Canada orders China to divest from country’s mining companies – The Guardian

Transfer comes after ‘multi-step’ assessment by Canada’s nationwide safety and intelligence businesses
Canada has ordered China to instantly promote its holdings in three Canadian mining corporations, as the necessity for investments within the extraction of vital minerals clashes with rising considerations over nationwide safety.
On Wednesday Canada’s business minister, François-Philippe Champagne, stated three Chinese language corporations can be required to divest from junior mining corporations.
“Whereas Canada continues to welcome overseas direct funding, we’ll act decisively when investments threaten our nationwide safety and our vital minerals provide chains, each at residence and overseas,” Champagne stated in a written assertion.
The order comes after a “multi-step” assessment by Canada’s nationwide safety and intelligence businesses, which decided that the three corporations should go away the Canadian mining business on nationwide safety grounds.
Crucial minerals and metals embody lithium, cadmium, nickel and cobalt. They’re important for clear vitality applied sciences, together with generators and electrical automobiles and photo voltaic panels. They’re additionally a crucial a part of laptop computer computer systems and rechargeable batteries.
In recent times, China has develop into the most important refiner and processor of vital minerals, constructing an intensive provide chain that depends on abroad mines for uncooked supplies.
Canada has in depth, largely undeveloped deposits of nickel and cobalt and Chinese language corporations have made up a rising share of overseas funding within the business.
Earlier this yr, the Canadian mining firm Neo Lithium Corp was taken over by the Chinese language state-controlled agency Zijin Mining Group Co, a transfer that prompted parliamentary hearings into the attainable nationwide safety threats posed by elevated funding by China.
In keeping with Champagne’s directive, Sinomine (Hong Kong) Uncommon Metals Assets Co Ltd, Chengze Lithium Worldwide Ltd and Zangge Mining Funding (Chengdu) Co Ltd should promote their stakes in Energy Metals Corp, Lithium Chile Inc and Extremely Lithium Inc.
The transfer comes every week after Ottawa tightened guidelines on overseas investments within the vital mineral sector. Champaign stated investments by state-owned corporations will solely be permitted on “an distinctive foundation” and can apply not solely to takeovers, but additionally small investments.
Amid considerations over China’s rising dominance, nations have banded collectively. Earlier this yr, nations together with Britain, Canada, the US and Australia established a worldwide partnership to safe entry to vital minerals.
Relations between China and Canada have remained tense for the reason that arrests of the Huawei government Meng Wenzhou, and the Canadian businessmen Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in 2018. Latest reviews that China is working covert police stations inside Canada, prompting an investigation by federal police, has additional chilled relations.
China pushed again on Thursday, calling Canada’s transfer a breach of cooperation between the 2 nations and an try to wreck international provide chains.
“China urges Canada to cease the unreasonably concentrating on Chinese language corporations [in Canada] and supply [the companies] with a good, neutral and non-discriminatory enterprise setting,” a Chinese language overseas ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, advised reporters, including Beijing would defend the rights and pursuits of Chinese language corporations aboard.


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