Q&A: Canada’s energy minister on US mining deal

By Zi-Ann Lum | 05/17/2024 04:13 PM EDT

U.S. military investment in Canadian firms comes with “no strings attached,” he insists.

Jonathan Wilkinson smiles.

Canadian Energy Minister Jonathan Wilkinson credits a bilateral task force for convincing the U.S. Defense Department to make new foreign investments in Canada. Andreas Gora/AFP via Getty Images

OTTAWA — The U.S. Defense Department’s multimillion-dollar investment in Canada comes with “no strings attached,” Energy Minister Jonathan Wilkinson insists.

Canada and the U.S. announced Thursday that two Canadian companies have been awarded $14.8 million under the U.S. Defense Production Act (DPA) to mine and process critical minerals in North America.

“The only string attached is that we all want to see these companies actually move faster,” Wilkinson said of the investments in Fortune Minerals and Lomiko Metals.


News of the investment follows the Biden administration’s decision this week to target Chinese imports with sweeping tariffs to curb China’s hold on the critical minerals supply chain. The awards are an encouraging sign for Canadian companies, which have been eligible to apply for DPA funding since the early 1990s.