Core Lithium has begun constructing its Finniss lithium project in the Northern Territory, as it looks to become Australia’s only lithium miner to start production in 2022.
Road access works, site establishment and construction of key infrastructure have started at the project just south of Darwin Port.
Core Lithium managing director Stephen Biggins said this was the end of one journey and the start of another.
“At a time when Australia is firmly focused on both the generation of renewable resources and future job prospects for the regions, Core is incredibly proud of this milestone we’ve reached in the Northern Territory today,” Biggins said.
“It has been a long journey for Core and its various partners, stakeholders and shareholders, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been a part of the Core journey to date.”
The construction comes in the wake of several key announcements such as a mining services contract to Lucas Total Contract Solutions, a process plant EPC contract to Primero Group, and a final investment decision in September.
Biggins said he looked forward to an exciting year for Core and for Australian lithium production.
“This next phase of the company will be transformational, and we are excited to see construction milestones met at Finniss over the coming 12 months, ahead of first production before the end of 2022,” he said.
“We also look forward to engaging the local workforce in the NT, with more than 84 per cent of available jobs at Finniss already appointed to locals.”
About 80 per cent of Finniss output over the first four years has been secured in offtake agreements with Ganfeng and Yahua, who both play major roles in the global lithium supply chain.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner recognised the importance of this achievement for Core and the Territory.
“The Territory is entering a new wave of new mining, and this is another exciting milestone for Australia’s comeback capital,” Gunner said.
“This project will provide hundreds of world-class mining jobs for residents in Darwin, Palmerstone and the rural area, which also support local business and create new opportunities for Territorians.”