$40m huge boost for Top End lithium mine

THE company planning to build a lithium mine near Darwin is marching towards a production start, raising $40m to advance the development.

Core Lithium, a South Australia-based emerging lithium producer that wholly owns the Finniss lithium project south of the Port of Darwin, says the $40m puts it one large step closer to financing construction of the project.

It said the capital came from new high quality institutional investors, primarily located in North America, Europe and Australia, aligned with the company's vision of soon becoming Australia's next lithium producer.

This means the project is substantially de-risked with funding through to construction, anticipated to start late this year.

The Core Lithium board said the funds raised would be used to support:

• The efficient advancement of the 100 per cent owned Finniss lithium project towards development and a potential Final Investment Decision (FID);

• Resource growth drilling aiming to increase mine life to support expanded and extended • Project revenues; and

• Working capital requirements.

Core managing director Stephen Biggins said the company was pleased with the overwhelming global support received for its plans.

"Core welcomes the addition of some of the world's most respected funds as shareholders," he said.

Stephen Biggins from Core Lithium. Picture: Roy Van der Vegt.
Stephen Biggins from Core Lithium. Picture: Roy Van der Vegt.

"Since the end of 2020, the global lithium and greater renewable technology sectors have shown stark improvements and we continue to monitor these industry changes closely, with a view to making key decisions for Finniss at the right time."

The Territory government granted final approval in April last year to Core Lithium to start development of its new lithium mine in the Top End. It also gave the company further support with a $5m conditional loan offer in August.

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

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

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 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 the Darwin Port position the project to efficiently supply key Asian lithium markets, and provide scope for further processing potential in Darwin.



Originally published as $40m huge boost for Top End lithium mine