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Ontario Launches New Critical Minerals Innovation Fund to Strengthen Green Economy

$5 million fund will support innovation, economic growth and made-in-Ontario supply chain

November 24, 2022


Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

TIMMINS – The Ontario government is investing in the critical minerals sector by launching a two-year, $5 million Critical Minerals Innovation Fund to enhance research and development of new technologies.

The fund will support Ontario-based innovation that will help build the supply chain for clean technologies, including electric vehicles, by connecting mineral resources in the north with the manufacturing might of the south.

“Our goal is to supply our province, country and allies with the critical minerals we need to meet our climate goals and transition to a cleaner, sustainable economy,” said George Pirie, Minister of Mines. “This investment will leverage Ontario’s expertise to tap into new and growing markets and ensure we capitalize on the growing demand for responsibly and ethically sourced critical minerals.”

The Critical Minerals Innovation Fund will help increase exploration, mining, smelting and processing of critical minerals within Ontario. The fund will promote collaboration between industry, academia and start-ups to drive the commercialization of technologies to extract and process critical minerals. This includes supporting new technologies that would allow companies to recover critical minerals from mine tailings and waste sites across the province.

“The new Critical Minerals Innovation Fund is another way our government is growing Ontario’s green economy, while building the north, supporting job creation and fostering innovation,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Ontario has everything companies need to grow and thrive, and we’re excited to see the made-in-Ontario solutions that will be developed through this fund.”

Applications for the Critical Minerals Innovation Fund are now being accepted. More information is available here.

Quick Facts

  • In March 2022, the Ontario government launched the Critical Minerals Strategy, a five-year plan to position Ontario as a global leader in supplying critical minerals.
  • Critical minerals are a subset of the raw materials needed to produce many products and specialized technologies. They do not have many viable alternatives, meaning if a critical mineral is not available, there aren’t many other minerals that can be used in its place.
  • In 2021, Ontario produced over $11.1 billion worth of minerals, accounting for 20 per cent of Canada’s total mineral production and approximately $3.1 billion worth of critical minerals.
  • Ontario is a leading global producer and manufacturer for critical minerals, such as nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group elements.
  • Minerals mined and processed in Ontario support key sectors including auto manufacturing, telecommunications and national defence.