The maiden Hang Gong JORC 2012-compliant inferred mineral resource estimate is 1.4 million tonnes at 1.2% lithium oxide.
With the Finniss resource at 8.55 million tonnes at 1.33% lithium oxide, further growth is expected from an exploration target adjacent to the resource in the Hang Gong area.
Core Lithium 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 8.55 million tonnes, and we expect it will continue to grow with our ongoing drilling.
“We continue to be excited by the new results that the project turns up for us and we are confident that Hang Gong, together with the other prospects and deposits at Finnis, will add up to a substantial lithium project.”
Development of spodumene operation
The company is undertaking a DFS for the development of a spodumene concentrate operation based on the Grants deposit at Finniss and is aiming to build on the strong financial outcomes highlighted in the prefeasibility study.
Hang Gong is less than 1-kilometre from the proposed mine and plant at Grants and a few hundred metres from the Carlton resource.
Biggins also said: “The increasing global mineral resource at Finniss enhances the potential for the project to deliver robust returns, which are expected to be confirmed by the DFS work that is underway.”
Based on the potential outlined by an exploration target of 3-5 million tonnes, Core is conducting follow-up drilling at Hang Gong with the aim of expanding the initial estimate.
The potential quantity and grade of this exploration target is conceptual and there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a mineral resource.
Core’s recent evaluation highlighted multiple stacked pegmatites that are relatively flat lying to shallow dipping and vary from less than 1-metre up to 15 metres in true thickness.
First production late 2019
Core is targeting commencement of mining and construction at Grants in mid-2019 and first production of high-quality spodumene concentrate in late 2019 subject to financing and regulatory approvals.
The company was granted a mineral lease for the Grants deposit earlier this month, marking a historic move for the company and the Northern Territory, as it is the first lithium focused mineral lease awarded in the NT.
The company has also completed a $3 million placement with cornerstone commitments from two of China’s largest lithium producers
Core’s binding offtake partner Sichuan Yahua and parties associated with non-binding offtake partner Ruifu subscribed for a $1.5 million share of the placement.
The project is within 25 kilometres of port, power station, gas, and has arguably the best supporting infrastructure and logistics chain to Asia of any Australian lithium project.
- Jessica Cummins