matter of Critical Materials.
Collaborating with other Canadians
- Canada Cleantech ‘Week On The Hill’ — April 6th – 9th C2M2A was a bronze sponsor of the weeklong event, which was led by Canadian CleanTech Industry Association (CCTIA) and its Ontario chapter – OCTIA. Canada Cleantech’s Week on the Hill featured a series of discussions with key policy makers and political leaders around Canada’s path toward a clean, resilient economy. Guests included Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Dan Albas, Shadow Cabinet Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Conservative Party of Canada, Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the NDP, and Marc Serré, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources. Canada’s promising cleantech industry is primed for growth with 82,000 employees and annual revenues of $17 billion. It is important that C2M2A and its alliances collectively educate key policy makers across the political spectrum about the enormous economic potential of the cleantech and critical material supply chain sectors and their ongoing opportunities and challenges.
- Battery Metals Association of Canada (BMAC) – C2M2A participated in a one-day virtual workshop hosted by BMAC on March 31st in support of their objective of bringing together industry, academia and government in building a collaborative approach under the banner Maximizing Canada`s battery metals sector – building a thriving ‘mines to the mobility’ supply chain. (of providing industry input for a planned white paper. ?)The workshop commenced with a brief sector overview followed by three breakouts sessions with an eye on supporting the development of a sector eco-system map. Discussions focused on needed tax incentives, exports and regulations to support market development, and R&D.
- Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Supply Chain Alliance – C2M2A is in discussions with a group of industry organizations interested in establishing a ZEV Supply Chain Alliance, a 5-year national initiative bringing together key players across Canada, from mining to mobility, from R&D to commercialization, and from vehicle assembly to infrastructure. The alliance would be focused on establishing a forum for members to collaborate, strategize and advocate for priorities that will support the accelerated development of a ZEV supply chains in Canada. It is strongly believed that Canada can capitalize on the global move to zero emission vehicles by leveraging its strengths in the emerging ZEV supply chain, not only retaining its automotive footprint but expanding into new areas of value-added manufacturing. C2M2A believes it is important that companies along the supply chain organize and align themselves on the policies, programs, and support needed to ensure its growth and success.
- TC298 REEs – Progress continues to be made with several standards, including the publication of its first standards. A Traceability standard, the development of which was jointly led by Canada and Australia over the past 3 years, is in its final stage of editing. The Working Group focused on Testing & Analysis continues to be very active with nine individual standards under development. The Technical Committee, on which there are now 11 Participating Member countries with the UK and Russia recently joining, is now discussing how to best approach developing a standard related to Sustainability as applied to REEs.
- ISO/TC333 Lithium – Canada is one of 18 Participating Member countriesto more recently launch this ISO Technical Committee effort todevelop standards in the areas of lithium mining, concentration, extraction, separation, conversion to useful lithium compounds/materials (including oxides, salts, metals, master alloys, lithium-ion battery materials, etc.), recycling and reuse. Lithium battery standards are not covered under TC333. The chair of the Canadian Mirror Committee is Chris Doornbos, CEO of e3 Metals.
- Strategic Advisory Group on Critical Materials (SAGCM) — Under the leadership of the Australians, the ISO is about to launch this new initiative for ISO members to collaboratively explore challenges, opportunities and priorities for standardization across the broad category of critical minerals. This approach aims to provide a mechanism to take a more holistic view of ISO members’ priorities for standardization in the critical minerals sector and collaboratively determine a path forward for the development of priority standards, rather than a fragmented approach where each mineral is considered in isolation. The SAGCM will undertake a gap analysis to identify standards relevant to the critical minerals sector that are being developed by existing ISO Technical Committees; and any synergies in the work of existing ISO technical committees relevant to the critical minerals sector and where synergies are identified, consider opportunities to coordinate or collaborate across ISO committees. It is expected, at a minimum, that the scope of the SAGCM’s work would include mining and production of raw materials, and processing steps through to pre-cursor materials. Canada’s John Goode invited to represent ISO 298 REEs on the SAGCM.
