ST. JOHN’S, NL
– Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) has a significant role to play in the critical minerals industry, and a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between College of the North Atlantic (CNA) and Memorial University focuses on maximum development of this potential.
The five-year agreement was announced today by the Honourable Andrew Parsons, KC, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology in Toronto, Ontario, where tens of thousands have gathered for the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) world premier mineral exploration and mining conference. Here, more than 1,100 exhibitors and 2,500 investors network with upwards of 30,000 visitors, who are exposed to educational programming, business opportunities and networking with global stakeholders involved in the mining industry.
The MOU is a direct result of Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy
released by the federal government in late 2022 with a plan to increase the supply of “responsibly sourced” critical minerals and support the domestic and global movement toward a green and digital economy. This province is positioned to be a major contributor to accelerating Canada’s clean energy transition because of the vast critical mineral wealth it already possesses and has mined from known deposits (representing one-third of all 31 critical minerals identified in the strategy).
As NL’s public post-secondary education providers, CNA and Memorial University each have applied research and innovative technological capabilities to collaborate and establish supports for a critical minerals industry right here.
“My department is working collaboratively with College of the North Atlantic and Memorial University to advance opportunities related to emerging critical minerals,” said Min. Parsons. “Newfoundland and Labrador is well-positioned with the critical minerals needed to meet global demand, and we will continue working together to ensure our province holds an important place in the global critical mineral value added supply chain.”
Jason Rolls, CNA’s Vice President of Academic and Applied Research, says supporting the safe and sustainable exploration and processing of this province’s critical mineral wealth, however, is a massive and complex undertaking – one that requires the cooperation of many organizations and industry partners.
“This agreement is a recognition of the challenge and our collective steps towards developing what we see as the transformative force critical minerals can play in our economy. CNA looks forward to working with Memorial University to create the academic programming, applied research and relevant skills training that our critical mineral sector will require to realize the maximum benefits for the province.”
Dr. Tana Allen, Memorial University’s Acting Vice-President (research), says research teams will work together to increase knowledge on critical minerals.
“As one of Canada’s top 20 research institutions, Memorial has demonstrated research strengths in a range of multidisciplinary areas including natural resources and the environment. We will draw on this expertise to explore opportunities related to critical minerals, while also strengthening our relationship with College of the North Atlantic.”
The agreement between CNA and Memorial University outlines some of the numerous academic and research activities to be conducted over the next five years, including:
- a partnership that will pursue funding in support of critical minerals research and innovation;
- administration of funding from funding partners to support research projects;
- undergraduate and graduate student mobility;
- exchange of publications, research materials, newsletters etc.;
- joint projects related to research, teaching and faculty development; and,
- joint developments of training and academic programs in support of the critical minerals industry.
College of the North Atlantic
Media Relations Manager
Department of Industry, Energy & Technology