US Military Invests $15 Million in Canadian Mineral Projects To Secure Critical Resources

Zinger Key Points
  • The U.S. allocates $15 million to Canadian mineral projects to secure vital resources for civilian and military use.
  • Investments aim to reduce U.S. dependency on China and address national security concerns over critical minerals.

The U.S. military has allocated nearly $15 million to fund mineral projects in Canada, focusing on essential resources such as copper, gold, graphite and cobalt. This investment, in the form of grants, is part of a broader strategy to secure critical minerals necessary for civilian and military applications.

These minerals are the lifeblood of modern technology — from medicine, batteries and electronics to engines, cars, planes, drones and even munitions. The U.S. aims to reduce its dependency on China for mineral supplies, a concern that evokes memories of the aluminum shortages before World War II. By securing a stable supply chain, the military can mitigate risks associated with geopolitical tensions.

Under Canada's Defence Production Act, the U.S. could prioritize these supplies in a national security crisis.

"These minerals are vital for everything from electric vehicle (EV) batteries to advanced military equipment," Gordana Slepcev, COO of Lomiko Metals Inc. LMRMF, one of the grant recipients, said for CBC. “We were very excited [by this news], as you can imagine,” she said.

Lomiko Metals is preparing to advance its graphite project to the construction phase and break ground between 2027 and 2029.

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Another grant recipient, Ontario-based Fortune Minerals Ltd FTMDF, plans to mine the materials in Canada and establish processing facilities within the country. Keeping the entire process within North America and reducing dependence on foreign process facilities would provide the U.S. with greater control over the critical mineral supply chain. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is exploring other sources of critical minerals, including funding a Pentagon study on deep-sea mining. This $2 million study aims to evaluate the potential for refining ocean-floor minerals domestically, highlighting the urgency to diversify sources beyond terrestrial mining.

Additionally, the Pentagon awarded $20 million to South32's SHTLF Hermosa project in Arizona to boost production of manganese, an essential material used in batteries. This award is among the latest from the Defense Production Act Investment Program, which has totaled $356 million since the beginning of fiscal year 2024.

While Canada remains an obvious choice for providing critical minerals, it is worth mentioning that the Canadian government is increasingly wary of Chinese investments in its mining sector, citing national security concerns. Over the past three decades, Chinese companies have invested billions in Canadian mining, which has prompted regulatory scrutiny and rejections of deals involving critical minerals.

This heightened vigilance reflected fears that foreign control over these resources could undermine Canada’s strategic autonomy and national security.

Also Read: Copper To $40,000 A Ton, Says Hedge Fund Titan Pierre Andurand: What ETF Investors Should Watch

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