APPROVAL FOR TOP END LITHIUM
Australian lithium developer Core Lithium has received approval of its Mine Management Plan from the Northern Territory Government, marking the achievement of the final major authorisation milestone to build the Territory’s first lithium mine and production facility.
Core’s Finniss Lithium Project, located within an hour by road to Darwin Port, is well placed to become Australia’s next lithium producer and the country’s first outside WA.
Core Lithium managing director Stephen Biggins said the Finniss Lithium Project would create more than 200 direct full-time jobs in the Northern Territory, additional employment in South Australia, and had the potential to inject more than half a billion dollars into the local economy during its first three years of operation.
“And Core’s recent investment into the Project is looking to expand that to over $1 billion,” he said.
The Finniss Lithium Project is now the only new, fully permitted lithium project in Australia, is one of the few Australian lithium projects that is not substantially foreign-owned or controlled, and Core wants to have the Project constructionready in 2020. First production is expected about a year after project construction starts and Core is planning to export 175,000tpa of high-quality lithium concentrate, with contracts for 40pc of this offtake already in place and further sales agreements currently being negotiated.
The Finniss Project has arguably the best-supporting logistics chain to markets in Asia of any Australian lithium project.
It’s located within 25km of power stations, gas, rail and one hour by sealed road to workforce accommodated in Darwin and importantly close to Darwin Port – Australia’s nearest port to Asia.
Mr Biggins said the enterprise is in line with Australia’s broader federal priorities on sourcing critical minerals – particularly in the viable production of more renewable energy.
In further good news, a final round of testing has confirmed excellent recoveries via Dense Media Separation (DMS) on the spodumene pegmatite extracted from the BP33 site at Finniss.
The results, which showed an exceptional concentrate quality produced at high recovery, will enable Core to avoid much higher capital, financing and operating costs associated with flotation processing.
Specifically, the results showed a high lithium concentrate grade of 6pc Li2O, low iron impurities when compared to other local lithium producers of <0.5pc Fe2O3, and a high product recovery of 71pc.
Mr Biggins said the news is encouraging and continues to strengthen the financial case for investors.
“Finniss’ superior quality, lowiron, and coarse lithium concentrate differentiates Core in the qualityfocussed battery and EV supply chain. We’re going to be able to deliver a superior product,” he said.
Core expects the Finniss Lithium Project to be positioned at the front of the line of new global lithium supply as EV manufacturing recovers from COVID-19.
The Finniss Lithium Project is set to become Australia’s next lithium producer and the country’s first outside WA. Finniss delivers a superior quality, lowiron, and coarse lithium concentrate.