Ottawa [Canada]: Canada has ordered three Chinese firms to exit critical minerals deals with its companies, citing national security concerns.
Canada’s Science and Industry minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said the decision was made after reviewing a number of investments in Canadian companies engaged in the critical minerals sector, including lithium.
“While Canada continues to welcome foreign direct investment, we will act decisively when investments threaten our national security and our critical minerals supply chains, both at home and abroad. In accordance with the ICA (Investment Canada Act), foreign investments are subject to review for national security concerns, and certain types of investment–such as those in the critical minerals sectors–receive enhanced scrutiny,” Champagne said in a written statement late Wednesday.
This decision comes as China continues to dominate the rare earth elements around the world, while the west is pushing towards self-reliance in the procurement of scarce metals and minerals.
However, China does not produce a lot of the minerals, and has instead invested heavily in overseas mines in places like Canada to acquire the raw materials it needs, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported. Western countries are now trying to upend China’s dominance in the field and create a new supply chain.
The Canadian government said these companies were reviewed via the multi-step national security review process, which involves rigorous scrutiny by Canada’s national security and intelligence community.
“As a result of that process, the Government of Canada has ordered the divestiture of the following investments by foreign investors in Canadian critical mineral companies: Sinomine (Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources Co., Limited is required to divest itself of its investment in Power Metals Corp; Chengze Lithium International Limited is required to divest itself of its investment in Lithium Chile Inc; and Zangge Mining Investment (Chengdu) Co., Ltd. is required to divest itself of its investment in Ultra Lithium Inc,” the statement added.
Ottawa said the government’s decisions are based on facts and evidence and on the advice of critical minerals subject matter experts, Canada’s security and intelligence community, and other government partners.
“Critical minerals are essential to powering the green digital economy of tomorrow. Increasing demand for these all-important minerals are presenting Canada with a generational economic opportunity,” the statement said.
It added the Canadian government is committed to seizing that opportunity while delivering on the country’s ambitious climate goals.