• 1 800 260 6682
  • GTranslate

Other ways to reach us: 1.800.260.6682 | 902.424.8670 | info@investnovascotia.ca

Solterra Geo-Resources

Research funding to de-risk innovation and advance the shift to a low-carbon economy

Solterra Geo-Resources seeks, analyzes, and unearths critical minerals — materials that are essential to the development of renewable energy technologies needed to power Canada’s net-zero transition.

Solterra approaches mining through a sustainable, environmentally responsible lens, conducting extensive research to determine the economic viability of deposits early in the exploration process.

As they work towards building up Nova Scotia’s sustainable mining industry, Solterra is also focused on advancing solutions for bioeconomy waste focusing on accountability in managing natural resources, including circular approaches such as the re-processing of raw materials. This requires substantial research to execute — which, in turn, requires time and talent.

Through Mitacs, Solterra partnered directly with experienced researchers specialized in this field of geology, as well as students interested in the sector.

“Our projects are referred to as ‘grassroots’ in the industry. It’s a first pass program that often consists of regional sampling, historical compilations, and updated surveys—geochemical and geophysical—to help determine a deposit’s economic potential,” says Jeff Burke, President and Director of Solterra Geo-Resources.


Through Mitacs, Solterra partnered with experienced researchers as well as students interested in the sector

“Recently, elements such as rare earths, lithium, or other related critical minerals have received a lot of attention with regard to how they can support the low-carbon energy transition,” says Burke, explaining that the current global climate has further increased Canada’s interest in supplying the materials needed to make the shift.

“Canada holds some of the highest standards in its environmental, social, and governance policies, and is primed to supply these materials to help build a sustainable future, including right here in Nova Scotia. Mitacs has provided the funding to research the mineralogy of our properties, not only on this project, but others we are exploring.”

Through funding partnerships with organizations like Nova Scotia Business Inc., Mitacs covered at least 50 per cent of the innovation internship. Burke says that without this support, these studies quite possibly would not have been completed, with company cashflow having been limited to sampling costs alone.

“I believe the critical minerals space is a very interesting and active one both in industry and academics and supported by our government. There are certainly untested deposits out there yet to be explored. This support speeds up the process of assessing economic potential.”

While the industry is currently facing a severe labour shortage, Burke is hopeful that collaboration with the scientific community will enable the mineral exploration sector to innovate and to attract and retain a skilled workforce.

“The industry tends to lag a bit in some instances, and it’s increasingly being tested for its track record with environmental and social challenges,” says Burke. “With most companies jumping straight into public trading, there is a pressure to constantly put out results, and often this leads to systematic, scientific approaches being glanced over in favour of a singular focus on the financial side of the business. However, without engaging the scientific community, I believe industry alone will continue to face challenges in discovering and assessing these types of deposits. More effort needs to be made to allow for R&D and innovation in order to attract investment and much-needed talent.”

As for Solterra, Burke says they will continue to pursue investment as the company works towards achieving a net-zero impact.

“Our aim is to advance a holistic approach to the industry, where explorers and miners can participate in a more circular economy, closing the loop directly through things like recycling to lower their impact, rather than the more traditional outlook and investment pressures.”

Become an Insider

Get the latest updates from Invest Nova Scotia including events, resources, and stories about doing business in Nova Scotia and around the globe.

Subscribe today

NOVONIX Battery Technology Solutions

Recruiting and retaining skilled, work-ready talent to fuel home-grown battery production

Read now

Merivale Group

Turning waste into energy by tapping into skilled post-secondary talent

Read now

Enginuity Inc.

Leveraging funding, talent, and innovation to reach new markets

Read now