The Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, is calling for proposals for the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration Program (CMRDD). This component of the program will provide $10.95 million in funding for pilot plants and projects to support the development of critical mineral value chains. This funding is part of the $47.7 million initiative announced in the 2021 federal budget for research and development to advance critical battery mineral processing and refining expertise.
“Emission reduction in both the extraction and processing of critical minerals is essential to Canada’s green economy. Through the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration Program, we will work with successful applicants to develop new and innovative ideas and pilot projects for the enhancement of the mineral and mining sector, essential to lowering emissions, increasing our competitiveness, and strengthening our energy security,” Wilkinson said in a public statement.
The CMRDD program will accept and fund applications that demonstrate the ability to reduce energy and carbon intensity, improve the environmental footprint of critical mineral processing, increase operational productivity and operational health and safety, and provide technological and innovative advancements in the process design of raw materials. Pilot plants will focus on advancing the maturity of the technology based on a defined scale of readiness levels.
Many critical mineral projects have unique technological and processing challenges that can hinder economically efficient production. For example, extraction technologies for most critical minerals used in clean energy technologies tend to be site-specific.
Additionally, mineral processing must be tailored to each deposit based on its mineralogy, requiring a mineral development strategy that is capital intensive and time consuming. This program will further the development of new technologies in order to make the mining of critical raw materials economically viable, leading the way for new downstream manufacturing opportunities for energy generation, capture and storage.
For more information, visit the Natural Resources Canada website at www.nrcan.gc.ca.