UK Canada Collaboration
At the invitation of the UK and encouragement of Canadian Government, a preliminary dialogue has started with a longer-term view on developing and implementing a global regulatory framework to support a circular economy for critical materials. Government approaches can span many different topics and dimensions, such as waste management policies that define and regulate waste, reuse, repurposing, and recycling; standards development of product design to account for recyclability, requirements for product chemistry labelling; and other policy tools to incentivize industry and consumers. There are also those who strongly advocate diverse set of objectives to foster markets for secondary critical materials. When advanced manufacturing technologies, like batteries, electronic motors, and computer hard drives, reach their end-of-life, materials can be recovered and sold back as secondary raw materials, thus shaving some of the pressures on mining and imports of primary inputs.
The UK Science and Innovation Network in Canada (British High Commission in Canada) and the UK’s Critical Minerals Association (CMA) in collaboration with C2M2A and Natural Resources Canada (the latter as an advisory partner) are considering kicking off a series of discussions, with the inaugural topic being introductory in nature (e.g. How government can possibly enable and incentivize the creation of a viable market for secondary materials – through the recovery and recycling of Critical Minerals from End-of-Life Technologies). Timing October 2021
As a backgrounder, the UK Government formally released its Securing Technology Critical Metals for Britain Report at the end of April, and can be found at https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/energy/research/centre-strategic-elements-critical-materials/securing-technology-critical-metals-for-britain.aspx
NRCanada REE Workshop
NRCan hosted another successful half-day workshop on March 25th, with a specific focus REE Separation in North America: Conventional vs. Alternative technologies: Where does the future lie?
Rare Earth Separation. Following REE Separation in North America: Conventional vs. Alternative technologies: Where does the future lie?
The program heard four informative presentations from experts in Canada and the US:
- Context, Challenges and Basics of SX separation (Jean-Francois Boulanger,Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue – UQAT)
- REE SX Separation Technology Development at SRC (Jack Zhang, Saskatchewan Research Council – SRC)
- New Rare Earth Extractants with Enhanced Selectivity and Efficiency (Bruce Moyer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory & Kevin Lyon, Idaho National Laboratory
- Potential Alternatives to Standard SX for REE separation (Clint Cox, President, The Anchor House)
Following the presentations, the delegates were actively engaged in a lively expert panel discussion among Mr. John Goode, (J.R. Goode and Associates), Mr. Constantine Karayannopoulos (Neo Performance Materials) and Gareth Hatch (Innovation Metals Corp.)
In the News
C2M2A continues to be approached by media outlets for comments, including from: the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, the Financial Post, and pre & post budget video interviews on Mining Suppliers Trade Association’s (MSTA) The Dig.
Q1 2021 Progress Report
Our Membership Grows – Cheetah Resources Joins C2M2A
Cheetah Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vital Metals’, is targeting production of rare earth oxide at Nechalacho, near Yellowknife NWT in 2021. Cheetah aims to produce a minimum of 5,000 tonnes of contained REO by 2025 at the project and has signed an off-take agreement with Norwegian company REEtec for its initial production.
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources & Critical Materials
C2M2A appeared before the House of Commons of Canada on February 19th, 2021. C2M2A’s Executive Director joined the discussion panel on Canada’s role as the world renews its push towards low carbon technologies. The Standing Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources is undertaking a study on positioning Canada as a responsible source in critical minerals and battery value chains in support of renewable energy and clean technology in the post-COVID-19 economy. C2M2A appeared with representatives from Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum, Mining Association of Canada and the Prospectors Development Association of Canada.
C2M2A – PanCanadian Collaborative Outreach
Battery Metals Association of Canada (BMAC)
BMAC has a specific focus on Canada`s battery metals supply chain, with a goal of identifying opportunities for collaboration, research, innovation and investment C2M2A has been Invited to participate in its invitation-only virtual working session: Maximizing Canada`s battery metals sector—building a thriving “mines to the mobility” supply chain, set for March 31st. BMAC is in the process of developing a white-paper and will support the development of sector eco-system map. Canada is poised to become a global leader in sustainable energy storage. It too recognizes that every piece of the chain plays an important role in advancing the sector.
