Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson used the yearly Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2023 convention in Toronto to announce details of the implementation of the Canadian government’s Critical Minerals Strategy, which was unveiled in December.
The Minister on Tuesday announced an investment of C$344-million to help advance “the development of a dynamic and competitive critical minerals sector”.
The investment will be split among five programmes or initiatives. The Critical Minerals Technology and Innovation Programme will receive C$144.4-million for the research, development, demonstration, commercialisation and adoption of new technologies and processes that support sustainable growth in Canadian critical minerals value chains and associated innovation ecosystems.
The Critical Minerals Geoscience and Data Initiative will receive C$79.2-million to enhance the quality and availability of data and digital technologies to support geoscience and mapping that will accelerate the efficient and effective development of Canadian critical minerals value chains, including by identifying critical minerals reserves and developing pathways for sustainable mineral development.
The Global Partnerships Programme will receive C$70-million to strengthen Canada’s global leadership role in enhancing critical minerals supply chain resiliency through international collaborations related to critical minerals.
The Northern Regulatory Initiative will receive C$40-million to advance Canada’s northern and territorial critical minerals agenda by supporting regulatory dialogue, regional studies, land-use planning, impact assessments and Indigenous consultation.
The renewal of the Critical Minerals Centre of Excellence (CMCE) will receive C$10.6-million so the CMCE can continue the ongoing development and implementation of the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy.
Wilkinson also announced at the PDAC convention the approval of six projects under the Critical Minerals Research Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) programme, which aims to advance the commercial readiness of emerging processing technologies that will support the development of value chains for zero-emission vehicles in Canada.
These six projects represent a total investment of more than C$14-million and aim to validate the feasibility, viability and replicability of processing technologies by conducting pilot demonstrations.
The funding through the CMRDD program includes C$795 524 for Sherritt International, C$3.55-million for E3 Lithium, C$724 871 for FPX Nickel, C$5-million for Search Minerals, C$3-million for Geomega Resources and C$1.07-million for Prairie Lithium.
The C$14-million investment represents the first wave of the close to C$200-million in innovation funding that the government 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,” Natural Resources Canada stated.