A new report “Critical Minerals: A Critical Look” seeks to expand the conversation around “critical minerals,” to ensure reducing consumption and incorporating other alternatives into an energy transition – like recycling and re-mining – are taken into consideration.
While the federal government has already launched its Critical Minerals strategy, the Province of British Colombia has put forward $6 million in its budget toward developing one.
As B.C. moves forward with its “critical minerals” strategy, it needs to look beyond mining and toward other opportunities. What policies and programs are needed to support re-mining, recycling and urban mining? Can re-mining help to reclaim or close some of the abandoned and orphaned legacy mine sites littered throughout the province? How can B.C.’s strategy look at reducing consumption and link to its circular economy strategy? What investments does B.C. need to keep making in transportation alternatives, such as the recently announced e-bike rebate and investments in active transportation? How can B.C. work with the federal government on ensuring batteries and other technologies are designed with dismantling and recycling in mind?
And for new mines that may open, how are Indigenous rights being respected and free, prior and informed consent achieved in the pursuit of mining critical minerals? What steps are being taken to improve B.C.’s regulatory regime to ensure more responsible mining that minimizes environmental harms and risks?
We can’t just mine our way out of the climate crisis. As “critical minerals” gets lodged into our collective psyche, we need to ensure that policymakers do not just focus on the need for more mines. We hope that this report provides some facts and background information, and stimulates a broader conversation about what is needed for the energy transition.
For media inquiries: Nikki Skuce, Director of Northern Confluence Initiative: [email protected] or 778-210-0117