Core Lithium Ltd (ASX:CXO) is set for a strong second half of 2020 at Finniss Lithium Project in the Northern Territory after undertaking a large amount of behind the scenes work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This includes applying for support under a new Northern Territory Government initiative aimed at creating more local jobs and accelerating major and significant projects.
The NT Local Jobs Fund is an $89 million co-investment fund to support economic projects and help high growth potential Territory businesses to increase exports nationally and international.
Core's managing director Stephen Biggins said: “As we can start to see light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, the work that the Core team has been doing behind the scenes sets us up well for a strong second half."
This work also includes accelerated discussions and negotiations with additional offtake partners and project financiers for the project after the recent NT Government approval for mining and production of high-quality lithium concentrate from the Finniss project.
Core’s short- and medium-term goals have not been materially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and excellent progress is being made on the updated feasibility study, with finalisations also being made on the mineral resource estimate upgrades for several deposits at Finniss.
The updated estimates follow an extensive extension campaign undertaken in 2019.
Targeting extended mine life
Biggins said: “The imminent mineral resource estimates will feed directly into the mine update, which then feeds into the updated Finniss feasibility study, with the company targeting an extended mine life of at least 7-10 years.
“With low capex, excellent grades and naturally competitive operating costs of the project close to Port, we are more confident than ever that the Finniss Lithium Project will be front of the line of new global lithium supply as EV manufacturing recovers post-COVID-19.”
The mineral resource upgrade will be used to update the mine plan for Finniss, with underground mining techniques to be investigated and modelled for the BP33 and Carlton deposits.
Updated mine plan
Independent mining consultants OreWin will deliver the updated mine plan with preliminary work nearing completion.
It is expected that the updated mine plan will be completed shortly after the mineral resource estimate upgrade.
Based on the high-quality drill results received since the completion of the feasibility study in 2019, Core’s management is confident that the mineral resource upgrade and mine plan update will be strongly positive for the Finniss Lithium Project.
The updated mine plan will be used to update the feasibility study for the Project, with increased mine life expected to be attractive to offtake and financing partners.