The government’s goal is for Québec to become a leader in the production, transformation and recycling of critical and strategic minerals (CSMs), also called minerals for the future, in partnership with local and Indigenous communities.
The Québec Plan for the Development of Critical and Strategic Minerals 2020-2025 (PDF 3.51 Mb) outlines the actions planned to achieve this goal, which include:
- Exploring Québec’s CSM potential through mapping and data collection;
- Creating a research and development network that will unite all the stakeholders in the field;
- Financially supporting projects in exploration, transformation, recycling, artificial intelligence as well as research and development;
- Develop and consolidate transportation, energy and telecommunications networks throughout Québec’s territory;
- Recycling and reusing critical and strategic minerals;
- Promoting Québec internationally as a responsible partner for the supply of strategic and critical minerals;
- Raising the population’s awareness on the importance of strategic and critical minerals in their daily lives.
The Plan takes into account the high standards of environmental protection as well as occupational health and safety already in place. Numerous tools are available to businesses and local and Indigenous communities to promote the social acceptability of projects.
Critical and strategic mineral development will allow Québec to continue its energy and technological transition as well as create quality jobs in regions, while contributing to the development of a greener economy.
The circular economy: creating wealth differently
The circular economy is at the core of the Plan. The recovery and recycling of critical and strategic minerals will be encouraged. The goal is to reuse or recycle tailings or goods components by giving them a second life.
Here are some examples of projects or studies related to critical and strategic mineral recycling that have received financial support from the Gouvernement du Québec:
The Plan in action
Since its implementation in the fall of 2020, a number of investments and actions related to measures from the Plan have been deployed, thus promoting development and innovation in strategic and critical mineral projects in Québec. Some examples include:
- A pilot project on the development of mineral traceability mechanisms for batteries (link in French).
- A partnership between the Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage of Hydro-Québec’s research institute and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California to create the “future’s battery” (link in French).
- The construction of a commercial demonstration plant (link in French) for the production of scandium oxide.
- Financial assistance for research in the mining sector (link in French) to fund a new line of research to support technological innovation and the development of new processes to address the environmental and technical challenges of critical and strategic mineral development.
- Mapping (link in French) of research actors active in the critical and strategic minerals sector.
Public consultation process
The government has held a public consultation on the development of critical and strategic minerals in Québec. From November 19, 2019, to February 7, 2020, 6 meetings were held in the regions of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Capitale-Nationale, Côte-Nord, Montréal, Nord-du-Québec and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. The purpose was to survey regional stakeholders and Indigenous communities on the orientations that the government should adopt. Overall, 140 participants from the municipal, industrial, mining and environmental sectors participated in this consultation. Social acceptability, mineral recycling, the circular economy and the contribution of partners were the central themes of numerous exchanges.
A summary of this work has been published. It presents the different points of view expressed not only during regional meetings, but also in online questionnaires and filed briefs.
See the feedback summary (PDF 211 Kb)