In a significant boost for the NT economy and prospects for local jobs, the Territory Government has granted final approval to Core Lithium to commence development of its new mine in the Top End.
The Finniss project, 35 kilometres west of Berry Springs, is a proposed open-cut lithium mine.
It is the first 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.
It will create about 200 jobs.
With the mine only an hour’s drive from Darwin and 35 kilometres from Berry Springs, 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 Finniss lithium 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 one hour via sealed road to a local workforce and the Darwin Port position the project to efficiently supply key Asian lithium markets and provide scope for further processing potential within Darwin itself.
Core Lithium’s managing director Stephen Biggins says: “The Finniss lithium project will create more than 200 direct full-time jobs in the Northern Territory, with potential to inject more than half a billion dollars during its first three years of operation into the local economy.
“By working together with the Territory Government, the Finniss lithium project opens the door for the Territory to be a key supplier of high-quality lithium for batteries to power the growing global electric vehicle market.
“The Territory has the opportunity to play a crucial role in supporting the world’s response to reducing emissions and managing climate change risk.”