Government of Canada Launches Second Call for Proposals for Critical Minerals Research Development and Demonstration Program
July 18, 2023 Ottawa, Ontario Natural Resources Canada
Critical minerals are not just the building blocks of clean technology like solar panels and electric vehicle batteries — they are a key ingredient for creating middle-class jobs and growing a strong, globally competitive Canadian economy. The move toward a global net-zero economy is generating a significant increase in demand for critical minerals around the world, creating a generational opportunity for Canadian workers and Canadian businesses. Concurrent geopolitical dynamics have caused like-minded countries to reflect on the need to have stable and secure resources and the clean technologies they enable. There is no global energy transition without accelerated activity in the critical minerals space.
Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced a second call for proposals for the Critical Minerals Research Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) Program. A total of $40 million in contribution funding is available to support developing technology and pilot demonstration projects. These projects will help develop critical minerals value chains, contributing to Canada’s goal of becoming net-zero by 2050.
Global demand for critical minerals is increasing to support the transition to a low-carbon, green and digital economy. With its vast wealth in mineral resources, Canada can leverage its mining and processing expertise, as well as its environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials to become a leading global supplier of choice for sustainably sourced critical minerals and the clean technologies they enable.
The CMRDD Program advances the commercial readiness of technologies that will help Canada produce key critical minerals. This new round of funding aims to address a gap in the critical minerals value chain by moving projects from the pre-commercial stage into demonstration, adoption and integration into domestic and international value chains.
Successful projects will help build the critical mineral inputs for strong and resilient value chains, improve capital and operating costs and effective production from unconventional sources, develop innovative new ways to process minerals, reduce energy and carbon intensity, and improve resource optimization and waste reduction through circular economy principles.
Up to $5 million per project is available for pilot plant and demonstration projects that meet technology readiness levels (TRL) 6-8. Projects must advance technologies to produce key critical minerals and support raw material inputs into priority value chains in Canada for use in clean technologies; advanced manufacturing; and/or information and communications technologies and semiconductors, as identified in the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy.
Applications can be submitted online, and the deadline is 4 p.m. ET, September 29, 2023.
Together, the Government of Canada will work with successful applicants to ensure greener, more efficient ways of producing and processing critical minerals to continue to invest in critical minerals value chains.
“Critical minerals are a generational economic opportunity for Canada. From exploration and extraction to advanced manufacturing to processing and recycling, we are making investments across the value chain. This second call for proposals will support Canadian innovators to drive economic growth and job creation in communities right across Canada.
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources
The CMRDD Program call for proposals is open to any Canadian recipient, such as mining companies, community groups, Indigenous groups, academic institutions, as well as provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments and agencies, where applicable.
Contributions under this three-year program will be merit-based allocations on a set of criteria outlined in the program’s terms and conditions.
This funding scales up the previous funding announced in 2021. Successful proponents from the first call for proposals for contribution funding were announced in March 2023 at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention 2023. At PDAC 2023, Minister Wilkinson announced the approval of six projects under the CMRDD funding Budget 2021 envelope. They represent a total investment of over $12 million and aim to validate the feasibility, viability and replicability of processing technologies by conducting pilot demonstrations.
Budget 2022 proposed to provide up to $3.8 billion in support over six years as part of Canada’s first Critical Minerals 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. The second call for proposals will be aligned with the categories of the SIF for critical minerals.
The Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy aims 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.
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
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