The UK and Canada have reached a ‘landmark’ agreement to co-operate on critical minerals such as cobalt and lithium that are essential to the economy and used in almost all modern and green technologies, from solar panels to electric vehicles.

Demand for certain critical minerals is expected to rise by as much as 500% by 2040.

The partnership, announced by Business and Trade Minister Nusrat Ghani MP and Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson, will help make UK manufacturers of cutting-edge technologies more resilient to global shocks by promoting research and development between UK and Canadian businesses, driving innovation and growth.

The announcement comes on a five-day visit to Canada, during which time Minister Ghani will also meet Canadian government counterparts to discuss critical minerals and attend the International Mines Ministers Summit and the closing of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

“Every single one of us depends on critical minerals to make the technology we use in our everyday lives. With a dash for minerals to meet national business needs, it is essential we work to build more resilient supply chains for critical minerals,” said Ghani.

“Through this dialogue, we will work with one of our closest global allies in Canada to build and strengthen our supply chains and boost innovation, securing jobs and growing the UK economy in the process.”

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Canada is the UK’s 13th largest export partner, with UK companies last year exporting £14.1 billion worth of products to Canada.

Canada represents a large opportunity for UK mining and engineering firms, with the country currently producing 60 minerals and metals at 200 mines and 6,500 quarries.

Wilkinson said: “Canada and the United Kingdom share similar goals and values. By collaborating on the development of the critical mineral supply chains that we need to achieve our net-zero future, we can reinforce global energy security, advance the fight against climate change and ensure significant economic opportunity and support good jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

“Today’s announcement is a step forward toward a sustainable and secure clean energy ecosystem.”

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