Canadian Minister of Natural Resources announces additional funding for Canadian Critical Mineral Development

March, 2023
PDAC 2023

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson announced over CAD 344 million in additional funding for Canadian Critical Minerals Development on March 7 at the PDAC convention.

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.

‘Canadian innovators are leading the way toward a cleaner future. Today’s investment of CAD 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’, stated Minister Wilkinson.

The Canadian government has been committed to investing in the development of the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy backed by up to CAD 3.8 billion in federal funding. The additional CAD 344 million in funding will support a number of programs including Critical Minerals Technology and Innovation Program (CAD 144.4 million), Critical Minerals Geoscience and Data Initiative (CAD 79.2 million) and the Global Partnership Program. Further program details, including a call for proposals, will be announced in the coming months. 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.

These six projects represent a total investment of over CAD 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 operating costs of critical mineral production, the production of critical minerals using novel processes as well as reduced energy or carbon intensity or other environmental performance improvements.

This CAD 14 million investment represents the first wave of the close to CAD 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 the 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.