Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) has completed a $3 million placement and has the drill bit spinning for the 2019 resource drilling program at Finniss Lithium Project in the Northern Territory.
The placement was strongly supported, including cornerstone commitments from by Core’s binding offtake partner Sichuan Yahua and parties associated with non-binding offtake partner Ruifu.
These two parties, which are among China’s largest lithium producers, subscribed to $1.5 million of the placement.
Funds will enable Core to accelerate mineral resource drilling of recently discovered prospects at Finniss and deliver an expanded scope for the definitive feasibility study (DFS).
Core has a reverse circulation and diamond core rig on site targeting resource definition at the Hang Gong, Lees-Booths Link and Carlton deposits.
The company expects to release an updated lithium resource estimate by the end of January and further resource upgrades and estimates in coming months.
Mineral resource expansion and drilling begin
Core is focused on producing high-quality lithium concentrate from Finniss and subject to finance and regulatory approvals, aims to begin production at Grants deposit by the end of 2019.
Infrastructure advantages, nearest port to Asia
The project has substantial infrastructure advantages supporting development with its close proximity to suburban workforce, grid power and gas.
Finniss is also within easy trucking distance by sealed road to Darwin Port, Australia’s nearest port to Asia.
In December last year the company increased the total JORC resource at the Finniss project to 7.13 million tonnes grading 1.38% lithium oxide.
The increase was a result of the maiden JORC resource estimate for the Carlton deposit of 790,000 tonnes at 1.3% lithium oxide.
Substantial economics upside
At the time Core’s managing director Stephen Biggins said: “The global mineral resource for the Finniss project has increased rapidly from 1.8 million tonnes at the start of 2018 to 7.1 million tonnes at year end.
“Core’s management is of the view that the global mineral resource will grow even further in January, given the quality of drilling results from recent exploration at Hang Gong and Lees-Booth Link.
“These new mineral resources have the potential to add substantial upside to the economics of the Finniss Lithium Project, in addition to the lithium mineral resources already defined.”
In November last year the company also revealed high-grade drill results from the Carlton and Hang Gong prospects which demonstrated the potential to expand the resource.
17 metres at 1.34% lithium oxide from 125 metres at Carlton;
24 metres at 1.15% from 169 metres at Carlton; and
6 metres at 1.49% from 146 metres at Hang Gong.
Biggins said: “These exploration results continue the unveiling of the Bynoe Pegmatite Field as what we believe is a world-class lithium district.”
- Jessica Cummins