Critical minerals are more than the building blocks of clean technology like solar panels and electric vehicle batteries — they are also a key ingredient for creating good, middle-class jobs and growing a strong, globally competitive Canadian economy. Accelerating activity in the critical minerals space is essential to meeting global clean energy needs and to building a prosperous economy that will thrive in our net-zero future.
Simply put, our future depends on critical minerals. The Government of Canada is committed to investing in this future, which is why the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy — launched by the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, in December 2022 — is backed by up to $3.8 billion in federal funding. Today, Minister Wilkinson announced more details on the implementation of this Strategy. Over $344 million in funding is supporting the following five new programs and initiatives:
Further program details, including a call for proposals, will be announced in the coming months. The programs and initiatives announced today build on previous investments that support critical minerals research and development. Investments under the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy will support a range of industrial activities, from geoscience and exploration to mineral processing, manufacturing and recycling applications, including support for research, development and technological deployment.
To help seize the generational economic opportunity presented by critical minerals, Minister Wilkinson also announced the approval of six projects under the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) program while at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2023 Convention. The CMRDD program aims to advance the commercial readiness of emerging processing technologies that will support the development of value chains for zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) in Canada.
These six projects represent a total investment of over $14 million and aim to validate the feasibility, viability and replicability of processing technologies by conducting pilot demonstrations. The outcomes will see improved capital and/or operating costs of critical mineral production, the production of critical minerals using novel processes and reduced energy or carbon intensity or other environmental performance improvements.
The funding through the CMRDD program includes:
Today’s announcement is one of a series of significant steps the Government of Canada continues to take to support innovation in the mining sector, the creation of jobs and the environment. This $14 million investment represents the first wave of the close to $200 million in innovation funding that the Government of Canada has committed toward research, development and demonstration. Canada will continue to work with partners to establish our country as the global supplier of choice for clean energy in a net-zero world — ensuring a prosperous and clean future for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
“Canadian innovators are leading the way toward a cleaner future. Today’s investment of $344 million will help to advance the development of a dynamic and competitive critical minerals sector. This means good jobs for workers, more investment in Canadian innovation and lower emissions across the country — all part of our plan to build a cleaner Canada and a prosperous, sustainable economy that works for everyone.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources
“Canada will remain at the forefront of the economy of tomorrow by continuing to develop our critical minerals and metals. We will leverage our competitive advantages in clean energy, talent, sustainable mining, and innovation so that Canada remains a green supplier of choice. As part of this effort, the National Research Council of Canada, in close collaboration with world-class Canadian companies, will drive innovation in the critical minerals ecosystem to continue building resilient supply chains while creating good jobs for Canadians.”
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Our government supports a strong natural resource sector in the North and Arctic that creates economic opportunity and good jobs for Northerners, protects the environment and respects Indigenous rights. The northern economy and its workers will benefit from our investments, and Indigenous businesses and northern communities will be a key part in achieving that success.”
The Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor
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We acknowledge the [financial] support of the Government of Canada.