Mining groups submit proposal for supercluster funding

Six groups in the mining sector from across Canada have submitted a full proposal to participate in the final leg of the Innovation Supercluster Initiative (ISI), accumulating commitments of $700 million – $450 million in cash and $244 million in-kind. The consortium represents 162 partners in industry, government and academia including the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), Centre for Innovation in Mineral Resource Engineering (CIMRE), Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC), COREM of Quebec, International Minerals Mining Institute, and Mining Suppliers Trade Association. The groups make up the CLEER (Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated) Supercluster, which was among the nine shortlisted proposals. CEMI and CMIC are leading the partnership, having submitted both the first-stage Letter of Intent last summer and the proposal last month. The consortium notes that unlike other supercluster proposals that are concentrated in select geographies, its grouping covers a broader scope with members from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. The consortium says its composition is built on existing regional ecosystems to include service providers and suppliers, anchor companies, R&D organizations, post-secondary institutions, and partners from other sectors across Canada, including clean tech. The proposal seeks to boost the productivity, performance and global competitiveness of the mining sector through innovation that will address challenges in energy, water and the environment. If successful in its bid, it will share in the government’s $950-million, five-year contribution. CLEER projects it will generate more than 38,000 new, direct high-paying jobs and more than 100,000 indirect jobs and contribute up to $26 billion to GDP after the five-year funding period and an additional 8,000 jobs and $21 billion as benefits ripple through the economy.