Clean mining project shortlisted for $950 million Canadian gov’t funding

Canada’s federal government has chosen a mining sector’s clean resources project as one of the nine so-called “supercluster” proposals that could qualify for a piece of a $950-million federal fund Ottawa hopes will boost the country’s economy and job creation.

CLEER (Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated) was short-listed in recognition of its potential to generate significant environmental benefits, energize regional economies and create jobs, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said.

Proposal looks at transforming Canada's mining sector with a focus on clean resources, clean technology and responsible sourcing of metals.

Jointly led by the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), the CLEER initiative focuses on water use, energy intensity and environmental footprint, with aggressive targets of a 50% reduction in each area by 2027.

“The global transition into a low carbon economy will require a more technologically advanced mining industry and CLEER offers the opportunity to engage mine operators, supply and service companies and other stakeholders in the development, demonstration, and adoption of leading clean innovations,” Bora Ugurgel, CEMI’s chief operating officer said in a statement.

“We believe that this project can help Canada become the leading supplier of the sustainably-sourced minerals and metals the world needs,” Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of the Mining Association of Canada noted.

Bains announced plans for the supercluster program earlier this year, following up on the government's innovation commitment in its 2017 budget.

Up to five consortiums will be eligible for a piece of the $950-million fund, which will be spent over five years.

Some of Canada’s largest mining companies, the CMIC and the CEMI will work together to advance the project through the next phase of the application process.