Core Lithium (ASX: CXO) has provided its activities report for the three months to June 30, reflecting on what was a busy period for the soon-to-be lithium producer.
During the reporting period, Core:
- Advanced construction activities at the Finniss Project;
- Received the final 2021 lithium drilling assays;
- Updated the MRE and ORE (announced post-quarter), with Finniss life of mine extended to 12 years;
- Awarded crushing contract for Finniss ore;
- Received environmental approval for BP33;
- Acquired new NT lithium project, Shoobridge Project; and
- Was admitted to the S&P/ASX 200 Index.
Construction and mining activities are progressing well at Finniss. Development remains on schedule and on track for first export of lithium by the end of the calendar year 2022.
Preparatory infrastructure works to support mining and plant construction efforts are now complete, including the Finniss site administration and IT complex, and the erection of communications towers.
Core has successfully employed all required staff at Finniss, with more than 80% of staff living in Darwin. Similar percentages of locally based personnel are being achieved by major on-site contractors.
Water management infrastructure works, and construction of drainage control infrastructure and erosion control infrastructure were also completed in the quarter, including additional sediment and erosion controls such as a rock filter dam to improve the quality of water discharged from the sediment basin.
This work is part of the Company’s sediment erosion control plan (SECP). Materially higher rainfall and an extended wet season impacted early-stage mining activities at Grants Stage 1.
However, with weather conditions improving, and the arrival of five new dump trucks and an additional excavator to site, mining activities have again accelerated.
Crusher civil works were completed in the period and, following the award of a Crushing Services Contract for the crushing of run of mine ore at Finniss to CSI Mining Services (CSI) in early-May, CSI has commenced mobilisation to the site as planned.
Run of mine ore will be stockpiled prior to feeding into the CSI crusher circuit. The crushed ore will then be stockpiled before being processed by the Dense Media Separation (DMS) plant to make spodumene concentrate for export.
The DMS process plant pad was completed in May, with handover to Primero Group completed in June.
DMS plant structural steel was sourced from Shanghai and, due to COVID-19 restrictions in Shanghai, delays were experienced with the manufacture and delivery of the structural steel.
Primero has now successfully facilitated the export of the steel, and all DMS components are enroute to Finniss. Plant construction activities have commenced, and Primero is well advanced with the plant design and all long lead packages are ordered.
The quarter was adversely affected by factors including ongoing COVID absenteeism, supply chain disruption and inflationary pressure which resulted in some delays to mining and construction.