Funds projects on the upstream level. Companies can now apply.
Canada’s wealth of natural resources could be key to global energy transition efforts. However, the U.S.’ northern neighbor lacks the necessary infrastructure (PDF) to benefit from this wealth fully. To tackle this issue, the Canadian Government unveiled the $1.1 billion (C$1.5 billion) Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund (CMIF) earlier this month as part of its new Critical Minerals Strategy. Now, the criteria have been published, and applications can be submitted. The fund aims to finance projects at the upstream level, the exploration and mining, and connecting mineral sources to the market. This encompasses clean energy production and grid connection projects, critical minerals production and processing facilities, and road or other transportation ventures. The CMIF will have multiple application segments and run over seven years, with the first round of funding opening now. The fund requires projects to be located entirely in Canada.
According to government data (PDF), the North American country has 31 minerals it classifies as critical, including cobalt, gallium, germanium, and lithium, and mined its first rare earths last year. As one of the first companies, Ucore has received roughly $4 million in government funding for a rare earth separation demonstration plant in Kingston, Ontario. According to the company, the facility will produce neodymium, praseodymium, and a neodymium-praseodymium compound from Canadian and U.S. feedstocks. These critical minerals are used primarily to produce advanced permanent magnets used in electronics and motors of electric vehicles and wind turbines.