France: Raw Materials Agreements With Canada and Australia

by | 28. Sep 2023 - 12:34 | Politics

European country adopts agreements to secure access to critical minerals.

France has signed agreements with Australia and Canada for closer cooperation in the raw materials sector. Therefore, French Energy Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher met with Resources and Northern Australia Minister Madeleine King and Canadian Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson on Wednesday. The bilateral decisions came on the sidelines of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Summit on Critical Minerals and Clean Energy in Paris.

France’s cooperation with Canada and Australia is to include mining, processing, and recycling of critical minerals. France needs metals such as lithium, cobalt, and copper to meet its national climate goals and for use in its defense industry. To that end, the government is relying on recycling and mining raw materials in its own country (document in French), in addition to diversifying and securing supply sources. In May this year, the European country also set up a two-billion-euro critical metals fund (2.1 billion dollars) to secure the minerals it needs for the energy transition.

Two Emerging Raw Material Suppliers With High Standards

Australia and France plan to jointly assess both countries’ needs for batteries and rare earth magnets in a critical raw materials supply study by the end of the year. As we reported, Australian Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King plans to promote Australian raw materials during her trip to Europe. In Paris, she highlighted her country’s stringent environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards for mining. Australia has set a goal of becoming a globally important supplier of critical minerals by 2030.

Alongside Australia, Canada also wants to establish itself as a major supplier of raw materials. Canada’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, emphasized that his resource-rich country has a vibrant mining sector as well as meeting world-leading ESG standards. Establishing resource partnerships with allies is also part of Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy. Germany is also interested in important resources from Canada.

Photo: iStock/MasterLu

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