Advanced Australian lithium developer, Core Lithium Ltd (Core), has received approval of its Mine Management Plan (MMP) 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 100 per cent owned Finniss Lithium Project is a proposed open-cut lithium mine located along the Cox Peninsula Road, approximately 35 km west of Berry Springs.
It is the first-ever lithium mine to be approved outside of Western Australia, and is the first new mine of significant scale to be approved in the Northern Territory since 2013.
The project has a Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) 2012 compliant Mineral Resources of 9.63 million tonnes at 1.4 per cent lithium oxide.
In commenting on the news of the approval, Core Lithium’s Managing Director, Stephen Biggins, said: “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. And Core’s recent investment into the Project is looking to expand that to over 1 billion dollars.”
“Following extensive consultation with local environmental, community and business stakeholders, we’re incredibly pleased to be another step closer to starting a project that will deliver significant prosperity to northern Australia,” he said.
“Core would like to thank the Northern Territory Government for its engagement during the MMP approval process and, with continued support, the Finniss Project opens the door for the Territory to be a key supplier of high-quality lithium for batteries to power the growing global electric vehicle market.”
“The Territory has the opportunity to play a crucial role in supporting the world’s response to reducing emissions and managing climate change risk.”
Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Paul Kirby, added the Territory Labor Government knows that 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.”
Core is targeting to have the project construction-ready in 2020, with first production anticipated to occur approximately one year after construction commences.
Furthermore, the Finniss Project has perhaps the best-supporting logistics chain to markets in Asia of any Australian lithium project. It is 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.
“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,” he said.