First Territory mine approval of 'significant scale' for seven years

The Finniss Lithium Project is a proposed open cut lithium mine located along the Cox Peninsula Road, approximately 35km west of Berry Springs. Pictures: supplied.

The Finniss Lithium Project is a proposed open cut lithium mine located along the Cox Peninsula Road, approximately 35km west of Berry Springs. Pictures: supplied.

The NT Government has granted final approval to Core Lithium Ltd to develop its new lithium mine in the Top End.

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 NT since 2013.

The Finniss Lithium Project is a proposed open cut lithium mine located along the Cox Peninsula Road, approximately 35km west of Berry Springs.

The project estimates approximately two million tonnes of lithium-bearing ore will be mined over the predicted three to four year life of the mine, and will provide around 200 jobs to local Territorians.

With the mine only an hour's drive from Darwin and 35km from Berry Springs, the entire workforce will drive to and from the site each day and no camp will be required.

The Bynoe area had previously been mined for tin and tantalum.

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.

Access to the power station, rail and gas facilities, and one hour via sealed road to a local workforce and the Darwin Port position the project to efficiently supply key Asian lithium markets, and provide scope for further processing potential within Darwin itself.

The NT Government has approved the project's Mining Management Plan and issued an Authorisation to Core Lithium Ltd to commence development of the project.

Primary Industry and Resources Minister Paul Kirby said: "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.

"The first three years of this project are expected to inject over half a billion dollars into the NT economy and create around 200 jobs for Territorians within an hour of Darwin.

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, with potential to inject more than half a billion dollars during its first three years of operation into the local economy.

"Core Lithium would like to thank the Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Paul Kirby and Northern Territory Government for their engagement during the MMP approval process. By working together with the Territory Government the Finniss Lithium 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."

First production is expected approximately a year after project construction starts and Core is planning to export 175,000tpa of high-quality lithium concentrate, with contracts for 40 per cent of this offtake already in place and further sales agreements currently being negotiated.

This story First NT mine approval of 'significant scale' for seven years first appeared on Katherine Times.