Canada’s orders to Chinese companies appeared on Wednesday last week, as quoted by Autoblog of the Associated Press.
The three Chinese companies are Sinomine (Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources, Chengze Lithium International Ltd., and Zangge Mining Investment.
Sinomine was ordered to sell its stake in Vancouver-based Power Metals Corp., which has exploration projects for lithium, cesium and tantalum in northern Ontario.
Chengze Lithium was required to dispose of its interest in Lithium Chile Inc., a company in Calgary with an ongoing lithium project in Chile. Meanwhile, Zangge Mining was ordered to sell its stake in Ultra Lithium Inc. in Vancouver, which has lithium and gold projects in Canada and Argentina.
Tensions between the West and China are rising over control of sources of lithium, rare earth metals, cadmium and other minerals. These materials are used in the production of cell phones, wind turbines, solar cells, electric cars and other new technologies.
Chinese mining companies invest in production activities in Africa, Latin America and Canada, among others. China’s ruling Communist Party encourages the development of electric cars, clean energy, and even other technology industries.
Canadian Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said investments of any size would be approved but only on an exceptional basis. He announced restrictions on the involvement of foreign state-owned companies in producing the “critical minerals” last week.
The Chinese government criticized Canada’s policy, calling it a violation of market principles. China then asked Canada to reverse its decision.
“We urge Canada to stop its undue suppression of Chinese companies, and instead provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for their operations,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.
Quoting the Associates Press today, Monday, November 7, 2022, Western governments want industrial supply chains to be controlled by their allies. This policy followed Russia’s attack on Ukraine, which disrupted global oil and gas markets. On the other hand, China, which is seen as Russia’s ally, produces most of the world’s rare earth metals.