Finniss lithium project, Australia – update

Image of lithium ore

Photo by © Bloomberg

19th May 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Finniss lithium project.

South of Darwin port, in the Northern Territory, Australia.

Project Owner/s
Lithium developer Core Lithium.

Project Description
The updated definitive feasibility study for Stage 1 has confirmed that Core Lithium is well positioned to be the next lithium producer in Australia. The project has been recognised by the Australian and Northern Territory governments as being significant to the economy, and holds major project status.

Finniss has total ore reserves estimated at 7.4-million tonnes grading 1.3% lithium oxide, supporting an eight-year mine life. This is based on using openpit mining methods at the Grants and Hang Gong deposits, and underground mining methods at the Grants, BP33 and Carlton deposits.

Stage 1 of the project will involve mining the high-grade spodumene pegmatite deposit from multiple openpit and underground sources; the transfer of the spodumene pegmatite ore to a run-of-mine pad adjacent to the Grants openpit; water-based, dense-medium separation (DMS) to produce a high-quality spodumene (lithium) concentrate product; and the transport of the lithium concentrate product to the Port of Darwin by sealed public road for overseas export.

The mine will support yearly lithium production of 175 000 t/y from a one-million-tonne-a-year plant.

Potential Job Creation
Core will employ a workforce of about 300 personnel during the life of the mine. Currently, more than 80% of the contractors and direct employees live in Darwin and work at Finniss.

The BP33 project will employ 60 people during construction, and about 150 people during operations.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has a pretax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of A$221-million and an internal rate of return of 53%, with a two-year payback.

Capital Expenditure
Not stated.

Planned Start/End Date
The project is on target to export direct shipping ore (DSO) lithium by the end of 2022, following the first sale of spodumene DSO product announced on October 3.

Latest Developments
The Northern Territory government has granted Core Lithium mining approval for its BP33 underground mine, the second proposed mine at the Finniss lithium operation.

Granting the mining authorisation and mine management plan for BP33 is the final step in the approvals process for the project ahead of a potential investment decision by Core Lithium.

BP33 is located within trucking distance of the Grants openpit, crusher and DMS plant, and has a mineral resource of 10.1-million tonnes at 1.48% lithium oxide.

The approval of the BP33 project coincides with the announcement of the loading of first spodumene concentrate shipment on the marine vessel St Andrew  at the Port of Drawin on May 11, 2023, with 5 500 t of spodumene loaded bound for China.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Lucas Total Contract Solutions (openpit mining services); Primero Group (operations and maintenance and EPC); and CSI Mining Services (contractor).

Contact Details for Project Information
Core Lithium, tel +61 8317 1700 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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