Canada and the US are working on a joint initiative to meet US’ demand of rare earth minerals. These talks come on the heels of the US levying heavy tariffs on Chinese goods, which, in turn, led to China signaling restrictions on supplies of rare earth materials.
China accounts for 70pc of global production of rare earths with control on 90pc of the market valued at $4bn. China supplies 17 elements to the US’ list of 35 vital minerals and metals. However, with the trade talks being delayed to late 2020, Canada is poised to supply 13 elements including copper, cobalt, tellurium, cesium, and rubidium to the US. Canada also has the world’s largest reserves of potash in the world.
Canada is studying it’s prospects to supply the US’ need for rare earths in energy and defense applications. Around 52pc of Canada’s minerals and metals shipments are to the US.
Foreign investments in Canada increased by 70pc last year to $55bn, of which $13mn was invested in the energy and mining industry. The country is set to achieve overall exports of $284bn by 2025.
US’ import list includes 100pc of cesium and rubidium from Canada. It also imports potash, tellurium, uranium, aluminum, indium, vanadium, niobium, titanium, magnesium, tungsten, and graphite from its North American neighbor.
The initiative would also focus on R&D and data sharing, enhanced mineral supply chains, stronger defense industrial base and enhanced trade and cooperation between the two countries.
Other nations readying to supply the US with sensitive resources are Australia and Japan.