Canadian Critical Minerals Report – March 2024 News Roundup

Government Extending Support for Mineral Exploration in Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, announced that the federal government will extend the 15-per-cent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for investors in flow-through shares for an additional year, until March 31, 2025.

The Mineral Exploration Tax Credit, which was scheduled to expire on March 31, 2024, provides important support to junior mineral exploration companies working to unlock Canada’s tremendous mineral wealth, creating jobs, and growing the economy. This extension is expected to provide $65 million to support mineral exploration investment.

Minister Wilkinson Advances Global Cooperation, Resource Security and Sustainable Mining at World’s Premier Mining Convention, PDAC 2024

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and Marc G. Serré, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, participated in events throughout PDAC 2024, helping to position Canada as the global supplier of choice for critical minerals and the clean energy sources and technologies they enable while simultaneously supporting Canada’s continued leadership in.

While at PDAC, Minister Wilkinson engaged with senior leaders in the mining and clean-tech sectors as well as Indigenous leaders from across Canada to share updates on Canada’s progress under the $3.8-billion Critical Minerals Strategy and hear about recent successes and challenges in the sustainable development of Canada’s mineral wealth.

Minister Wilkinson and Parliamentary Secretary Serré also announced significant investments in Canada’s minerals sector and international support for Environmental, Social and Governance best practices, including:

  • over $4.49 million to Magneto Investments Limited Partnership under the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration Program;
  • over $10.4 million for seven critical minerals focused mining projects under the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships program;
  • the launch of the Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund Indigenous Grant, with up to $13.5 million in funding available until March 31, 2030, of which $3.5 million is now available for the first call for proposals; and,
  • a $1.95-million investment under the Global Partnerships Initiative to enhance the capacity of mineral-rich countries to put in place appropriate policies and regulations for the climate-smart extraction, processing and recycling of minerals needed for low-carbon technologies through knowledge sharing, peer-to-peer exchanges and awareness raising.

Canada Announces Over $15 Million to Support Canadian Mining Sector at the 2024 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada Convention

At the 2024 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced federal investments of over $15 million in projects to increase Indigenous participation and support the development of Canada’s critical minerals sector.

Minister Wilkinson also announced the launch of the first call for proposals for Indigenous grants under the Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund (CMIF). The first call for proposals will provide up to $3.5 million in federal funding available to support Indigenous engagement, knowledge sharing and capacity building related to clean energy and transportation projects to enable critical minerals development. Overall, the CMIF Indigenous grant stream will provide $13.5 million in funding and run until March 31, 2030. And to support Indigenous communities today in seizing the economic opportunities presented by sustainably sourced mineral resources, 

Canada will be funding seven mining projects representing over $10.4 million under the Indigenous Natural Resource Partnerships (INRP) program. Activities funded through these projects include capacity building initiatives, support for the development of partnership programs, conducting key feasibility studies, expanding skills training and advancing important infrastructure projects.

JOINT STATEMENT by Canada and Australia on Cooperation on Critical Minerals

Canada and Australia have developed a non-legally binding understanding to promote shared priorities related to global critical minerals extraction, processing, and refining. Canada’s Department of Natural Resources and Australia’s Critical Minerals Office within the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, will lead the work outlined in the Joint Statement, and coordinate policies and investments to support these shared priorities.

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

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.

First Nations and Ontario One Step Closer to Building All-Season Roads in the Ring of Fire

The Ontario government, Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation have signed an agreement to develop community infrastructure projects that could support future development opportunities in the area, including building all-seasons roads to the mineral-rich Ring of Fire region.

The Community Development Agreement, signed during a ceremony at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto, commits the province to supporting shovel-ready infrastructure projects. Those could include construction of health and training facilities, recreation centres, commercial buildings and labour force development programs. These projects would help improve the well-being and readiness of the First Nations to participate fully in the construction of road projects that would connect the Ring of Fire critical mineral deposits with manufacturing hubs in the south, paving the way for made-in-Ontario supply chains for batteries and electric vehicles.

Ontario Strengthening Mining Industry in Northern Ontario

The Ontario government is providing more than $3.7 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to 11 mining supply and service sector companies in Northern Ontario. This investment is promoting innovation, workplace safety, business development and job creation in the mining industry.

The NOHFC is funding the following projects:

  • $894,000 for Itec 2000 Equipment (Timmins) Inc. – a supplier of heavy equipment products and services – to expand into Timmins by acquiring and renovating a building and purchasing equipment
  • $759,573 for A10 Fabrication – an Espanola-based custom design and manufacturing business servicing the mining and forestry sectors – to expand its operations by acquiring and renovating a new property and purchasing equipment
  • $599,893 for NCIndustrial Limited – a Lively-based manufacturer, distributor, and repair depot for heavy industrial products used in the mining, construction, and heavy industrial sectors – to improve productivity by purchasing equipment and reconfiguring its facility
  • $400,000 for Wabi Iron & Steel Corp. – a New Liskeard-based manufacturer of loading and conveyance systems for the mining industry – to expand its product and service offerings by modernizing its facility and purchasing equipment
  • $250,000 for Shaft Sinking Engineered Products Ltd. – a Sudbury-based mining technology business – to develop and test a mucking machine that will automate the development of mine shafts and shaft stations, making mining operations safer and more economical
  • $215,298 for B&D Manufacturing Ltd. – a Chelmsford-based design and fabrication company for mining and construction equipment – to increase production efficiency by purchasing equipment
  • $200,000 for Norsmiths Mining Solutions to establish, in Kirkland Lake, a drill bits and hammer reconditioning business servicing mining companies
  • $143,638 for Nordic Minesteel Technologies Inc. – a North Bay-based solution design company for manufacturing in the mining sector – to develop and test a device that makes the hoisting of persons in mine shafts safer and more economical
  • $101,835 for Cool Heat – a Timmins-based heavy equipment heating and cooling systems services provider for the mining and forestry industries – to improve operational efficiencies by purchasing equipment and building a new shop
  • $100,620 for Titans Mechanical Inc. to establish, in Timmins, a mobile mechanical repair services business for heavy-duty mining equipment and vehicles
  • $79,282 for the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT) Timmins – a non-profit organization that develops and provides workplace productivity and safety programs, services, and resources – to increase its in-house training capacity by renovating its facility and purchasing equipment.

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