September 11, 2023

Alberta Stories

Powering Alberta’s Future with Critical Minerals 

In today’s rapidly evolving world, critical minerals play a pivotal role in shaping our technological landscape and driving the transition towards cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions. Alberta, with its vast geological potential and industry expertise, emerges as a significant player in this dynamic arena. Join us as we delve into the world of critical minerals, their importance in our modern society, and Alberta’s role in harnessing their potential. 

Q: What are critical minerals and why are they important? 

Critical minerals are a group of minerals and elements that are crucial for various advanced technologies and industries, particularly in the context of the clean energy transition. These minerals are essential components of batteries, electronics, renewable energy systems, and other high-tech applications. Their significance lies in their ability to drive innovation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and ensure the sustainability of emerging industries.  

In the transition to cleaner energy, critical minerals become indispensable. As the world shifts towards a more sustainable future, the demand for critical minerals has surged, making them a focal point of global interest. 

Q: What is Alberta’s approach to harnessing its critical mineral potential? 

Alberta emerges as a dynamic player in the critical minerals landscape due to its untapped geological potential and well-established industry expertise. As the world seeks to diversify its supply chains and secure access to these vital resources, Alberta’s wealth of mineral resources positions the province as a valuable contributor to global markets. 

Alberta’s Minerals Strategy and Action Plan serves as a guiding framework to unlock untapped mineral resources sustainably. Alberta’s strong regulatory protections guarantee companies are committed to safe, responsible and sustainable development. This strategy ensures that while tapping into Alberta’s lithium potential, environmental considerations remain paramount. By adhering to the regulations and innovative extraction techniques, Alberta aims to extract lithium while minimizing ecological impacts. 

Q: What companies are currently involved with critical minerals in Alberta? 

E3 Lithium is an Alberta-based company with plans to produce high purity, battery grade lithium products with reduced carbon emissions, using 97 per cent less land and consuming no fresh water. Read more about E3 Lithium’s Field Pilot Plant Site in Alberta.  

Summit Nanotech developed a direct extraction technology for lithium, a key component to advancing the journey towards a cleaner and more sustainable future in the sector. In January, the company announced a secure investment to scale lithium extraction technology for EV production to support the energy transition.  

Sherritt is a globally recognized company that refines nickel and cobalt at its refinery in Alberta. They have developed an expansion strategy that will upgrade and expand their Alberta refinery to enable increased finished production. 

Q: How does lithium fit into the critical minerals landscape, and why is it crucial for batteries? 

Lithium occupies a unique position in the critical minerals landscape because of its pivotal role in battery technology. Lithium-ion batteries are the lifeblood of electric vehicles, portable electronics, and energy storage systems. These batteries are known for their high energy density, longer lifespans, and rapid charging capabilities, making them instrumental in reducing carbon emissions and fostering a more efficient energy ecosystem. 

Q: What benefit does the development of Alberta’s lithium resources bring to the province? 

The development of Alberta’s lithium resources promises multifaceted benefits. Locally, it offers job opportunities, economic growth, and diversification beyond the traditional energy sector. Globally and environmentally, it contributes to the shift towards clean energy by ensuring a stable supply of lithium for batteries, driving advancements in technology and aiding in the reduction of carbon emissions.  

Alberta has the potential to build a battery industry based on its rich supply of the necessary critical minerals (i.e., lithium, cobalt) and other factors that make the province a desirable location for investment. As the demand for lithium-ion batteries continues to soar, Alberta’s contribution is set to drive sustainable progress and a greener future for all. 

Q: What opportunities are available in Alberta for companies considering investing in critical minerals? 

The Alberta government is dedicated to incentivizing investment in capital-intensive emission-reducing technologies, encompassing lithium and mineral development, carbon capture, utilization and storage, ammonia, helium, liquefied natural gas, and geothermal energy.  

The Battery Metals Association of Canada has unveiled an industry ecosystem map, aiming to spotlight the battery metals value chain and expedite the development of a Western battery value chain hub. The map is ever evolving, keeping information as up-to-date and as accurate as possible.  

As global markets prioritize responsible mineral sourcing, Alberta-based projects, and future projects, stand to benefit from this emerging demand. Notably, major oil companies are now investing in lithium and critical minerals, aligning with the energy transition away from fossil fuels.  

Alberta boasts world-renowned researchers at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta, making the province a thriving center for cutting-edge research and innovation in the sector. One notable project within this academic landscape takes place at the University of Calgary’s Western Canadian Battery Consortium, which welcomes top researchers from across the country. This consortium is dedicated to advancing energy storage technology, particularly batteries, and exploring their potential to revolutionize efficiency and safety. With a commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge in this critical field, Alberta’s researchers and institutions are contributing significantly to the future of sustainable energy solutions. 

Q: How do I get in touch to learn more? 

If you would like to learn more about the opportunities for critical minerals in Alberta reach out to our Investment Direct in Energy, Stacie Lara at

Learn more about Alberta’s path towards a low-carbon future:  

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