What is the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan?

Why do we need a national Plan?

In 1994, representatives from the federal, provincial and territorial governments, industry, Indigenous and environmental organizations, and labour signed the Whitehorse Mining Initiative (WMI). It was a common vision of a “socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable and prosperous mining industry, underpinned by political and community consensus.” The WMI established Canada as the leader in sustainable mineral development.

In order to remain a global mining leader, Canada must adopt a new vision, as well as goals and actions, to foster the growth and contribution of the mining industry. It must reflect today’s realities, where issues such as climate change, Indigenous participation, sustainable development, and social acceptability are key elements of a successful industry. Simply put—Canada cannot stand on past achievements. We must continually look for ways to improve our competitive position in the world and to communicate our competitive advantage to Canadians and potential partners.

This means leadership at home to promote sustainable resource development and to build and maintain a pipeline of projects. It also means leadership on the international stage to help shape global mining practices and promote Canadian values, such as sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. By building on our individual and collective success, the minerals and metals industry can make an even greater contribution to prosperity for Canadians. The Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan can help us achieve this.

What will the Plan do?

In August 2017, federal, provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for mining called for a Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan to solidify Canada’s position as a global mining leader and to lay the foundation for lasting success at home and abroad. The Plan will be forward-looking. It will take into account the views of mining industry stakeholders, Indigenous partners and the public. It will recognize the sharing of responsibilities between orders of government, and it will allow each government to participate according to its needs and priorities. The Plan will include a series of specific and coordinated actions that can be pursued by federal, provincial and territorial governments to reach stated goals.

Who will contribute to the Plan?

This is a pan-Canadian plan being developed by federal, provincial and territorial governments in collaboration with partners and stakeholders, which will respect the roles of governments related to mineral resource development.

Resource ownership and management falls under the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories. Minerals, metals and other natural resources are owned and managed by the government of the province or territory where they are located. Most mining activities are regulated by the provinces or territories, and each jurisdiction has its own mining, environmental, and occupational health and safety legislation. The federal, provincial and territorial governments also have shared responsibility in a number of areas, such as taxation and the environment.

Resources on federal lands, in offshore waters and on the continental shelf are owned by the federal government, which is also responsible for uranium mining.

Some resources are located on Aboriginal treaty lands, for which modern treaty signatories have specific rights and jurisdictions related to lands and resources within those areas.

The provinces and territories have their own priorities, plans and strategies in support of their respective minerals and metals industries. The Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan will not supplant these efforts. Its aim is to encourage synergies and support existing provincial and territorial priorities, while bringing together resources from across Canada to address systemic challenges and take advantage of opportunities.

Industry will be counted on to play a key role, as will non-governmental organizations (including environmental and labour organizations), and municipalities. Partnership with Indigenous peoples will be critical for this work. Meaningful engagement with Indigenous leaders and other representatives at workshops, roundtable events and other venues will be undertaken to capture their perspectives.

Where and when will we engage with stakeholders?

Engagement with Canadians and stakeholders is vital and we are using multiple channels to gather and share information. Each government will be able to engage with its stakeholders on a stand-alone basis or in collaboration with other governments. National and regional engagement events in all regions of the country will be considered. These could include face-to-face meetings, roundtable discussions and dedicated workshops.

Individual Canadians and stakeholders are invited to participate through a web platform (minescanada.ca) that provides information about Canadian mining, solicits ideas for the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan, and shows how the development of the Plan is progressing.

When will the Plan be ready?

Federal, provincial and territorial partners are seeking input from stakeholders, and this work will continue through 2018 and into 2019, when the final Plan will be released.


Path forward:

Text Version

An infographic illustrating the steps involved in creating and implementing the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan, spanning from late 2017 to 2019.

  • 2017– 018: Start plan
  • Begin the conversation
  • Hear ideas and share insights
  • Research and analysis
  • Draft the plan
  • Update ministers
  • Confirm direction
  • Complete plan
  • 2019: Launch plan


Potential areas of focus and discussion questions

The goal of establishing Canada as the uncontested leading mining nation is both ambitious and achievable. To get there, we must capitalize on our advantages, such as rich and diversified mineral resources, a strong industry, world-class expertise in the public and private sectors, a focus on innovation, access to major markets, and a skilled and educated workforce.

We must also recognize areas where we can improve. Many of the challenges that Canada faces are similar to those encountered by our competitors. These include developing enabling infrastructure, innovation and clean technology adoption, providing clear and predictable regulatory regimes, community acceptance, advancing the participation of Indigenous people in natural resource development, and enhancing our global reach. These challenges present opportunities for Canada. How well we meet them will largely determine our success going forward.

Next Steps

Developing the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan is an opportunity to take stock of Canada’s mining industry, to consider where it is heading—and together—to put plans in place to establish Canada as the uncontested global mining leader.

We welcome your responses and insights on the questions we have presented in this discussion paper and invite your views on Canada’s minerals and metals industry—they will help inform the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan.

Our website minescanada.ca can receive your input, provides up-to-date information, as well as facts and stories about the role that mining plays in our lives. You can also email us directly at [email protected], and follow us on Twitter @NRCan to see what industry, government and others are saying.

We thank you for your interest and encourage you to remain engaged as we shape the future of Canadian mining.

Discussion questions

  • What does success for the Canadian mining industry look like?
  • Are there important issues or areas of focus that are not reflected in this discussion paper?