Australian lithium miner Core Lithium (ASX: CXO) today announced that construction of the Dense Media Separation (DMS) plant at the Finniss Lithium Operation in the Northern Territory is complete.
Commissioning of the plant has advanced to the point of production of first volumes of high-quality spodumene concentrate has commenced.
- First spodumene concentrate has been safely produced
- Construction of the DMS plant is complete and commissioning is well advanced
- Safe commissioning of the DMS plant marks the successful completion of construction activities at Finniss
Safe commissioning of the DMS plant the successful completion of construction activities at Finniss – the first Australian lithium-producing operation outside of Western Australia.
The maiden production of lithium concentrate will remain at Finniss until there are sufficient volumes to be transported to the Darwin Port for the first concentrate export shipment.
As previously announced, Grants pit ore production has been impacted by the significantly higher than average rainfalls in the month of December across the Northern Territory and much of northern Australia. This has led to the accumulation of a significant volume of water in the base of the stage one portion of the Grants pit. Water has consequently impeded delivery of ore from the pit and consequent concentrate production, meaning that part of the previously estimated concentrate production volume for FY 20231 will be delayed to FY 2024.
Core’s first lithium concentrate shipment will be produced from previously mined ore (Run-of-Mine (ROM) and crushed ore stockpiles).
Transport of the first lithium concentrate shipment to the Darwin port is anticipated to be completed by the end of April 2023. Further production of concentrate will be sourced from additional ore from future mining of the Grants pit and is subject to ramp up of the new mine and possible further adverse weather conditions.
Based on our current expected timeline, future concentrate production from the mine is expected to occur by July 2023.
Core has secured offtake from lithium industry leaders Ganfeng Lithium and Sichuan Yahua, and will work closely with these key customers during the Finniss operations ramp up phase. Commenting on commissioning of the DMS Plant
Core Chief Executive, Gareth Manderson said:
“Commissioning of the DMS plant represents the final step in the delivery of the Core’s first mining operation. The safe and successful construction of the Finniss mining facilities during a global pandemic and through two Northern Territory wet seasons is testament to the resilience and hard work of the Core employees and contract partners, including a number of local Darwin suppliers.
“I would like to acknowledge the support that Core has received from our shareholders, customers, suppliers, contractor partners, and the Federal and Northern Territory Governments. All have played key roles in the establishment of the first Australian lithium mining operations outside of Western Australia.
“The approach to establish a mining operation, and in parallel complete the exploration work required to support potential future operations, is a credit to the business and its people. This approach has enabled Core to rapidly move the business to a position where concentrate production has now commenced.
“With construction complete, our focus moves to safely completing commissioning of the concentrator, delivery of our first cargo and ramp-up of operations at Finniss that will deliver high-quality, reliable volumes of lithium concentrate into a favourable market.”