Government of Canada Launches Call for Proposals for Critical Mineral Development

News release

May 11, 2022                                    Ottawa, Ontario                           Natural Resources Canada            
Critical minerals are integral building blocks to achieve Canada’s goal to reach net zero by 2050. From EV batteries to solar panels to defense and security technologies, critical minerals are essential in our everyday lives, and drive innovation in renewable energy and clean technology. The demand for critical minerals is increasing worldwide and strengthening our domestic mining processing expertise can help Canada become the global supplier of choice for clean and advanced modernization.

That’s why, today during National Mining Week, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced a call for proposals for the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration Program (CMRDD). This component of the program will provide $10.95 million in funding for pilot plants and projects to support the development of critical mineral value chains. This funding is part of the $47.7M initiative announced in Budget 2021 for federal research and development to advance critical battery mineral processing and refining expertise.

The CMRDD Program will accept and fund applications that demonstrate the ability to reduce energy and carbon intensity, improve the environmental footprint of critical mineral processing, increase operational productivity and operational health and safety, and provide technological and innovative advancements in the process design of raw materials. Pilot plants will focus on advancing the maturity of the technology based on a defined scale of readiness levels.

Many critical mineral projects have unique technological and processing challenges that can hinder economically efficient production. For example, extraction technologies for most critical minerals used in clean energy technologies tend to be site-specific. Additionally, mineral extraction must be tailored to each deposit based on its mineralogy, requiring a mineral development strategy that is capital intensive and time consuming. This program will further the development of new technologies in order to make the mining of critical raw materials economically viable, leading the way for new downstream manufacturing opportunities for energy generation, capture and storage.

Together, the Government of Canada will work with successful applicants to ensure a greener, more efficient way of critical mineral processing.

Applications can be submitted online and the deadline is 12:00 p.m. EDT on June 17, 2022.


“Emission reduction in both the extraction and processing of critical minerals is essential to Canada’s green economy. Through the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration Program, we will work with successful applicants to develop new and innovative ideas and pilot projects for the enhancement of the mineral and mining sector, essential to lowering emissions, increasing our competitiveness, and strengthening our energy security.”

Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources

Quick facts

  • The Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration Program was funded through Federal Budget 2021 to develop domestic critical raw materials value chains, and position Canada as a global supplier of choice for critical mineral products.

  • The call for proposals is open to any Canadian recipients such as Canadian academic institutions, Canadian mining companies as well as provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments and agencies, where applicable. 

  • Given that this is a three year program, there will be only one call for proposals. Contributions will be merit-based allocations on a set of criteria in the terms and conditions.

  • Budget 2022 proposes to provide up to $3.8 billion in support over six years as part of Canada’s first Critical Mineral Strategy. The Strategy includes a total of $1.5 billion in  targeted support for critical minerals projects, with priority given to manufacturing, processing, and recycling applications through the Strategic Innovation Fund; and investing up to $1.5 billion over seven years for infrastructure investments that would support the development of the critical minerals supply chains.

  • Canada’s first Critical Minerals Strategy will aim to advance the development of critical minerals resources and value chains to enable the transition to a low-carbon economy and support advanced technology and manufacturing.

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Keean Nembhard

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Natural Resources



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