Projects Funded Under the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) Program


Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is committed to supporting the development of value chains for Canadian critical minerals. Investments in this area are a recognition that critical minerals are essential inputs for renewable energy and clean technology applications. 

The Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) program provides funding for pilot plants and demonstration projects. The program will help develop essential mineral value chains that will contribute to Canada's goal of being a net-zero carbon emitter by 2050. 

The following six projects have been approved:

Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) Integration into Sherritt’s Fort Saskatchewan Metals Refinery

Proponent: Sherritt International

NRCan funding: $795,524

Location: Alberta

This pilot project aims to evaluate the possibility of using MHP as an additional feed material for producing high-purity nickel and cobalt metals at the Fort Saskatchewan refinery. As these critical minerals are essential for renewable energy and clean technology applications, the results of this project could be applied to help keep these critical minerals within Canada and reduce the dependency on foreign sources as well as help unlock further mining projects and employment opportunities for Canadians. 

Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) Pilot Project

Proponent: E3 Lithium

NRCan funding: $3,545,000

Location: Alberta

This pilot project aims to test and analyze performance data to develop a design for a commercial plant that will extract lithium free of contaminants and generate battery-grade lithium products. The advancement of this technology will allow Canada to participate directly in the growing market for battery grade lithium, providing jobs for Canadians. 

Battery Material Supply Chain Integration

Proponent: FPX Nickel Corp

NRCan funding: $724,871

Location: British Columbia

This project aims to accelerate demonstration of the technical and economic feasibility to produce battery-grade nickel sulphate and cobalt hydroxide for the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) battery supply chain from the Baptiste Nickel Project. Baptiste’s awaruite (Ni3Fe) concentrate requires a simpler refining process to produce these in-demand battery products, and the CMRDD funding will allow FPX to demonstrate this refining process at the pilot scale. Success of the Baptiste Nickel Project will lead to a significant new domestic source of low-carbon nickel and cobalt and carry a wide range of employment opportunities for Canadians.

Search Minerals – Demonstration Plant

Proponent: Search Minerals

NRCan funding: $5,000,000

Location: British Columbia

By piloting an innovative direct extraction process, Search Minerals aims to ultimately produce individual rare earth oxides at its pilot plant. In addition to supplying a secure Canadian magnet supply chain, the project will provide employment opportunities for local universities, colleges and Indigenous communities.

Recycling and Production of RareEarth Oxides From Permanent Magnet Scrap

Proponent: Geomega Resources

NRCan funding: $3,000,000

Location: Quebec

This project plans to demonstrate the sustainability of its innovative process to recycle rare earth elements (REE) from magnet scrap with a lower carbon footprint compared to other standard procedures. The project success will create the first REE from magnet scrap facility in Canada, resulting in building a healthier environment for electric vehicles manufacturing in Canada. 

Direct Lithium Extraction Process Optimization

Proponent: Prairie Lithium

NRCan funding: $1,074,000

Location: Saskatchewan

This project will help Canada enter the lithium supply chain as one of the cleanest producers of battery-grade lithium on the planet. Prairie Lithium will extract lithium from subsurface brines using an innovative technology that has a much smaller environmental footprint than existing technologies. It will help diversify the energy sector and repurpose older oil and gas infrastructure. The success of this project will lead to job creation and facilitate the growth of the Canadian critical minerals sector. 

Page details

Date modified: