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Ottawa “All-in” with massive $1.5B Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund

Nov 30, 2023

Federal Liberals rocked the Canadian resource sector with a massive announcement to support the critical minerals industry in late October.


Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson


Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that the Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund (CMIF) will begin accepting applications when it opens its first call for proposals in late fall 2023.
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 transportation projects that will enable critical mineral development.
“Critical minerals are a generational economic opportunity for Canada,” said Wilkinson. “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.”
In making the announcement, Ottawa said 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. Canada’s critical minerals sector has tremendous opportunities that remain underdeveloped. This is largely because critical minerals deposits are often located in remote areas with challenging terrain and limited access to enabling infrastructure, such as roads or grid connectivity. Canada is already a leading supplier of sustainably sourced minerals and materials and is committed to making strategic investments to reinforce our position and drive job creation and economic growth.



Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry


“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,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

“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.”


Minister  Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport Canada
Minister Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport Canada


“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,” added Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport.


Quick facts

  • 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.
  • 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.

CMIF funding will be made available through two streams, both supporting mine sites and regional clean energy and transportation infrastructure.
The first stream, Preconstruction and Project Development, will fund pre-construction activities required to advance projects toward a shovel-ready state, for example, planning, studies and engagement with Indigenous groups. 
The second stream, Infrastructure Deployment, will fund activities for shovel-ready projects, such as readily deployable solutions, construction, rehabilitation or enhancement of infrastructure. 

The first CMIF Call for Proposals (CFP) will disburse an initial tranche of funding to shovel-ready projects that are deployable, having secured all necessary regulatory approvals and permits, and to pre-construction projects that can be deployed in future years. Eligible recipients will include a broad array of partners, including provinces and territories and organizations under provincial or territorial statute or regulation, such as Crown corporations and public utilities, private businesses, not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous groups.
The CMIF will also offer grant funding to support Indigenous groups and organizations to engage in the development and implementation of CMIF-related infrastructure projects. Further details about CMIF grants will be available shortly.
It is anticipated that the CMIF will launch its first CFP by late fall 2023.

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