Proponents say Canada must do more to turn aspiration into action

Drive two hours north of Ottawa, put on a hard hat and bright orange vest, descend into a pit — and you find yourself on the frontline in the fight to be part of the new, green economy.

A mining project might not be what comes to mind when you think of the transition to a lower emissions economy. But embedded in electric vehicles, solar panels and hydrogen fuel storage are metals and minerals that come from mines like the one in Lac-des-Îles, Que.

The graphite mine, owned by the company Northern Graphite, is just one of many projects aimed at extracting what are now officially dubbed “critical minerals” — substances of significant strategic and economic importance to the future of national economies.

Lac-des-Îles is the only significant graphite mining project in North America, accounting for Canada’s contribution to an industry dominated by China.

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