Canada Announces Over $4 million to Support Critical Minerals Value Chain and Create Good Jobs in Ontario
February 5, 2024 Kingston, Ontario Natural Resources Canada
Canada is well positioned to be a leader in the responsible, inclusive and sustainable production of critical minerals. These minerals play a key role in powering the green and digital economy, and demand for them is projected to increase significantly. That is why Canada is seizing this opportunity by making smart investments in critical minerals value chains to support the development and deployment of clean energy and technology
Today, Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced a $4.2-million investment to Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (Ucore). This investment will help scale up and demonstrate the commercial efficacy of Ucore’s pending patent and Canadian-developed rare earth element separation technology platform under rigorously simulated commercial conditions.
Funded through the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) program, Ucore’s project will support Canada in increasing its metals that are essential to the development of electric vehicle motors. This is a critical step in the development of a domestic electric vehicle value chain.
Instead of shipping Canada’s concentrates overseas for foreign separation, Ucore's project will support Canada’s direct participation in the growing market of heavy and light rare earth elements. This funding will also provide employment opportunities for skilled trades and professional occupations, including Indigenous communities.
Importantly, the investment supports the development of Canadian expertise and deploys a new, more sustainable technology to the benefit of other domestic companies. In addition to electric vehicles, rare earth elements are also required for wind turbines and a variety of electronics.
Canada is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building a cleaner and more prosperous economy. Creating domestic processing streams and developing expertise in the critical minerals space will create good jobs, build more competitive value chains and ensure investment and economic growth in communities across Canada.
“Critical minerals like rare earth elements are an integral part of many clean technologies and energy sources. Demand for these resources will only grow. That is why we are taking action to build resilient and secure supply chains that provide the materials we need and the good jobs Canadian workers deserve right here in Canada. Investments like today’s help to support these goals and will help us to build a prosperous and sustainable low-carbon economy that works for everyone.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
“Canada is a reliable, stable and secure supplier for critical minerals and the products they enable — we have what it takes to thrive in the low-carbon future, from abundant resources to skilled workers. Investments like this one are precisely what we need to see in order to seize the economic opportunities of the low-carbon future while creating good local jobs in communities like Kingston.”
Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands
“This NRCan-funded demonstration project shines a light on the lesser known but equally important aspect of the critical metals supply chain in North America — rare earth elements. A rare earth permanent magnet motor is by far the most efficient means of converting electrical energy from batteries to mechanical energy for electric vehicles and, in reverse, wind turbines. Ucore is very appreciative of this NRCan opportunity to demonstrate our transformative RapidSX™ technology for the separation of rare earth elements with our Canadian project partners, Cyclic Materials, Defense Metals and Kingston Process Metallurgy. Through this project, we are moving Canada closer to fully incorporating these critical supply chain metals on a significant commercial scale.”
Mike Schrider, P.E.
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
Budget 2021 provided $47.7 million to NRCan for the Critical Minerals Research Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) program to support the development of Canadian critical minerals value chains.
The CMRDD aims to advance the commercial readiness of emerging mineral processing unit operations or technologies that will support the development of zero-emission-vehicle value chains in Canada by providing raw material inputs for use in batteries and permanent magnets.
Through this project, Ucore will produce high-purity samples of rare earth elements (neodymium and praseodymium) and small batch samples of rare earth oxides to meet potential consumer needs.
The project will attain high-purity samples over a six-month period of processing approximately 13 to 15 tonnes of total rare earth oxides in Ucore’s facility in Kingston, Ontario.
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Canada
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