Canada Announces $5-million Grand Prize Winner of Crush It! Mining Challenge 

News release

June 13, 2022                                      Toronto, Ontario                       Natural Resources Canada

Improving the energy efficiency of Canada's mines is an important part of our transition to a net-zero future. Finding and advancing innovative solutions that lower energy use throughout the mining process will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve productivity and help our mining industry become more competitive. 

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced the Canadian Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) as the grand prize winner of the $5-million Crush It! Challenge. The prize was awarded for the best energy breakthrough for the crushing and grinding of rocks, or comminution, which is one of the most energy-intensive processes in the mining industry.

CMIC’s cleantech solution, CanMicro, combines microwave-assisted comminution and multi-sensor ore sorting technology designed to selectively break particles and sort waste from desired minerals, reducing crushing and grinding requirements. CanMicro exceeded Challenge guidelines, reaching over 35 percent energy savings across several commodities.

Today’s announcement follows a four-year intensive program that was launched in 2018 with the goal of finding innovative solutions for cleaner, more efficient rock processing in the mining sector. Through a national call and expert selection process, six finalists were chosen from nearly 65 applicants, receiving $860,000 to advance their technologies. The grand prize winner of the Crush it! Challenge was selected through a competitive and rigorous process designed and delivered by Natural Resources Canada. 

Crush It! is one of six initial clean technology challenges led by Natural Resources Canada under the Impact Canada Initiative – a government-wide approach to introduce innovative approaches to help solve Canada’s biggest economic, environmental and social challenges. NRCan invested $75 million in its cleantech challenges: Crush It! Challenge, Charging the Future Challenge, Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative, Power Forward Challenge, Women in Cleantech Challenge and The Sky’s the Limit Challenge


“The Crush It! Challenge presented innovators with a unique opportunity to develop a solution to the challenge of energy-intensive comminution in Canadian mines. Improving energy efficiency supports increased productivity and decreased costs at mining sites, while also reducing environmental impacts and harmful emissions. I want to congratulate the Canadian Mining Innovation Council for their impressive CanMicro technology. Our government is pleased to support initiatives such as this through the Impact Canada Challenges.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources

“Finding innovative solutions for cleaner, more efficient technologies in the mining sector is key to building a stronger economy for everyone. Congratulations to the Canadian Mining Innovation Council on winning the Crush It! Challenge. Canada is grateful for your work, and I look forward to our continued partnership as we transition to net zero.” 

The Honourable Bill Blair

President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

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Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations


Keean Nembhard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources


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