Canada is a world leader when it comes to mining and natural resources. In a March 2021 statement, Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Seamus O’Regan Jr. released a list of 31 Canadian mined minerals critical to Canada’s economic success.
…global demand for critical minerals is increasing to support the transition to a low emissions global economy. Canada can leverage its mining and processing expertise and world leading environmental, social and governance credentials, and become the global supplier of choice for clean and advanced technologies”.Hon. Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Mining is a top sector in the funding ecosystem. Funding programs that positively impact the sector’s growth, long-term viability, and transition to net-zero emissions are on the rise.
97 mining projects funded since January
Fundingportal’s AI-driven awards tracking system has identified 97 mining and natural resources projects that have received a combined $364 million in funding since January of 2021.
By region, 36 per cent of the projects funded were Quebec-based, with 29 per cent coming from Ontario, 21 per cent from British Columbia, and 7 per cent coming from both Manitoba and Newfoundland. This aligns with Canada’s top jurisdictions by value of mineral production, which in 2019 were Quebec ($10.8 billion), Ontario ($10.7 billion) and British Columbia ($8.8 billion).
$230 million awarded to 20 operations and programming mining projects
When analyzing fund allocation by purpose, Fundingportal’s data shows over $230 million awarded to 20 operations and programming mining projects between January and May 2021. A single infrastructure project received over $26 million, and $25 million went to 6 innovation and R&D projects. Over $21 million were divided among 43 green mining projects, and 3 expansion projects received $12.3 million. Rounding out the final three funding purposes were 2 commercialization projects and 17 job creation projects receiving just over $1 million each, and 3 capital expense projects awarded a combined total of $790 thousand.
Government funding for the mining sector in 2021
Recently tabled 2021 federal and provincial budgets have provisioned funds toward supporting the industry’s growth domestically and to remain globally competitive. Budgetary commitments include $46.4 million in total funding over three years toward R&D, divided between two major streams:
- $9.6 million over three years to establish a Critical Battery Minerals Centre of Excellence at Natural Resources Canada
- $36.8 million over three years towards R&D in the mining and refining sectors
…Canada has rich reserves of the critical minerals needed for electric vehicle batteries and solar panels, along with other low-carbon technologies needed to reach net-zero.”2021 Canadian Federal Budget
Programs we’re watching
Fundingportal mines millions of data points to keep companies and organizations up-to-date on all public programs and awards. Key sector programs we are watching include:
Offshore Exploration Incentive: This program offers up to $50 million per applicant toward exploration drilling, which is of highest importance to unlocking hydrocarbon potential offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.
INVEST North Program. Innovation Stream: The Innovation Stream supports the research, development and commercialization of new and innovative technologies in Northern Ontario.
Waterflood Development Program: The Government of Saskatchewan’s Waterflood Development Program (WDP) offers up to $1 million per applicant toward converted or newly drilled injection wells.
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Understanding the funding landscape
With billions of dollars allocated and thousands of new programs being launched, it can be difficult to find, apply for and leverage available funding. Since many grants and incentives are disbursed on a first come, first served basis, it is critical to stay on top of program intake periods, criteria, and end dates. Incorporating available funding into overall project planning can help mining organizations prioritize projects, and plan for growth and innovation initiatives that may have otherwise been put on hold.
Staying at the top of the global mining industry will require targeted investments and planning. Incorporating a funding strategy into those plans can be key to short-term growth and long-term sustainability.