OTTAWA, Ontario — Three Chinese firms have been asked to buy lithium-mining assets from Canada after the Canadian government set limits on foreign participation in the supply of “critical minerals” used in batteries and other high-tech items.
The Wednesday order is amidst tensions between the West and China increase over the control over lithium sources rare earths, cadmium, rare earths and other minerals utilized in wind turbines, mobile phones solar cells, electric vehicles and other new technologies.
Chinese mining companies invest into production in Africa, Latin America, Canada and other countries because the current Communist Party encourages development of electric vehicles clean energy, as well as other technology industries.
Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe champagne last week announced a ban on the involvement of state-owned foreign companies in the production of “critical minerals.” He stated that any investment could only be approved in the “exceptional basis.”
The Chinese government has criticized the decision as an infraction of market principles and urged Canada to change the decision.
“Canada stretched the concept of national security and placed barriers to normal investment and trade cooperation between Chinese and Canadian companies,” stated the foreign ministry’s spokesman Zhao Lijian. “We urge Canada to stop the undue suppression of Chinese companies and instead provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for their operation.”
Western governments seek industrial supply chains governed by their allies following Russia’s assault on Ukraine that disrupted global markets for gas and oil and caused tension with China that is the main producer of the world’s rare earths.
Sinomine (Hong Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources was ordered to sell its stake in Power Metals Corp., located in Vancouver and which is a exploration projects in tantalum, lithium, and cesium in the northern part of Ontario.
Chengze Lithium International Ltd. is required to dispose of its holdings with Lithium Chile Inc., an organization located that is located in Calgary that has lithium projects in progress in Chile. Zangge Mining Investment was ordered to sell its stake in Ultra Lithium Inc. of Vancouver that has gold and lithium projects across Canada in Canada and Argentina.
Canada is open to foreign investment, however, the country “will act decisively when investments threaten our national security and our critical minerals supply chains,” Champagne declared in an announcement.
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