Government of Canada Announces Funding to Support Domestic Critical Minerals Value Chains and Create Good Jobs in the Northwest Territories

News release

March 26, 2024                      

Yellowknife, NWT             

Natural Resources Canada

Canada is committed to supporting strong domestic value chains for critical minerals and the clean technologies and energy sources they enable.  The Government of Canada is focused on increasing mineral and energy security, creating good jobs and supporting economic opportunities across critical mineral value chains, from upstream exploration and extraction to downstream processing, manufacturing and recycling. 

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced a $714,500 investment in Fortune Minerals Limited (Fortune Minerals) to enhance the production of cobalt sulphate and bismuth ingot products from the company’s planned mine in the Northwest Territories and refinery in Alberta to increase the supply of critical battery metals that are essential to the development of a domestic electric vehicle value chain. This will be achieved through a pilot-scale hydrometallurgical program designed to optimize processing conditions while ensuring that residues from the process are stable for safe disposal.

When completed, the project will also develop new expertise create job opportunities for skilled trades and professional occupations, including Indigenous communities, and introduce a new sustainable technology to other Canadian companies. This investment will help Canada participate directly in the growing market of battery-grade cobalt and other concentrates instead of shipping concentrates overseas for value-added processing.

Funding for this project comes from the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) program. The CMRDD aims to advance the commercial readiness of emerging mineral processing unit operations and 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.   

Creating domestic processing streams and developing expertise within Canada will support significant opportunities for Canadian workers and help us move toward a more sustainable and prosperous low-carbon future. By making smart investments like this, Canada is ensuring our responsibly sourced resources remain competitive in the global marketplace, while also strengthening domestic value chains.


“Today’s investment of $714,500 for Fortune Minerals will help to advance the development of dynamic and competitive critical minerals value chains through an innovative new processing technology. This means good jobs for workers, more investment in Canadian innovation and lower emissions across the country — all part of our plan to build a cleaner Canada and a prosperous, sustainable economy that works for everyone.”  

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

“Critical minerals development like Fortune Minerals’ NICO project is a key component of the future of mining in the Northwest Territories. Through this investment, our government is demonstrating its commitment to supporting the growth of this industry in the North.”

Michael V. McLeod
Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

“Fortune Minerals is grateful for the financial support it is receiving from the federal government for its vertically integrated NICO cobalt-gold-bismuth-copper project through the Critical Minerals Research Development and Demonstration program. These funds will support additional piloting needed for detailed engineering and preparation of the company’s updated feasibility study to help advance the asset closer to a construction decision. Development of the NICO project would provide a Canadian solution for the supply of cobalt sulphate, bismuth and copper needed in the energy transition, new technologies and the growing green economy.”

Robin Goad
President and CEO, Fortune Minerals Limited

Quick facts

  • 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.

  • On September 29, 2023, the CMRDD program concluded its second call for proposals. Projects selected for this program will contribute to developing vital mineral resources and value chains that will facilitate the shift to a low-carbon economy and support advanced manufacturing and technology in an environmentally conscious manner.

  • Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy is part of Canada’s strengthened climate plan, 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy, which advances Canada’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Related products


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Carolyn Svonkin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Canada

Follow us on LinkedIn

Page details

Date modified: