Driven by advancements and rapidly rising demand for electric vehicles and battery energy storage, interest in battery metals has reached a fever pitch. A build out of the global battery supply chain from mining to recycling is presently under way with regional hubs in Asia and Europe currently leading the way.
Across all segments of the battery metals supply chain, Canadian stakeholders are well positioned to develop and expand their presence. Among numerous advantages, Canada has an abundance of mineral resources, strong ESG standards, advanced clean tech and automotive manufacturing hubs, and well-developed financial centres for extractive industries.
In light of these opportunities, the Battery Metals Association of Canada (BMAC) recently released a report entitled "Maximizing Canada's Battery Metals Sector – Building a Thriving 'Mines to Mobility' Supply Chain" (Report). BMAC is a trade organization established by stakeholders in the battery metals, materials and products industry with the objective of promoting Canada's battery metals supply chain.
Earlier this year, BMAC hosted a virtual workshop for industry stakeholders focussed on addressing barriers to the advancement of the battery metals industry in Canada. BMAC separates the battery metals supply chain into six key components: (1) mining; (2) chemical production; (3) battery components; (4) battery cell manufacturing; (5) end user applications; and (6) recycling.
The Report identifies key barriers within each of the six segments of the supply chain and proposes solutions to move each component forward to build connections across the supply chain. Notable barriers include, among other things:
- prolonged project approval processes,
- high energy and transportation costs related to resource remoteness, and
- global competition from more advanced markets and regional hubs.
Proposed solutions include creating tax and investment incentives, streamlining existing regulations (environmental, project approvals), establishing a national supply chain strategy, and partnering with US stakeholders to create a North American regional hub and market demand.
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