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Canada unveils criteria for C$1.5bn funding for critical mineral projects

Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne

Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne

17th July 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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Canadian Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne has announced the criteria for projects eligible for funds available through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) that aims to accelerate investments in critical mineral projects.

The proposed fund, announced in the 2022 Budget, will make available C$1.5-billion in funding.

Champagne states that the qualifying projects must focus on critical minerals processing, manufacturing and recycling; however, mining projects that show exceptional innovation benefits and strong vertical integration to grow domestic value chains will be considered.

These future projects must meet specific criteria and target one or more of the 31 minerals Canada has identified as "critical", with priority given to the six most significant minerals: lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt, copper and rare earth elements.

Critical minerals projects selected for investment will be expected to contribute to a more sustainable and competitive economy with a particular focus on the following sectors: clean technologies, including renewable energy sources, information and communications technology, and inputs to advanced manufacturing. Priority will be given to advanced-stage projects capable of demonstrating significant financial and technical readiness.

Implementation of the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy is being coordinated through the Critical Minerals Centre of Excellence at Natural Resources Canada, in collaboration with other federal departments and agencies, provincial and territorial partners, Indigenous communities, industry stakeholders, and others.

Investments made to date through the SIF include a C$27-million contribution to E3 Lithium in Calgary, Alberta, for the direct extraction of lithium from brines and a C$222-million investment to support Rio Tinto Fer et Titane in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, in producing an array of critical minerals such as titanium and scandium and decarbonising operations through innovative smelting technology.

"Canada has everything it takes to be a leading force in critical minerals processing, manufacturing and recycling. We already have a growing assortment of key innovative projects that are being developed right here in Canada that will allow us to build a stronger domestic critical minerals ecosystem. And through strategic investments, our government is ensuring that Canada can be a leader in this growing global industry, which will create well-paying jobs across the country, especially in rural, remote and Indigenous communities," says Champagne.


 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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