Government of Canada Launches $1.5-Billion Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund
From: Natural Resources Canada
November 20, 2023
Critical minerals are key enablers of clean technologies, like batteries, and clean energy sources, such as wind turbines and solar panels, which are essential to achieving a net-zero-emissions future and fighting climate change. Canada is already a leading supplier of sustainably sourced minerals and materials and is committed to making strategic investments to reinforce its position and drive job creation and economic growth in every region of the country.
That is why, today, 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.
“Critical minerals are a generational economic opportunity for Canada. As major enablers of clean technologies and clean energy sources, demand for critical minerals is projected to rise exponentially as the global economy continues to shift toward low-carbon solutions. Through the $1.5-billion Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund, Canada will make strategic investments in projects to help enable and grow the sustainable development of these minerals, reinforcing Canada’s position as a global supplier of choice for clean technology, clean energy and the resources the world needs to build a prosperous net-zero economy.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
“Developing Canada’s critical minerals value chains will not only boost the competitiveness of the minerals and metals sector, it will support the growth of our economy, support Canada’s transition toward a net-zero economy and create well-paying jobs for Canadians. With investments through the Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund and the Strategic Innovation Fund, our government is strengthening the electric vehicle value chain we’re building from coast to coast to coast by adding value to our critical minerals resources, from mineral processing to manufacturing and recycling.”
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Investing in Canada’s transportation infrastructure is a priority for our government. With the Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund and the National Trade Corridors Fund, we’re building to strengthen Canadian supply chains and foster economic resilience and sustainable growth in Canada.”
The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez
Minister of Transport
“The $1.5-billion Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund and the Strategic Innovation Fund will help unlock the critical minerals sector that is so important to the development of clean technology. The Canada Infrastructure Bank will play an important complementary role by supporting large-scale projects as we continue along the move toward a net-zero future. Through these investments, we are creating skilled jobs and supporting northern communities for years to come.”
The Honourable Sean Fraser
Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
“Our investments will help the mining industry develop important enabling and supporting infrastructure such as roads and energy facilities required prior to construction of mines. Canada has an opportunity to be a substantial global producer of critical minerals. We are pleased to play a role in unlocking critical mineral deposits, which are essential for Canada’s move to net zero and economic development in northern communities.”
CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank
- The CMIF is a key program under the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy to support enabling clean energy and transportation infrastructure projects necessary to increase Canada’s supply of responsibly sourced critical minerals.
- The CMIF will support strategic priorities such as decarbonizing industrial mining operations, strengthening supply chains through transportation infrastructure and advancing economic reconciliation by supporting the participation of Indigenous Peoples in infrastructure and critical mineral projects.
- Applications to the CMIF Pre-construction and Project Development Stream will be assessed and ranked as a cohort after the CFP window closes. Applications to the Infrastructure Deployment Stream, however, will be accepted and considered on a first-come, first-served basis.
- In 2022, the Government of Canada launched the Regional Energy and Resource Tables — a collaborative initiative with provinces and territories designed to identify, prioritize and pursue opportunities for sustainable job creation and economic growth. Critical minerals have been identified as an area for priority action by provincial and territorial governments through the Regional Tables, and these tables will provide a great opportunity for them to highlight priority critical mineral infrastructure projects that may be supported by the CMIF.
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Canada