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Applications wicket now open for federal critical minerals infrastructure funding



Want to build that all-season road to an isolated nickel or lithium deposit? 

Ottawa said its applications window is now open for companies, organizations and lower level governments to tap into a massive pot of infrastructure funding gold.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said today is the start of a first round in a call for proposals (CFP) for its $1.5-billion Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund. The government first made this announcement on Nov. 1.

This funding pool, spread out over a seven-year period, is designed to address what are considered “key infrastructure gaps” to bring critical mineral mining projects online.

Minerals like nickel, cobalt, lithium, copper, platinum group metals, which are categorized as critical minerals, are desperately needed as ingredients for electric vehicle batteries, wind turbines, solar panels and host of high-tech applications.

Those proposals that qualify for the fund will be those that support clean energy and transportation initiatives attached to the development of mines. 

On the energy side, this could come in the form of power generation, storage and transmission of renewable or alternative energy, as well as grid connectivity. From the transportation end, funding will be available to support road, rail and marine initiatives.

The feds said the current call for proposals will be the first of several, with up to $300 million available under a pre-construction and project development stream, and an infrastructure deployment stream.

Applicants can access up to $50 million per project for non-governmental applicants and up to $100 million per project for provincial and territorial governments making investments in public projects.

The deadline for the first round of applicants is 11:59 PM on Feb.24. 2024.

Overseeing this program is the Canadian Infrastructure Bank.

This program is part of Ottawa’s larger critical minerals strategy rolled out last year.


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