Clean Technology Canada

Cdn. government announces $10M for critical minerals mining in Northern Ont.

June 11, 2024
By Canadian Manufacturing

Presented by:

SUDBURY — On Jun. 10, Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced two investments of $5 million each to the Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corp (MIRARCO) and Electra Battery Materials Corporation (Electra) to support the critical minerals sector in Canada, and in Northern Ontario specifically. These projects join nearly 130 mining projects under construction or planned over the next 10 years in Canada, representing a combined value of $93.5 billion, according to Natural Resources Canada’s Major Projects Inventory.

Funding to MIRARCO aims to advance technological readiness of the recovery of battery metals like nickel, cobalt and copper from mine tailings from the Vale and Glencore mines in the Greater Sudbury area, while reducing the long-term social and environmental costs associated with mine waste. Through this project, MIRARCO will directly feed into the battery supply chain, potentially unlocking significant amounts of nickel and cobalt in Sudbury, Ontario.

Funding to Electra will be used to advance the next phase of its battery materials recycling project. Electra is constructing North America’s only battery grade cobalt refinery, five hours north of Toronto, as part of a multiphase effort to build the North American supply chain for battery materials. Electra successfully ran a demonstration recycling program on a batch basis at this facility in 2023. The funding advances the project, demonstrating the process on a continuous basis and showing that Electra’s proprietary technology is scalable, profitable and can be reportedly implemented at other locations. The battery materials recycling program will try to help conserve resources, reduce waste and reduce the environmental impact of battery production in North America’s critical minerals sector.

Funding for these projects comes from the Critical Minerals Research, Development and Demonstration (CMRDD) program.

“Today’s total investment of $10 million to Electra and MIRARCO will help to advance the development of dynamic and competitive critical minerals value chains in Canada and Northern Ontario. This funding will increase mineral and energy security, create good jobs and support economic opportunities — supporting our work to build a cleaner Canada and a prosperous, sustainable economy that works for everyone,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.

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