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Canada, Australia and U.S. launch the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative

by Greg Klein | October 16, 2020

Increasing concern about the need for non-Chinese supply chains has generated much talk but fewer tangible efforts. Recent news, however, outlines plans formulated by two of the world’s major mining countries along with the world’s largest economy. Canada, Australia and the U.S. intend to work together on the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative. Following bi-national MOUs that the U.S. signed with each of the others, the CMMI intends to have the trans-national trio pool its knowledge, co-operate on research and provide publicly available info.

Canada, Australia and U.S. announce the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative

The collaboration calls for the three countries to:

  • share data

  • unify critical minerals analyses

  • build on existing datasets

  • identify gaps in knowledge

  • learn more about critical minerals in different deposit types

  • enhance working relationships

The most tangible new work announced so far might be that of the U.S. Last month agencies led by the U.S. Geological Survey launched the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, a 21-state project with US$7.97 million to spend this year. Programs of mapping, geochemistry and lidar, along with airborne magnetics and radiometrics, will search the country for new sources of critical minerals. Earth MRI results will be added to already extensive subsurface data compiled by the Geological Survey of Canada and Geoscience Australia.

The three countries’ joint efforts currently include “development of a global database of critical mineral ore deposit samples, critical mineral systems classification and definition of key geologic criteria for basin-hosted deposits,” the USGS reported on October 16.

Machine learning will be applied to the three countries’ expertise in economic geology, data science, geochemistry and geophysics. A global digital database will make all CMMI info public.

Last month the European Commission announced collaborative efforts that would include Canada to develop sources and supply chains for critical raw materials.

Read more about the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative here and here.

Read more about U.S. efforts to secure critical minerals and supply chains.

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