Australia’s next lithium producer Core Lithium (ASX: CXO) today announced significant increases in the Mineral Resource Estimate and Ore Reserve Estimate for the company’s 100% owned Finniss lithium project near Darwin in the Northern Territory.
- Mineral Resource Estimate increased by 28% to 18.9Mt @ 1.32% Li2O
- Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource increased by 61% to 13.3Mt @ 1.40% Li2O
- Finniss Lithium Project Ore Reserve increased by 43% to 10.6Mt @ 1.3% Li2O
- Finniss Life of Mine (LOM) extended to 12 years
- Core’s current 2022 drilling campaign expected to result in further significant increases in Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves at Finniss
- Finniss Project continues to grow as it moves into first lithium production
The reported Finniss lithium project Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve Estimate updates are the culmination of drilling and exploration efforts undertaken throughout the 2021 drilling season.
Core Lithium Non-Executive Chairman Greg English said,
“This is a tremendous outcome for Core and our shareholders and testament to the efforts of our operations and exploration teams as we focus on growing Finniss’ mine life and scale beyond last year’s DFS assumptions.
“The new Ore Reserve Estimate has resulted in a 12 year mine plan. In parallel, our teams will complete the 2022 drilling campaign to see if it can deliver equally impressive results across both our open pit and underground deposits.
“Most of the deposits at Finniss – including BP33, Carlton, Hang Gong, Ah Hoy and Sandras – remain open at depth and along strike and we are confident in the potential to deliver further significant increases to the Finniss resource and reserve position.
“Today’s positive announcement adds to the significant momentum being generated by the safe and timely development of Finniss Stage 1.
“Fully funded to first production, Finniss remains on track to ship first lithium by the end of this calendar year to herald Core’s arrival as Australia’s next lithium producer.”
The Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for Finniss increased by 28% to 18.9Mt @ 1.32% Li2O (Table 1).
The Measured and Indicated Resource categories have increased by 61% to 13.3Mt @ 1.40% Li2O. Approximately 70% of the MRE is now in the higher confidence Measured and Indicated categories (Table 1), with excellent conversion of Inferred to Indicated.
Estimates for all existing Mineral Resources have been updated as well as the addition of a maiden Mineral Resource at Ah Hoy (Table 2). All Mineral Resources have been reported at a 0.5% Li2O cut-off, reflecting the current positive economics of the Project. The updated estimates for BP33, Carlton, Hang Gong and Lees include additional drilling and re-interpretation. The Sandras estimate represents a re-interpretation and classification of existing data while the estimates for Grants and Booths represent a rereporting of the existing models at the lower cut-off grade (Table 2).
The Ore Reserve Estimate for the Project has increased by 43% to 10.6Mt @ 1.3% Li2O (Table 3). Drilling in 2021 by Core significantly increased the Ore Reserves by 70% at BP33 and 106% at Carlton providing an additional 4-years of mine life to the Project.
Construction and mining activities at the Project are ramping up with new equipment and people arriving on site. The Project is progressing well and is currently on track to make its first Direct Ship Ore (DSO) lithium shipment from the NT by the end of CY 2022, with first concentrate production commencing soon after. Further commentary on the new and updated Mineral Resource Estimates and Ore Reserve Estimate is provided in the full announcement.