Canadian government announces investment in Canada's mining industry
The Government of Canada announced plans for a $40 million investment in the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation Inc. (CEMI), a $112.4-million project.
In a press release, the government said the $40-million investment will support creation of the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator (MICA) Network, a pan-Canadian initiative bringing together stakeholders from a wide range of fields to accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative technologies to make the mining sector more productive and sustainable.
MICA will be headquartered in Sudbury, Ontario, and will operate across Canada through the following main partners: the Bradshaw Research Initiative for Minerals and Mining, InnoTech Alberta, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, MaRS, Le Groupe MISA and the College of the North Atlantic. MICA is an ecosystem initiative designed to modernize mining and improve its productivity and environmental performance, strengthen the Canadian mineral supply chain, and increase the domestic and export sales of Canadian innovators. By accelerating the development and commercialization of innovative autonomous and clean technologies in the mining sector, the initiative is expected to extend the operational lives of existing mines and reduce the time it takes to bring new mineral deposits into production.
With activities that will span the country, including in the North, MICA is expected to support the creation of 900 jobs and at least 12 new businesses; the commercialization of at least 30 new products, services or processes; and the generation of interindustry spillover benefits by introducing innovative non-mining technologies to the mining sector and vice versa. MICA will mobilize investments of at least $100 million from the private sector and expand its membership to over 350 businesses and organizations across the country.
This investment will support Canada's mining sector in delivering those minerals to the world more quickly and efficiently, expediting the global shift toward net zero, and positioning Canada as a leader in the global market for net-zero technologies. This project supports the Government of Canada's goal of making Canada a leading producer of zero-emission products and technologies.
“The mining sector is critical to the Canadian economy as it supports well-paying jobs in communities across the country,” the Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry said. “Today's announcement will help bridge the innovation-to-commercialization gap for the benefit of both Canadian mining companies and innovators by providing them with the tools, knowledge and expertise they need to meet the future demands for Canada's critical minerals. The mining sector is playing a pivotal role in our green recovery and our progress toward net zero, and I look forward to the innovations and the job creation that will come from these new collaborations.”
MICA intends to connect Canada’s regional mining clusters and bring together mining companies, mining suppliers, academic and research institutions, innovators from all walks of life, and others to foster knowledge sharing and collaboration and to create technical and business synergies among its members.
According to the Mining Association of Canada, the mining sector contributed $109 billion, or 5 percent, to Canada’s GDP in 2019. It directly and indirectly employs 719,000 Canadians, which represents approximately 1 in every 26 jobs in Canada.