Critical Minerals – News and Updates – December 6, 2023

This month in critical minerals, we saw substantial funding opportunities on the federal and provincial levels. In this month’s newsletter, we walk you and your company through the various funding streams, from the federal Call for Proposals of the Infrastructure Fund, to funding competitions for charging stations in Ontario and new job creation with a lithium-ion battery cell facility in BC. 

Government of Canada Launches Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund (CMIF)

The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced the launch of the Call for Proposals (CFP) of the Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund (CMIF). The CMIF will address key infrastructure gaps to enable sustainable critical minerals production and to connect resources to markets. With up to $1.5 billion available over seven years, the fund will support clean energy and electrification initiatives as well as transportation and infrastructure projects that will enable the sustainable development of Canada’s critical minerals.

This CFP will be the first of several under CMIF, with up to $300 million in contribution funding available under two streams: the Pre-construction and Project Development Stream and the Infrastructure Deployment Stream. Through these streams, applicants can seek access to up to $50 million per project for nongovernmental applicants and up to $100 million per project for provincial and territorial governments investing in public projects.

Information on funding opportunities and the applicant guide are now available online. Applications for this first CFP must be submitted online by February 29, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. PST.

The CMIF is a key component of the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy and will complement other clean energy and transportation support that is already benefiting the critical minerals sector. By investing in the foundational and enabling infrastructure needed to develop critical minerals projects, Canada is helping to realize immense economic opportunities all along the value chain, from exploration and sustainable extraction to processing, advanced manufacturing and recycling, while simultaneously supporting the development of clean technologies essential to achieve a global net-zero-emissions economy.

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) Invites Stakeholder Input on Targeted Regulatory Reviews

The Honourable Anita Anand, President of the Treasury Board, announced the launch of a public consultation on regulatory opportunities to improve the efficiency and resiliency of Canada’s supply chains.

The consultation is open on the Let’s Talk Federal Regulations platform until January 15, 2024, and seeks feedback on supply chain issues related to critical minerals, transportation, and border operations.

This consultation, part of the third round of the government’s Targeted Regulatory Reviews, will gather feedback from Canadians, businesses, and stakeholders on opportunities to strengthen and modernize Canada’s supply chains.

Through the first 2 rounds of Targeted Regulatory Reviews, departments developed Roadmaps, or action plans, and are implementing more than 100 distinct regulatory modernization initiatives related to high-growth sectors and themes. These concrete actions will accelerate growth, competition and innovation in the Canadian economy while continuing to uphold Canada’s health, safety, security, and environmental objectives. 

Government of Ontario Launches the EV ChargeON Program

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has introduced a competitive, application-based funding initiative for public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations named EV ChargeON. This program offers financial support (up to $1 million per project, depending on the proposed technology) for the installation of public EV chargers in Ontario communities located outside major cities. The objectives of the EV ChargeON initiative are to:

  1. Enhance the overall number of public EV charging stations across Ontario;
  2. Create a more interconnected network; and
  3. Improve accessibility and affordability of public chargers, and promote the adoption of electric vehicles.

 

The application period for this program extends until January 31, 2024.

Newfoundland and Labrador to See Benefit from Canada-EU Talks on Hydrogen, Critical Minerals

Canadian and European leaders formalized a new “green alliance” during a brief summit in St. John’s on Friday, potentially offering significant benefits for Newfoundland and Labrador.

While the specifics of the agreement largely consist of general commitments to collaborate in the fight against climate change, the choice of St. John’s as the summit location is influenced by the region’s growing green hydrogen and critical minerals sectors.

The presidents of the European Commission and European Council emphasized how these industries could contribute to achieving ambitious climate targets in the coming years.

Newfoundland and Labrador currently has five active green hydrogen proposals, with one undergoing the environmental assessment process. These projects are substantial, requiring large investments, and the resulting products are primarily intended for European markets.

Government of Canada Supports the International Institute of Sustainable Development

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced a $5.4-million investment over four years for the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) to support its ongoing role as the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF). The IGF provides a wide range of services to its 81 member countries to support the advancement of their sustainable development goals through laws, policy making and regulations within the mining sector.

The IGF’s work encompasses a range of outreach and promotional activities to enhance awareness, engagement and cooperation across the mining industry. These activities include conducting Mining Policy Framework (MPF) assessments with member countries to identify gaps and best practices and implement the MPF, and delivering specialized training sessions and technical assistance focused on critical minerals and responsible mining, with an emphasis of promoting gender diversity and inclusivity.


Canadian Chamber of Commerce Completes Critical Minerals Mission to Washington, D.C.

This month, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce conducted a strategic mission to Washington D.C. focused on critical minerals to explore partnership opportunities between Canada and the United States in the industry. Guided by the Canada-U.S. Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration, the mission included various events such as networking luncheons, panels on collaboration, a net-zero outlook for mobility, the future of mining in North America, and discussions on foreign investment, resource exploration, and development de-risking.

The key achievement highlighted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce was the establishment of recognition and unity between the representatives of both countries on joint goals and the importance of a collaborative approach to addressing challenges in the sector. Additionally, the engagement emphasized the urgent need, as conveyed by American counterparts, for increased extraction and integration of Canadian critical minerals into the North American ecosystem to expedite the energy transition and ensure energy security for the continent.

Maple Ridge, B.C. Attracting Hundreds of Clean, Highly-Skilled Jobs

A collaboration worth $1.05 billion between E-One Moli and the governments of British Columbia (B.C.) and Canada is set to establish lithium-ion battery cell production in Maple Ridge, generating 450 permanent jobs crucial for advancing the province’s clean economy.

The Government of B.C. is contributing up to $80 million to support E-One Moli’s new facility in Maple Ridge, serving as the cornerstone for the company’s North American production. This manufacturing facility, Western Canada’s first high-performance lithium-ion battery cell production unit, is poised to become a central hub in the global battery component supply chain.

B.C.’s investment is complemented by $970 million from the federal government, E-One Moli, and private sources. The plant is geared towards producing the latest generation of high-performance lithium-ion battery cells, applicable in various products such as consumer electronics (e.g., vacuums, power tools, garden trimmers, and medical devices).

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