Why Zinc

Why Zinc

Zinc is the fourth most common metal in use, trailing only iron, aluminium, and copper in annual production. Zinc is mined, refined and recycled for commercial use in Canada. Beyond its many applications, zinc is also an essential nutrient in the human body. The primary use of zinc is in the galvanizing process, which protects iron and steel from rusting.


Critical Minerals

Critical minerals are the building blocks for the clean and digitized economy. Learn about Canada’s critical minerals list, actions and initiatives that help promote Canada’s competitiveness, and resources related to critical minerals in Canada.


Critical minerals are vital to growing Canada’s clean, modern economy

Canada is primed to capitalize on the rising global demand for critical minerals, driven in large part by their role in the transition to a low-carbon and digitized economy. Essential for renewable energy and clean technology applications (batteries, permanent magnets, solar panels and wind turbines), they are also required inputs for advanced manufacturing supply chains, including defence and security technologies, consumer electronics, agriculture, medical applications and critical infrastructure. Economies that quickly secure a position in shifting supply chains will be well situated for long-term economic growth and prosperity

Canada’s list of critical minerals


The Government of Canada has developed the following list of 31 minerals considered critical for the sustainable economic success of Canada and our allies and to position Canada as the leading mining nation, as set out in the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan (CMMP).

  • Aluminum
  • Antimony
  • Bismuth
  • Cesium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Fluorspar
  • Gallium
  • Germanium
  • Graphite
  • Helium
  • Indium
  • Lithium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Nickel
  • Niobium
  • Platinum group metals
  • Potash
  • Rare earth elements
  • Scandium
  • Tantalum
  • Tellurium
  • Tin
  • Titanium
  • Tungsten
  • Uranium
  • Vanadium
  • Zinc

The list was developed by Natural Resources Canada using a criteria-based approach and in consultation with provinces, territories as well as exploration, mining and manufacturing industries and associations.

Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) collaboration is essential to advance the critical mineral file and seize opportunities. The federal government engaged provinces and territories through a FPT task team to help refine and support Canada’s list of critical minerals.

Canada’s critical minerals are:

  • Essential to Canada’s economic security
  • Required for Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy
  • A sustainable source of critical minerals for our partners

The list provides greater certainty and predictability to industry, investors, provinces and territories and Canada’s international partners on Canada’s mineral priorities. It also enables policy makers to target and address key points in supply chains.

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