Core Lithium is on track to start production at the the Finniss lithium project in the Northern Territory next year after confirming a final investment decision for construction of the mine.
Finniss will become the first lithium mine in the Northern Territory and the region’s first significant mine development in more than a decade.
The company is fully funded to develop the project after raising $116 million from institutional investors and shareholders. Its capital expenditure for the project is expected to be $89 million.
Core stated it will be the only new Australian company to commence lithium production in 2022 and will be backed by stronger lithium prices.
“The board’s support for Finniss’ development is the culmination of over five years of hard work to put together a low-risk, capital-efficient and high-margin lithium project that will deliver benefits for our shareholders, our employees, our partners and all our stakeholders,” Core managing director Stephen Biggins said.
“(The final investment decision) places Core firmly at the front of the line of new global lithium production just at the right time as lithium demand and prices are increasing rapidly.
“The project and (final investment decision) are underpinned by high-grade lithium deposits that have the potential to support long term lithium supply from northern Australia, quality lithium offtake partners and a highly engaged and supportive NT Government, Finniss will become Australia’s next lithium producer.”
Core plans to begin site establishment activities in October with commissioning of the dense media separation (DMS) plant and first lithium concentrate set for the fourth quarter of 2022.
Around 80 per cent of Finniss output is covered through its four-year offtake agreement with Ganfeng, which will deliver $34 million in equity if approved.
“This is a significant milestone, not just for Core, but also for the Northern Territory. We are delighted to be developing the Territory’s first lithium project, investing in the local economy and creating hundreds of new jobs on a project that will deliver lasting value for all Core stakeholders,” Core non-executive chairman Greg English said.
Core awarded Primero an engineering, procurement and construction contract for Finniss on Tuesday.