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Canada cracks down on foreign mining investment to defend national interests

10 july 2024

Canadian authorities plan to implement stringent measures governing foreign capital in the critical minerals mining sector to protect its national interests in the face of global competition from such countries as China.

Canada’s Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said that future mergers and acquisitions involving Canadian critical minerals mining companies would only be sanctioned under “the most exceptional of circumstances”, as reported by Mining Weekly.

He emphasized that while foreign investment remained important for smaller Canadian firms to further exploration and site development efforts, the government's primary focus was on safeguarding national security and economic interests.

Transactions involving important Canadian mining companies engaged in significant critical minerals would be subject to "net benefit" reviews under the Investment Canada Act.

“This high bar is reflective of the strategic importance of Canada’s critical minerals sector and how important it is that we take decisive action to protect it,” Champagne said.

"Canada welcomes foreign investment and recognises its importance," the minister added, but clarified that the country also has to “balance strategic interests while supporting the development of resources.”

Earlier this year, a study conducted by the University of Alberta showed that Chinese investors have continued to pour money into Toronto-listed miners. Canada had forced three Chinese investors to sell their stakes in Canadian critical mineral companies in 2022. Some of these companies did not have their mines in Canada.

Theodor Lisovoy, Editor in Chief, Rough&Polished