Core Lithium and the Northern Territory government have announced construction is now underway on the $89 million Finniss Lithium project, which will mine over one million tonnes of lithium-bearing ore per year to produce and manufacture new and emerging technologies for the global market.
Lithium is considered a critical mineral that is strategic to the global economy, particularly for new and emerging technologies such as batteries, electric vehicles, mobile phones, high-definition screen displays, solar panels, medical equipment and military technology.
The development of the Finniss Lithium Project has the potential to position the NT as a strategically important jurisdiction for the production, processing and manufacturing of critical minerals to the global market.
“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,” Core Lithium managing director Stephen Biggins said.
“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.”
Construction follows the project reaching Final Investment Decision last month, and Core Lithium successfully raising $150 million from institutional investors and shareholders.
“The first three years of this modern mining project are expected to inject more than half a billion dollars into the local economy,” NT minister for Mining and Industry Nicole Manison said.
“The Territory Labor government is delivering on its promise to make the Territory a world-class hub for resources and critical minerals.”
Initial construction works on the open cut and underground operation will involve road access, site establishment and construction of communications, fuel and water supply infrastructure.
The Finniss Lithium project is located 35km west of Berry Springs on the Cox Peninsula Road, within an hour’s drive from Darwin, and will create 250 jobs for Territorians during construction and operations.
“We 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,” Biggins said.
Mining activity at the Finniss Lithium Project is on track to commence late this year. It is anticipated that over one million tonnes of lithium-bearing ore will be mined each year over the predicted 7-10 year life of the project.
“Construction has officially begun on the Finniss Lithium Project and we will see mining activity begin by the end of this year, with exports to start from 2022,” NT chief minister Michael Gunner said.