Canada teams up with Australia to fend off China in EV battery space

Canada teams up with Australia to fend off China in EV battery space

Article content

Canada has inked an agreement with Australia to work together in developing the minerals needed for the energy transition away from fossil fuels, as both look to reduce their dependence for raw materials on China and pivot more towards friendlier nations.

The non-legally binding agreement means the two nations will work together to extract these minerals responsibly, improve transparency, build partnerships, conduct joint research and development programs and share industry growth models.

Article content

The joint statement said that Canada and Australia share a “like-minded” approach to the development of these minerals and will work together to develop these minerals in a “clean” and “fair” manner.

Canada is looking to build a battery industry as it expects the world to gradually shift away from fossil fuels within the next three decades. Batteries require minerals such as lithium, nickel and graphite, so the government has looked to boost its mining sector in recent years.

It also introduced a policy in 2022 that made it more difficult for foreign companies, especially “non-like-minded” nations, to purchase stakes in Canadian miners involved in producing these critical minerals. For instance, in 2022, it ordered three Chinese companies to divest its shares from three Canadian lithium companies.

Despite this policy, some Canadian junior miners have inked deals with Chinese companies in the last year. Montreal-based SRG Mining Inc. agreed to sell 19.4 per cent of the company to Carbon One New Energy Group Co. Ltd; Vancouver-based Solaris Resources Inc. inked an agreement with Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. to receive $130 million by way of a private placement of common shares; and Vancouver-based Osino Resources Corp. agreed to be bought by Yintai Gold Co. Ltd. for $368 million.

See also  Global edible oil prices moderate, but higher than last year

Article content

The completion of all three agreements will depend upon the federal government’s approval based on the Investment Canada Act.

Australia miners have a big presence in Canada. For example, North American Lithium Inc., the only major lithium producer in Canada, is owned by Sayona Mining Ltd. and Piedmont Lithium Inc., both of which are listed in Australia.

Perth-based Wyloo Metals Pty Ltd., which is run by Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest, bought Canadian junior miner Noront Resources Ltd. in 2022. Wyloo is looking to build a nickel mine in Ontario’s Ring of Fire region.

Melbourne-based BHP Group Ltd. has agreed to invest $14 billion in Saskatchewan to build one of the world’s biggest potash mines. Another Australian mining giant, Rio Tinto Ltd., inked a memorandum of understanding with Canada last year to look for ways in which the miner can contribute to the country’s low-carbon battery industry during the next decade.

Recommended from Editorial

  1. Rio Tinto Ltd chief executive Jacob Stausholm was the keynote speaker at the PDAC mining convention in Toronto, Sunday.

    Rio Tinto eyes Canada in hunt for lithium

  2. A person attending the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada mining conference in Toronto last year uses a loupe to examine gold embedded in rock. This year's edition of the event, which attracts miners from around the world, kicks off this weekend in Toronto.

    PDAC 2024: 5 things to keep in mind

  3. Stationary nickel mining equipment at a suspended mine in New Caledonia. Nickel prices dropped 29.1 per cent in 2023.

    Why do nickel prices suck?

“We will also work together with like-minded partners to respond to changing geopolitical realities so they do not negatively impact our pursuit of these goals,” a statement from Natural Resources Canada said.

• Email:

Bookmark our website and support our journalism: Don’t miss the business news you need to know — add to your bookmarks and sign up for our newsletters here.

Share this article in your social network

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *