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Government of Canada adds phosphorous to Critical Minerals List

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Fertilizer,

Critical minerals, and the clean technology and energy sources they enable, present a generational economic opportunity for Canada. Canada’s Critical Minerals List is a key resource in determining where to focus Canadian efforts related to sustainable mining exploration and extraction, advanced manufacturing, clean technology, as well as information and communications technologies and semiconductors. Critical minerals are the building blocks for the green and digital economy and demand for them will only grow throughout the global energy transition.

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, has announced that the Critical Minerals List has been reviewed and updated following substantial consultations to focus efforts in developing robust critical minerals value chains. To determine which minerals are considered critical, Canada released its first Critical Minerals List in March 2021 with a commitment to review the minerals identified as critical every three years. The list guides federal policy and programmes and signals government areas of priority to stakeholders. Public consultations took place with provincial and territorial governments, other government departments, industry, Indigenous groups and other interested or affected stakeholders.

An analysis was undertaken to review all minerals included in the 2021 Critical Minerals List and consider potential candidates for addition. These analyses resulted in an updated Critical Minerals List that retains all 31 minerals from the 2021 list and an additional three minerals, namely high-purity iron, phosphorous and silicon metal, for a total of 34 critical minerals. These materials are integral to a variety of products, critical to the energy transition are often those in short supply and they are those that are critical to our future economic prosperity.

For example, silicon metal is essential to the manufacture of chips and semiconductors, used in almost any and everything electronic. High-purity iron ore is essential to green steel and integral to decarbonisation. Phosphorus combined with potash is essential for food security through the production of fertilizers. Phosphorus can also be used in Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries, another strategic opportunity in the EV value chain for Canada.

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