Mining Association of Canada | 2023 Report

The Mining Association of Canada | The Canadian Mining Story: Economic Impacts and Drivers for the Global Energy Transition 2023 50 COPPER Elemental copper occurs naturally, but is much more frequently found in minerals like chalcopyrite and bornite. Copper is used in electrical wires and cables for its conductivity, in plumbing, in industrial machinery and construction materials. It is also used in green technologies like solar cells and electric vehicles. Canadian Production (2021) 520,682 tonnes Canada’s Global Rank as Producer 11th Value of Canadian Production (2021) $4.5B Where is it? British Columbia produces more than half of Canada’s mined copper, and Ontario produces about a quarter. Because copper is not degraded during the recycling process, recycling is an important part of the industry. Substantial amounts of the metal are recovered in a smelter in Rouyn-Noranda and a refinery in Montréal. The green economy is expected to substantially increase demand for copper. RARE EARTH ELEMENTS Rare earth elements are a group of 15 elements referred to as the “lanthanide series” in the periodic table together with scandium and yttrium. They are found in the environment as minerals, primarily carbonates, oxides, phosphates, and silicates. Rare earth elements have unusual characteristics, including fluorescence, magnetism and conduction, that make them useful in electronic devices and industrial applications. The most common use of rare earth elements in 2021 was manufacturing permanent magnets, which are an essential component of modern electronics. They are used in cell phones, televisions, computers, cars, wind turbines, and jet aircraft. Rare earth elements are also used widely in high technology and “green” products because of their luminescent and catalytic properties. Canadian Production Canada is not currently a producer of REEs Canada’s Global Rank as Producer Not applicable Value of Canadian Production Not applicable Where is it? Canada is host to several advanced exploration projects and some of the largest reserves and resources (measured and indicated) of rare earth elements worldwide. Canadian reserves and resources are estimated to be 15.1 million tonnes of rare earth oxide. A small-scale demonstration mining project is underway southeast of Yellowknife.