The Canadian and U.S. governments say they're co-investing in critical mineral producers for the first time as they work to boost regional supplies.

Natural Resources Canada and the U.S. Department of Defense are together putting a total of about $32.5 million into Fortune Minerals Ltd., working on a project with bismuth and cobalt in the Northwest Territories, and Lomiko Metals Inc., focused on a graphite project in Quebec.

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the collaboration with the U.S. will help secure supplies of critical minerals that are needed for the green and digital economy.

The U.S. Department of Defense says its investments align with its national defense industrial strategy and show a shared commitment to strengthening North American material supply chains.

Fortune Minerals, set to receive $7.5 million from Canada and US$6.4 million from the U.S., says the company is grateful for the funding because it has been difficult to attract investments for critical minerals in traditional capital markets.

Lomiko, to receive $4.9 million from Canada and US$8.4 million from the U.S., says the twin investments is an exciting milestone as it works to help supply the energy transition.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2024.