As its way of keeping up with the increasing global demand for lithium, Australian mine operator Core Lithium officially opened a new lithium mine in Australia’s Northern Territories (NT.)
Located just south of Darwin, the Finnis Lithium Project is the first lithium mining and processing facility in the NT and is the only one outside the Western Australia region. The facility opened barely a year after the groundbreaking, and Core Lithium expects to mine over a million tons of lithium ore annually, the bulk of which will be exported overseas.
The company plans to mine approximately 16 million tons of export-grade lithium ore throughout the facility’s lifespan, which is estimated at twelve years’ worth of operational yield.
Core Lithium plans to ship its first batch of ore out of the Finniss Lithium Project within the first half of next year.
A Timely Initiative
Indeed, to keep up with the surge in demand for electric vehicles worldwide as well as governments’ push to decarbonize commercial and industrial facilities, the opening of the Finniss Lithium Project is seen as a timely move on the part of the company behind it.
According to Core Lithium CEO Gareth Manderson, the company is confident that the ongoing drive towards renewable power, green energy, and a protracted demand for both electric vehicles and more environment-friendly rechargeable devices across the globe will be enough to keep the Finniss facility operational for the entire length of its lifespan.
As he puts it, all the forecasts show that the EV market is steadily growing larger and demand is not likely to plateau any time soon. In this case, battery-making facilities worldwide will need a great deal of spodumene and lithium carbonate to match the growing demand.
Manderson added that Core Lithium also recently inked an agreement to supply EV titan Tesla with raw lithium for its own battery production facility.
A Closer Location for Export
For his part, Core Lithium chair Greg English hopes that the new mine will enable the company to leverage its physical proximity to the Asian market.
He explained that the lithium mined out of the new facility is similar in quality to that produced by Core’s primary mines in Western Australia but that its proximity to the port city of Darwin and, subsequently, Asia means that the logistics chain is much more direct.
Likewise, the opening of the NT mine is expected to generate around 300 employment opportunities for locals, making it a boon for the local economy.