Canada, South Korea seek deeper cooperation on critical minerals

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OTTAWA, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol agreed on Friday to deepen cooperation on critical minerals used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries as the two countries seek to reduce emissions to combat climate change.

Yoon traveled to London for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, then to New York on his first trip to the United States to attend the United Nations General Assembly, before arriving in Canada on Thursday. On Friday, Yoon met Trudeau in Ottawa, then they both spoke to reporters.

“Yoon and I discussed ways to collaborate in various areas, including critical minerals, batteries for electric vehicles and emerging technologies, including AI (artificial intelligence),” Trudeau told reporters.

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Canada has many vital minerals – such as lithium, cobalt and nickel – which are now used to make batteries for electric vehicles, and the government is looking to help producers and processors increase production .

“Canada, as the world’s leading producer of minerals, and Korea, a major maker of semiconductors and batteries, each play a crucial role in global supply chains,” Yoon said per the through an interpreter.

“Governments and companies of our two nations will work together for the mineral resources sector to build a cooperative architecture…to respond to shocks arising from the changing global order,” Yoon added.

China is currently by far the world’s largest supplier of critical minerals used in electric vehicles. Yoon said it was strategically important for both countries to find an alternative supplier.

Canada and South Korea are already cooperating in the sector, Trudeau said.

In March, Stellantis (STLA.MI), the parent company of Jeep and Chrysler, said it would build an electric vehicle battery plant in a joint venture with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution (373220 .KS) in Windsor, across the border from Detroit. Read more

In a joint statement, the two countries said they agreed to deepen their “strategic partnership on supply chain resilience” and would seek to position themselves as “competitive players in the minerals supply chain.” batteries and electric vehicle value chains”.

To that end, the two countries have agreed to develop a memorandum of understanding in the coming months to “support the transition to clean energy and energy security, including with respect to critical minerals.”

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Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Sandra Maler

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