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.

Program details

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:

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


Who can apply

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

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:

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.

Consult the project proposal applicant guide

After you apply

Selection process and timelines

The program has a two-phase selection process:

Phase 1 – Applicants will develop a full project proposal that will enable NRCan to select the most promising projects.
  • submit application: By September 29, 2023 at 4pm EDT
Phase 2 – NRCan will proceed with final selection, due diligence and contribution agreements.
  • initiate contribution agreements: February–March 2024

Contact us

For further guidance, email

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