Canada Cleantech ‘Week On The Hill’ — April 6th – 9th
Under the leadership of (Canadian CleanTech Industry Association (CCTIA) and its Ontario chapter – OCTIA, Canada Cleantech’s Week on the Hill will feature a series of discussions with key policy makers and political leaders around Canada’s path towards a clean, resilient economy. Canada Cleantech’s Week on the Hill will feature a series of virtual discussions with key policy makers and leaders around Canada’s path towards a clean, resilient economy. With 82,000 employees and annual revenues of $17 billion, Canada’s promising cleantech industry is primed for growth. It is important that we collectively educate key policy makers across the political spectrum about the enormous economic potential of the cleantech sector and its ongoing challenges. C2M2A is a bronze sponsor of the program.
NRCanada REE Workshops
In January of this year, CanmetMINING launched a series of virtual webinars on REE processing and value chains. The second in the series is set for March 25th will focus on REE Separation – Conventional vs. Alternative Technologies. The preliminary agenda has presentations by University of Quebec (UQAT), Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC), Critical Materials Institute (CMI) and the Anchor House, followed by an panel discussion on the best prospect for separation in North America.
The inaugural webinar in the series was held on Jan 26th, 2021 was focused on Metal, Alloy and Magnet-Making. Presentations by KPM and Neo Magnequench were followed by discussion on the steps required to begin to establish this component of an REE value chain in Canada.
- TC298 REEs – Progress continues to be made with several standards with its first standards now formally published. The standard around Traceability (Working Group#3), the development of which was jointly led by Canada and Australia over the past 3 years, is just about complete with its 9th Working Group meeting set for early April. The main Technical Committee’s Working Group #4 — Testing is currently the most active with nine individual standards under development. Its next and 8th meeting of the Working Group is set for March 29/30, 2021. The Technical Committee, on which there are 9 Participating Member countries, is currently considering the scope and approach to standards related to sustainability.
- TC333 Lithium – Canada is one of 18 Participating Member countriesto more recently launch this ISO Technical Committee effort todevelop standards in the areas of lithium mining, concentration, extraction, separation, conversion to useful lithium compounds/materials (including oxides, salts, metals, master alloys, lithium-ion battery materials, etc.), recycling and reuse. Lithium battery standards are not covered under TC333. The chair of the Canadian Mirror Committee is Chris Doornbos of e3 Metals.
Strategic Advisory Board
C2M2A’s has initiated its to establish its Advisory Board, comprised of independent, strategic, high-value leaders from a range of disciplines, to help guide and enhance C2M2A efforts. The Advisory Board is expected to provide unbiased insights and ideas; encourage and support the exploration of new business ideas; networking platform for its members; and impose challenges to improve the Alliance’s vision, mission, strategies and plans. It is anticipated that the Advisory Board be comprised of thought leaders and experts from the industrial, high-tech, material supply chain and policy spheres. Plans call for the Advisory Board to be established by mid-year.
In the News
- C2M2A member Neo Performance Materials and Energy Fuels announced a new rare earth production initiative spanning European and North American critical material supply chains. The initiative is expected to produce value-added rare earth products from natural monazite sands, a by-product of heavy mineral sands mined in the southeastern United States. Energy Fuels will process the monazite sands into a mixed rare earth carbonate in Utah as feed material for Neo’s value-added separated rare earth production plant in Europe. Under an agreement in principle, subject to completion of definitive agreements, Colorado-based Energy Fuels will process natural monazite sands into a rare earth carbonate to subsequently be processed Neo’s Silmet rare earth separations facility in Estonia. Neo will produce separated rare earth materials for use in rare earth permanent magnets and other rare earth-based advanced materials. Toronto-based Neo reports that it to seek to expand and diversify its current supplies of rare earth feedstock at Silmet, the only operational rare earth separations facility in Europe.
- The Australian government released its national manufacturing priority road map several weeks ago, under the banner Resources Technologies and Critical Minerals Processing. The Australian Government is manufacturing a new future for our nation. Manufacturing is critical to a modern Australian economy—a key part of almost every supply chain that adds significant value to all sectors. The report outline road maps for six key areas of focus with industry to set out plans for both industry and Government to strengthen Australia’s manufacturing capability. Apparently, the road maps had been led by industry taskforces to identify and set a future vision for the priority areas with clear goals, opportunities and actions over the next 2, 5 and 10 years. The Modern Manufacturing Initiative is now open for resources technology and critical minerals processing projects that meet eligibility criteria. https://www.industry.gov.au/data-and-publications/resources-technology-and-critical-minerals-processing-national-manufacturing-priority-road-map
Discussions continue with domestic and internationally based organizations in the greater critical material space with an eye to establishing, aligning and strengthen collaborative efforts.
Q4 2020 Progress Report
- Discussions continue both federal and provincial Governments following a series of written submissions in which C2M2A outlined the significant importance, risks and opportunities and suggested strategies surrounding critical material supply chains as it pertains to the Canadian federal government’s economic revitalization and growth plans and initiatives (e.g. demand pull vs. supply push, regulatory improvements, investment and trade policy).
- C2M2A initiated discussions with the UK’s Critical Minerals Association (CMA), Australia’s Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO), the European Raw Material Alliance (ERMA) members with the objective of furthering collaboration on education, process technology and supply chain initiatives.
- Attended critical material meetings at the third annual Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) Raw Materials Dialogue and Industry Round Table (November 16/17, 2020), and Supporting Viable Supply Chains of Critical Materials in the United States and Canada, hosted by the Government of Canada and the U.S. Department of Commerce (November 24, 2020) and the formal launch of the European Raw Material Alliance (ERMA) (September 29, 2020), and e-Mobility Canada’s EV2020 (November 9/10, 2020).
- With the recent major investments by Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited, FCA Canada Inc. and General Motors of Canada Company, there is an increased interest in how best to secure reliable critical material supply chains in this post-COVID economy. To this end, C2M2A attended the Electric Mobility Canada’s EV 2020 Conference, which was held virtually on November 9/10, 2020.
- As a member of the organizing committee, attended the Metallurgy and Materials Society MetSoc successful annual Conference of Metallurgists (COM2020), and the virtual Processing of Critical Materials symposium (October 14/15, 2020). This year’s Critical Materials symposium presented 55 peer-reviewed papers and 42 recorded presentations from both industry and academia. Topics covered the metallurgical processing of rare earths, lithium, scandium, vanadium and other elements by authors from 10 countries.
- Initiated discussions with Electric Mobility Canada (EMC-MEC) a national, Montreal-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of e-mobility. On November 9, EMC and Transition Accelerator (supported by Dunsky Energy Consulting) announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at building a robust, cross-Canada zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) industry supply chain. Discussions focused on possible collaboration recognizing C2M2A’s strong materials supply chain assets and EMC’s EV policy expertise.
- The ISO is considering establishing a Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) on critical minerals to explore challenges, opportunities and priorities for standardization across the broad suite of critical minerals. The aim is to take a more holistic view of ISO members’ priorities for standards development in the critical minerals sector and collaboratively determine a path forward for the priorities, the benefits of distinct and shared standards rather than a fragmented approach where each mineral is considered in isolation. As an active participant on ISO initiatives, C2M2A has been invited to share insights. Practicalities opportunities and potential rubs on the scoping of the SAG terms of references.
- C2M2A initiated and one of five critical materials and supply chain parties, in collaboration with automotive sector players, is engaged in scoping an Automotive Critical Materials Supply Chain Assessment. This assessment, anticipated to be conducted over a 6-9 month period, is to identify priority components in current and new products that are dependent upon high-risk, critical material supplies; identify demand for at-risk supplies of critical minerals and materials (e.g. lithium, cobalt, scandium, rare earths); detail key risks to supply; identify at-risk sourcing and processing links along the auto sector supply chains for each primary material, detailing gaps in processing links and elaborating on possible mitigation strategies; identify cost competitive and carbon-reducing solutions, detailing demand side volumes of relevant critical materials; and pareto priority pathways to establishing reliable supply chains for automotive applications. The assessment would ultimately be headed by a respected automotive material supply chain sector leader with materials and material processing experts called upon from C2M2A expert network.