Core gains final government approval for NT’s first lithium mine

Finniss Lithium Project Image: Core Lithium

Core Lithium has received a mine management plan approval from the Northern Territory Government to build the Finniss lithium project near Darwin.

Once operational, the plant will be the first lithium mine and production facility in Northern Territory.

“The Finniss lithium project will create more than 200 direct full-time jobs in the Northern Territory, additional employment in South Australia and has the potential to inject more than half a billion dollars into the local economy during its first three years of operation,” Core managing director Stephen Biggins said.

Core Lithium owns 100 per cent of the Finniss lithium project, which has joint ore reserves committee (JORC) 2012 compliant mineral resources of 9.63 million tonnes at 1.4 per cent lithium oxide.

Core Lithium plans to have the Finniss project construction-ready in 2020.

“All of the conditions presented to us are manageable, and as we look to complete financing, we can now start to speak with our Northern Territory suppliers and contract partners to progress Finniss towards production,” Biggins said.

The Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Paul Kirby said the local jobs and economic recovery have never been more important.

“The resources sector is going to play a huge role in our recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, and the milestone achieved by the Finniss lithium project is very good news for Territorians.

“We will get through this crisis, and the Territory Labor Government is working hard to kick-start our economic recovery, including creating local jobs for Territorians.”

First production is expected approximately a year after project construction starts and Core is planning to export 175,000 tonnes per annum of high-quality lithium concentrate.

Contracts for 40 per cent of this offtake already in place and further sales agreements currently being negotiated.

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.

“The Australian government has identified the importance of critical minerals and in cementing the country’s role as the number one lithium producer in the world.

“Core looks forward to working closely with the newly established Critical Minerals Facilitation Office to support the independent, Australian-owned and timely development of the country’s next lithium project to meet global demands.

“Core’s focus now turns to present a strong update to the Feasibility Study by the middle of this year, which we’re confident will potentially double or possibly triple the life of the Finniss lithium project and dramatically increase project economics,” Biggins concluded.

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