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Canada to Boost Supply of Critical Minerals and Strengthen Value Chains With Investment in the Saskatchewan Research Council

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Canada to Boost Supply of Critical Minerals and Strengthen Value Chains With Investment in the Saskatchewan Research Council

 

 

 

 

 

Canada is well positioned to be a leader in the responsible, inclusive and sustainable production of critical minerals. These minerals play a key role in powering the green and digital economy, and demand for them is projected to increase significantly. That is why Canada is seizing this opportunity by making smart investments in critical minerals value chains to support the development and deployment of clean energy and technology.

 

Today, during the Canada-UK Industrial Decarbonization Forum, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, joined by Mike Crabtree, President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC), announced an investment of $4,990,000 to SRC through the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) program.

 

With this funding, SRC will develop an advanced and innovative process to separate rare earth elements (REE). These are alloys that are essential for clean energy sources and technologies such as wind turbines and electric vehicles. This will help increase the supply of battery metals that are needed for the development of a domestic electric vehicle value chain. This process will produce enough material to help build over half a million electric vehicle motors annually. Further, once the project is complete, Canada will be able to produce these critical minerals at commercial scale — a Canadian first for rare earth element processing.

 

Instead of shipping Canada’s concentrates overseas for foreign separation, this project will support Canada’s direct participation in the growing market for rare earth elements.

 

Canada is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building a cleaner and more prosperous economy. Increasing availability of electric vehicles for Canadians will help Canada reach this goal. Creating domestic processing streams and developing expertise in the critical minerals sector will build more competitive value chains to develop domestic processing and manufacturing and ensure investment and economic growth in communities across Canada.

 

Quotes

 

“Critical minerals like the rare earth elements that will be produced through SRC’s innovative new separation process are integral parts of the electric vehicle value chain. Demand for these resources is going to grow exponentially as we build up a low-carbon economy. That is why we are taking action to build resilient and secure supply chains that provide the materials we, and nations around the world, need, right here in Canada. Investments like this one are advancing our ambitious goals while also creating good jobs and building a prosperous and sustainable low-carbon economy.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

 

“This funding allows SRC to complete an important step in the rare earth supply chain, adding the ability to demonstrate separation for dysprosium and terbium oxides at our Rare Earth Processing Facility. Separating these rare earth oxides is instrumental in the manufacturing of high-grade permanent magnets, which are used in global modern technology.”

Mike Crabtree
President and CEO, Saskatchewan Research Council

 

Quick Facts

  • The Canada-UK Industrial Decarbonization Forum is a half-day event that brought together leaders from Canada and the UK to discuss how governments and industry can work together to decarbonize the industrial sector. The decarbonization of industry will be achieved through a combination of different technologies and measures. The two technologies that have been identified as key contributors to these decarbonization efforts are hydrogen and carbon management (including capture, utilization and storage).
  • The Critical Minerals Research Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) program supports the development of Canadian critical minerals value chains.
  • The CMRDD aims to advance the commercial readiness of emerging mineral processing unit operations or technologies that will support the development of zero-emission vehicle value chains in Canada by providing raw material inputs for use in batteries and permanent magnets.
  • Through this project, SRC will have the ability to produce around 20 tonnes per year of dysprosium (Dy) oxide and around 5 tonnes per year of terbium (Tb) oxide, which is enough to manufacture permanent magnets to build electric motors for nearly half a million electric vehicles.
  • The funding will be utilized to add Dy and Tb separation capability to SRC’s existing Rare Earth Processing Facility and will utilize the building, utilities and the equipment which recycles 100 percent of the processed water and chemicals, thus making it a net-zero liquid discharge process. The feed to the Dy and Tb processing will be derived from SRC’s existing facility.
  • The project will support increasing capacity in the critical minerals and battery value chain for electric vehicles by advancing technology and innovation in the mining sector and will benefit international markets, likeminded allies and partners. It will also support Canada’s growth in the REE space by building the knowledge and capacity of Canada’s workforce and by establishing a fully integrated supply chain that promotes Canadian mining, engineering, construction and equipment manufacturing industries.
  • The successful completion of this project will make Canada one of the few jurisdictions that have the technology to produce around 25 tonnes per year of dysprosium oxide and around five tonnes per year of terbium oxide. Due to their importance in various modern technologies, dysprosium and terbium are considered critical elements, and their supply chain can be subject to geopolitical considerations and market fluctuations.
  • Dysprosium is primarily used in the production of magnets, lighting, nuclear reactors and data storage. Terbium is primarily used in the production of phosphors for fluorescent lamps and LEDs, magnets, nuclear reactors, optical devices like lasers and optical fibres, are data storage.

 

Related Information

 

Posted February 16, 2024

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