Core Lithium opens Northern Territory’s first lithium mine

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ASX-listed mining company Core Lithium has opened its $89 million Finniss Lithium mine in the Northern Territory.  

The open-cut lithium mine is the first to commence operations in the Northern Territory in more than a decade— stimulating interest, investment, and growth in NT’s rapidly expanding critical minerals sector, the NT government said in a statement

First exports from the Finniss Lithium Project are slated to roll out by the end of 2022, marking a significant achievement given that construction only began in October 2021. 

Mining on the project has already started, while construction and commissioning of the concentrator are scheduled for production in the first half of 2023. 

Core Lithium has signed binding offtake agreements with Ganfeng Lithium and Sichuan Yahua to supply 75,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate annually to each company over the course of four years. 

“The first four years of production from the Finniss Lithium project is already
secured with approximately 80% sold to offtake partners,” said Core CEO Gareth Manderson.

The company also has a binding term sheet with Tesla for four years. 

The NT government estimated that the Finniss Lithium Project will mine over 16 million tonnes of lithium-bearing ore over its lifetime, which is predicted to be at least 12 years. 

Construction on the site, located along Cox Peninsula Road, will be completed by the end of the year and Core expects to employ about 300 people, including contractors. 

“This project will provide hundreds of world-class mining jobs for residents in the Top End, which will also support local business and create new opportunities for Territorians,” Chief Minister Natasha Fyles. 

The Finnis Lithium Project is a first for the Northern Territory and is intended to deliver high-quality lithium for batteries used to power electric vehicles and renewable energy storage globally. 

“This is a major milestone for both Core and the Northern Territory economy as it races towards a $40 billion economy by 2030,” Minister for Mining and Industry Nicole Manison. 

“Lithium is the way of the future both for cleaner energy and the Territory economy, Core is using local suppliers and creating well-paying jobs for Territorians.”