"In Rush for Key Metals, Canada Ushers Miners to Its Fragile North"

"Canada is offering incentives to mining companies to dig in its northern regions for the critical minerals needed for EVs and solar panels. But based on past abuses, critics fear carbon-rich peatlands will be lost, wild rivers polluted, and enormous cleanup projects left behind."

"In the wilderness north of Great Slave Lake, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, mining companies are eyeing a potential treasure trove of critical minerals as demand for lithium, nickel, graphite, and copper has risen sharply to meet the needs of the burgeoning electric vehicle and solar power industries.

The cost of mining in this and many other roadless parts of northern Canada used to be prohibitive. That changed last December, when the Canadian government announced its highly anticipated Critical Minerals Strategy, which offers mining companies generous tax breaks, $3 billion in additional funding incentives, and a promise to fast-track the federal environmental impact review process.

While the strategy is being touted as a way of helping the world transition to a post-carbon economy, some environmentalists fear that it will result in drained wetlands, diverted streams, and the disturbance of carbon-rich peatlands. Over the past three decades, the mining industry has walked away from these and many other environmental liabilities, leaving Canadian taxpayers with cleanup bills amounting to more than $10 billion."

Ed Struzik reports for Yale Environment 360 June 21, 2023.

Source: YaleE360, 06/27/2023