Australian lithium miner Core Lithium (ASX: CXO) has announced that loading of the the first shipment of lithium concentrate has commenced at the Darwin Port, and that the Northern Territory Government has approved the Mine Management Plan (MMP) for the BP33 underground project, the second proposed mine at the Finniss Lithium Operation in the Northern Territory.
The ship, St Andrew, is being loaded with the first spodumene concentrate produced from the Grants open pit and is scheduled to set sail within the coming days.
The shipment of approximately 5,500 tonnes of on-specification 5.6% Li2O spodumene concentrate was sold to long-term customer Sichuan Yahua (Yahua) via agreements for the sale of a 3,500-tonne cargo and a 15,000-tonne cargo announced in March 2023.
Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Mining and Industry, Nicole Manison attended Darwin Port to see the loading of the St Andrew, and to announce the grant of the mining authorisation for BP33.Granting of the mining authorisation and MMP for BP33 is the final step in the approvals process for BP33 ahead of a potential investment decision by the Core Lithium Board. BP33 is located within trucking distance of the Grants open pit, crusher and DMS plant (approximately 5km away) and has a current Mineral Resource of 10.1Mt @ 1.48% Li2O.
Core Lithium Chief Executive Officer, Gareth Manderson said:
“Core Lithium would like to acknowledge the support of the Government of the Northern Territory. We have been able to commence operations at Finniss in a favourable market when it can deliver benefits for the NT and all its stakeholders due to the professional and efficient processes for approvals. The BP33 development approval is another example of this.
“The first export of Finniss’ spodumene concentrate was delivered safely to port ahead of schedule. This is a significant milestone for the Core business, our shareholders and the Finniss Lithium Operation.
“With the resumption of full mining activities at Grants, we were also able to produce, transport and load an additional 2,000 tonnes onto the St Andrew as part of our sales agreements with Yahua.
“Our focus now is to safely complete commissioning of the Dense Media Separation (DMS) plant at Finniss and ramp up our integrated operation.”
Honourable Nicole Manison, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Mining & Industry said:
“Core Lithium has demonstrated their ability to extract and export critical minerals within a short time frame. This latest proposed mine will be no exception and comes with benefits to local suppliers, local jobs and the Territory economy. Lithium is in high demand right across the world and the Northern Territory has the resources needed for a renewable future.”