Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says a new lithium mine in northern Quebec can go ahead with more than 270 conditions to protect wildlife and respect Indigenous use of the lands of traditional purposes.
The James Bay mine is expected to produce lithium for up to two decades, mainly for use in North America’s electric vehicle and battery manufacturing industries.
Lithium is one of the six critical minerals identified as a priority in the federal government’s new critical minerals strategy, which aims to make Canada a global mining powerhouse for the metals and minerals used in the electric vehicle industry.
The only active lithium mine in Canada today is owned and operated by China’s Sinomine Resource Group in northern Manitoba and all of that lithium is shipped to China.
The James Bay project is the first Canadian project for Australia’s Allkem and is supposed to start producing lithium in 2024.
The project is supposed to create 280 jobs during the construction phase and about 160 on average once in operation.