Advanced Australian lithium developer Core Lithium Ltd. (ASX: CXO) has announced that the Federal Government has awarded Major Project Status (MPS) for the Company’s wholly owned Finniss Lithium Project, located near Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia.
The award of MPS, which carries a three-year period, represents yet another major milestone in the Company’s path towards bringing this world-class lithium project into production.
MPS is the Federal Government’s recognition of the strategic significance of a project to Australia. It provides companies with extra support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, including a single-entry point for Australian Government approvals, project support and coordination with state and territory approvals.
With an updated Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) on Finniss due in the first half of 2021 ahead of a Final Investment Decision (FID), Core is on track to commence construction at the Finniss Project before the end of the year.
The granting of MPS for Finniss was made over the weekend in a joint statement by Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology the Hon Karen Andrews MP and Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia the Hon Keith Pitt MP.
Minister Pitt said the granting of MPS supported the Federal Government’s strategy of developing the critical minerals sector, while also supporting economic development and job creation across northern Australia.
“This project will be able to supply markets in Asia and Europe with critical minerals, and will have the potential to increase downstream processing, increasing supply chain diversification. “This is exactly the type of project that our Government wants to see, as we build on our resource-rich history for the decades ahead.”
Core Lithium Managing Director Stephen Biggins said: “The award of Major Project Status for our flagship Finniss Lithium Project is another major milestone for both the company and the Federal Government, as we strive to enter the construction phase in 2021, subject to a Final Investment Decision.
“When in production, the Finniss Project will be the first Australian lithium-producing mine outside of Western Australia, with our proximity to Darwin Port – the country’s nearest port to Asia – serving as a direct route for our lithium to be processed and delivered to end users worldwide.
“This opens up a pathway for a critical minerals hub to be established in Northern Australia, along with the potential for significant associated local manufacturing opportunities.”