What is the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan?

Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan cover


The Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan is a milestone in Canada’s mining history. It includes a vision, principles and strategic directions that governments, industry and stakeholders can pursue to drive industry competitiveness and long-term success. This generational initiative will raise Canadians’ awareness of the importance of the minerals sector, respond to ongoing and emerging challenges, and help position Canada for opportunities offered by an evolving economy.

The Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan will be available in a fully accessible format by March 6th, 2019.

Download the plan (PDF, 10.3 MB)


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 is forward-looking. It takes into account the views of mining industry stakeholders, Indigenous partners and the public. It recognizes the sharing of responsibilities between orders of government, and it allows each government to participate according to its needs and priorities. The Plan includes a series of specific and coordinated actions that can be pursued by federal, provincial and territorial governments to reach stated goals.

Who contributed to the Plan?

This is a pan-Canadian plan developed by federal, provincial and territorial governments in collaboration with partners and stakeholders, which respects 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 does 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 played a key role, as did non-governmental organizations (including environmental and labour organizations), and municipalities. Partnership with Indigenous peoples was be critical for this work. Meaningful engagement with Indigenous leaders and other representatives at workshops, roundtable events and other venues were undertaken to capture their perspectives.