Core Lithium has awarded a three-year contract to Lucas Total Control Solutions for the provision of open pit mining and associated services at its Finniss lithium project in the Northern Territory.
The project’s inaugural contractor, Lucas will commence work at Core’s Grants open pit, the first mine being developed at Finniss which is forecast to produce first lithium in late 2022.
Lucas will be responsible for the construction and mining of the Grants mine including load and haul and drill and blast, as well as clear and grub services, management of topsoil, pads, roads, dumps, dams, bunds and water controls.
Core Lithium managing director Stephen Biggins said he is buoyed by Lucas’ potential at Finniss.
“We are pleased to progress Lucas from preferred contractor status to our inaugural mining contractor, representing a major step forward for Core as it moves towards first construction at the Finniss lithium project this year,” he said.
It comes after Core Lithium inked a four-year binding offtake agreement with China’s Ganfeng in August, which will see the latter offtake 75,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate per annum across the four years.
Ganfeng also committed to a $34 million investment of Core, enabling the company to raise the $91 million it needed to fully fund the project.
“With recent spodumene spot sales above US$2000 ($2766) per tonne, Core is the only Australia-focused, ASX-listed company forecast to join the ranks of new spodumene producers between now and the end of 2022,” Biggins continued.
“Advanced discussions with such a high-calibre and respected team such as Lucas with proven lithium mining experience has facilitated this step and we are looking forward to partnering with this key services provider to deliver Australia’s next significant new lithium mine.”
Core aims to commence construction at Finniss project before the end of 2021.