Advancing the commercial readiness of emerging mineral processing operations or technologies
Closed for applications
We want to help fund critical mineral projects to improve the feasibility of producing or commercializing novel technologies and innovative process designs, and to enhance the environmental performance of production methods.
This is the second wave of contribution funding to advance technological solutions for the production of critical minerals at several stages, such as processing, downstream product manufacturing and recycling. It aims to advance the commercial readiness of emerging processing technologies and to provide raw material inputs for use in batteries and permanent magnets, advanced manufacturing supply chains, semiconductors, information and communication technologies, and critical infrastructure value chains for commercialization.
Note: This wave of funding is for pilot plants and demonstration projects only. The second wave of federal R&D funding is coming soon!
Amount available: Up to $5 million per project
Type of funding: Non-repayable contribution
Application deadline: September 29, 2023 at 4:00 pm EDT
Timeframe: Project costs will be funded up to March 31, 2027
Examples of project activities
We are looking for technologies that:
- help Canada produce key critical minerals
- support domestic value chains
- are advanced-stage projects
- need a financial contribution to continue their development
The program is focused on the processing for raw materials that can be used as inputs in selected critical mineral value chains, including efficiency value chains; economic improvements to unit operations; and health and safety considerations in those mineral production flowsheets. Production of these raw materials can stem from primary (i.e., ore deposits) or secondary sources. Secondary sources include mine wastes (e.g., tailings) and recycling of electronic wastes.
Examples of expected project outcomes
- improved capital and/or operating costs of critical mineral production through enhanced unit processes, novel processes or new flowsheets that curtail baseline or traditional processing methods
- production of critical minerals using a novel process from an unconventional source such as tailings, recycled waste, slag, dross or other secondary sources
- reduced energy or carbon intensity, or other environmental performance improvement in a critical mineral processing flowsheet or unit operation
Who can apply
- legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada, including:
- for-profit and not-for-profit organizations such, but not limited to companies, industry associations, research associations
- community groups
- academic institutions
- provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments and agencies
- Indigenous groups:
- Indigenous communities or governments
- Tribal Councils or entities that fulfill a similar function (e.g., general council)
- national and regional Indigenous councils and tribal organizations
- Indigenous (majority-owned and -controlled by Indigenous peoples) for-profit and not-for-profit organizations
- members of Indigenous groups with community knowledge, Indigenous traditional knowledge or input relevant to the policy dialogue
What projects are eligible
NRCan is looking for well-advanced technologies that need a final push to be commercialized or put into production.
Pilot studies will be considered for both full flowsheets (demonstrations) and designated circuits. However, at the level of funding indicated, we anticipate that most funding applications will focus on circuits.
Funding applications must demonstrate that preliminary tests are of sufficient scale, duration and feed rate to fully address all key design issues, including temperature, impurity build-up, water recycling, reagent addition and energy intensity, and will ultimately provide fundamental flowsheet design information to clearly establish reproducibility, material handling issues, safety, and capital and operational expenditure implications.
Potential applicants will be responsible for clearly demonstrating the TRL of their proposed project. The program will support projects along the TRL 6 to 8 spectrum. Failure to clearly demonstrate and justify the TRL may result in the rejection of the proposal.
Pilot plant and demonstration project eligibility criteria
- the technology is at the technology readiness level (TRL) 6-7-8
- the technology will produce key critical minerals – the focus is on nickel, cobalt, copper, lithium, graphite, manganese, vanadium, titanium, gallium, scandium, magnesium, tellurium, zinc, niobium, germanium, antimony, indium and cesium, and the specific rare earth elements of neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, gadolinium and terbium.
- the technology aims to support raw material inputs into priority value chains in Canada through the development of
- clean technologies (focusing on zero emission vehicles batteries)
- advanced manufacturing (focusing on permanent magnets) and/or
- information and communications technologies (focusing on semi-conductors)
What expenses are eligible
Eligible expenditures for an approved project must be directly related to, and necessary for, the implementation and conduct of a project and could include some or all of the following items:
- salaries and benefits for employees on the payroll of the recipient for the time spent by the employees on the project
- professional, scientific, technical and contracting services
- training, workshops, and facility costs for seminars, conference room rentals, etc.
- travel expenditures, including meals and accommodation, based on National Joint Council rates
- capital expenditures such as the purchase, installation, testing and commissioning of qualifying equipment, materials and products, including diagnostic testing tools and instruments and original equipment manufacturer equipment warranties (including extended warranties deemed appropriate to mitigate risk and lack of capacity)
- other expenses, including:
- laboratory and field supplies and materials
- printing services and translation
- data collection services, including processing, analysis and management
- construction insurance, license fees and permits
- field testing services
- when the recipient is an Indigenous organization, other expenses may include:
- costs associated with an Indigenous ceremony (excluding hospitality)
- honoraria for Elders
- overhead expenditures, provided they are directly related to the conduct of the project and can be attributed to it.
- overhead expenditures can be included in the total project costs to a maximum of 15 percent of eligible expenditures, including:
- administrative and corporate support provided directly to the project by the recipient’s employees, valued on the same basis as professional staff time
- routine laboratory and field equipment maintenance, based on the actual expenditure to a recipient
- office operating expenses directly related to the conduct of the project (e.g., faxes, telephone, photocopies)
- costs associated with further distribution of funding
- a predetermined overhead percentage may be set and subsequently applied to each claim to avoid unnecessary administrative burden to funding recipients
- the percentage will be based on evidence provided by the recipient of expected overhead expenditures at the time of negotiating a contribution agreement
- GST, PST or HST net of any tax rebate to which the recipient is entitled
Eligible project costs are covered up to March 31, 2027.
How to apply
Closed for applications
This second wave of intake offers applicants the opportunity to submit a full project proposal, including all relevant documentation, through our secure funding portal.
Only complete applications will be reviewed by the program and applications must meet all evaluation criteria to be considered for funding.
After you apply
Selection process and timelines
The program has a two-phase selection process:
- submit application: By September 29, 2023 at 4pm EDT
- initiate contribution agreements: February–March 2024
For further guidance, email email@example.com.
- Date modified: