Sander Grieve and Zee Derwa comment in The Northern Miner (TNM) on the Canadian government's new approach to Chinese investment in Canada's critical minerals sector. The new policy says that significant transactions by foreign SOEs in the sector will only be approved on an exceptional basis.

TNM reports that soon after the new guidelines were released, three Chinese firms were ordered to sell their stakes in three Canadian junior mining companies.

Zee tells TNM he sees the new approach as a "significant" policy shift, and said there was no precedent for the divestment order. "Prior to these ordered divestments there hadn't been a case where a critical mineral asset was ordered to be divested in Canada." Zee noted that Shandong Gold Mining's proposed takeover of TMAC Resources in 2020 was rejected because of the strategic Arctic location of TMAC's Hope Bay project.

Sander says with the Canadian government's new policy, "There appear to be a class of investors that are being cautioned that their investment may not be welcome in Canada at this point. I think the question that industry's got to have top of mind is if that decision is made by the government that there are certain investors we don't want, what will be done to encourage the investors we do want, as we clearly are creating a hole in the Canadian economy for the development of projects?"

"There's been a lot of focus on China in particular in this policy, but it is an SOE policy and there are a lot of SOEs in the broader global economy from various states, so this should be expected to have wider implications for foreign direct investment into Canada and into Canadian companies."

Canada Draws a Line on Critical Minerals, but Leaves Unanswered Questions is written by Alisha Hiyate.

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