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Immediate Release

Department of Defense Awards $14.7 Million to Enhance North American Cobalt and Graphite Supply Chain

The Department of Defense (DoD) today announced awards of $6.4 million and $8.3 million to Canadian companies Fortune Minerals Limited (Fortune) and Lomiko Metals, Inc. (Lomiko), through the Defense Production Act Investment (DPAI) program to help support the U.S. - Canadian Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals. These awards will help build resilience in the cobalt and graphite supply chains and are in accordance with the 2024 National Defense Industrial Strategy to continue and expand support for domestic production of critical minerals.  In concert with the funding provided by DPAI, the Department of Natural Resources Canada will support the efforts with USD $5.6 million and USD $3.6 million to Fortune and Lomiko respectively.

"As some of the first awards to Canadian public mining and mineral development companies, these grants exemplify the critical importance of DPA funds, the Department's partnership with Canada, and our shared commitment to strengthening North American material supply chains," said Dr. Laura Taylor-Kale, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy (ASD(IBP)).

Announced in January 2020, the U.S. - Canadian Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals advances both countries' common interest in strengthening North American critical mineral production needed for defense, aerospace, clean energy, communication, and other key industries. The plan outlines bilateral commitments to collaborate on industrial base investments, public-private partnerships, and other projects to onshore and expand these capabilities. 

"Canada is positioning itself as a global leader in the supply of responsibly sourced critical minerals for the green and digital economy. Through our work with the United States and other allies, we are developing secure critical minerals value chains that will power a prosperous and sustainable future," said the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canadian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.

The $6.4 million DPA award to Fortune, along with the $5.6 million from the Canadian government, supports cobalt sulfate and bismuth metal production capabilities, which is essential for DoD and civilian markets. DPA funds will enable Fortune to complete a feasibility study, secure the remaining permits, and obtain the required authorizations to accelerate Fortune's NICO Project to a construction decision. A feasibility study is a comprehensive technical and economic study of the selected development option for a mineral project, which includes a reasonable assessment of the mineable ore reserves and their amenability to metallurgical treatment, a complete description of the work, equipment and supplies required to bring the evaluated deposit into commercial production and the estimated cost thereof. 

As a planned vertically integrated development, the NICO Project covers the entire mineral production process from mining and concentrating ores to refining metals to final cobalt sulfate and bismuth ingot products with copper and gold co-products. Upon successful findings from the feasibility study, the intended result would be the development of a new North American, vertically integrated producer of cobalt and bismuth critical minerals to de-risk associated supply chains and reduce dependence on unreliable or adversarial sources of these materials. The technical effort will take place in the Northwest Territories, Alberta, and at their headquarters in London, Ontario.

For Lomiko, the $8.3 million DPA award, along with the $3.6 million in Canadian funding, will enable the company to advance the La Loutre natural flake graphite project as a supplier of high-quality graphite for defense applications and the growing electric vehicle market in North America. DPA funds will be used to complete a pre-feasibility study, perform spherical graphite battery testing and value-added studies, and complete a definitive feasibility study. The range of studies will be used to de-risk and optimize project design and provide the technical foundation for the company to reach a construction decision for a battery-grade graphite anode facility. Upon successful completion of this effort, Lomiko aims to become a stable North American supply of graphite for use in batteries for EVs, defense applications, and many other mobile and stationary devices. The technical effort will take place in Quebec, Canada.

Since the start of fiscal year 2024, the DPA Program has made 15 awards totaling $336 million.  DPAI is overseen by the ASD(IBP)'s MCEIP program, in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Resilience.

For more information on MCEIP, please visit:

About the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy (OASD(IBP))

The OASD(IBP) works with domestic and international partners to forge and sustain a robust, secure, and resilient industrial base enabling the warfighter, now and in the future. OASD(IBP) also utilizes a new Defense Industrial Base Consortium Other Transaction Agreement (DIBC OTA) to solicit new ideas for research or prototype project solutions for critical Supply Chain Resiliency Focus Areas. It underscores the Department's ongoing dedication to safeguarding the integrity of our crucial supply chain and furnishing our warfighters with requisite materials and technologies promptly. To learn more at the DIBC OTA, please visit: