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Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has announced a call for proposals for grants that support the critical minerals traceability project (CMTP) as part of the Canadian Critical Minerals Strategy.

With up to C$675 000 available over three years, the CMTP will provide funding to private sector, commercial-stage pilot traceability projects for critical mineral supply chains.

The Critical Minerals Centre of Excellence (CMCE) at Natural Resources Canada, is accepting applications for these grants from Canadian companies with a specialisation in traceability technologies. Partnerships between the applicant organisation and other companies, organisations or levels of government are encouraged, but not required.

The grant will fund up to C$100 000 per project per year for up to three years.

Applications can be submitted by email to the CMCE before January 30.

Successful applicants will be notified in spring 2024.

Meanwhile, Wilkinson also announced a C$1-million investment over two years to the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Bradshaw Research Institute for Minerals and Mining (BRIMM) to support the development and increased offering of its Executive Microcertificate in Economic Leadership for Mining programme.

The programme will boost professional careers by teaching organizational leadership skills while addressing key challenges faced by mining and exploration companies worldwide. Funding will provide 300 scholarships targeting individuals who require financial support to access the program, making it more inclusive and accessible to a wider audience. BRIMM will also provide two in-person microcertificate programs for up to 50 students each in Argentina and Chile to grow and strengthen professional networks.

BRIMM microcertificate graduates will actively contribute to enhancing environmentally sustainable practices through conscious leadership in a world where business optimization and sustainability have become a priority for economic development. The program will help address the current skilled labour shortages in the mining sector in Canada and many other mineral-rich countries.

In 2019, Canada joined the governments of Australia, Botswana, Peru and the United States to found the Energy Resource Governance Initiative (ERGI), with the goal of sourcing and disseminating best practices across the international mining sector while also promoting responsible mining with a focus on economic growth and environmental performance. At COP15 in 2022, Canada, along with Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US, launched the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance to drive the global uptake of environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive and responsible mining, processing and recycling practices and responsible critical minerals supply chains. Through commitments like these, Canada is pursuing collective action on critical minerals to support the global transition to green energy and more-resilient supply chains.