lithium plant

Core Lithium has been granted mining approval from the Northern Territory Government for its BP33 underground mine at the Finniss Lithium Operation near Darwin. 

BP33 is the second proposed mine at the Finniss Lithium Operation, which is located 33km west of Berry Springs and 5km from the Grants open pit. Processing of ore mined at BP33 will occur at the nearby Grants Lithium Project.

The BP33 project will employ 60 people during construction, and around 150 people during operations.

The Mining Management Plan was assessed and approved by the Northern Territory Government and an authorisation granted, in line with the requirements of the Mining Management Act 2001.

Approval under the Mining Management Act 2001 is the last step in the approvals process for mining, after the Environmental Approval was issued by the Northern Territory Minister for Environment on the advice of the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority.

Western Australian Minister for Mining and Industry, Nicole Manison, said the Territory is becoming a major player in the critical minerals supply chain and a leading supplier of the critical minerals needed for the renewable energy transition in Australia and the world.

“Core Lithium has demonstrated their ability to extract and export critical minerals within a short time frame, and the latest proposed mine will be no exception,” Ms Manison said.

“This is big news for the Northern Territory economy, local suppliers and local jobs, as we move towards a $40 billion economy by 2030.”

Core Lithium achieved a key milestone in 2022 with the opening of its Finniss Lithium mine, the first new mine to commence operations in the Northern Territory in more than a decade, with first exports of a Direct Shipping Ore product from the project shipped in early 2023.

The Finniss Lithium Project is stimulating interest, investment and growth in the Northern Territory’s rapidly growing critical minerals sector.

Member for Daly, Dheran Young, said the announcement is great news for the people of the Daly electorate and Territorians.

“The project gives certainty to small businesses in the Cox Peninsular region who are benefiting from the economic activity,” Mr Young said.

“The Northern Territory Government is getting on with the job of delivering to make the Territory a world-class hub for resources and critical minerals.”

The total value of local spend to date on the Finniss Lithium project – which employs around 300 people –  is $120 million demonstrating local economic benefits for the Top End and the Northern Territory.

The approval announcement coincides with the first shipment of spodumene concentrate from Core Lithium – 5,500t are being loaded onto the St Andrew ship at Darwin Port, bound for China.

BP33 is the eighth significant mine approval in the past three years with other approvals including Arafura Rare Earths’ Nolans Project, Core Lithium’s Finniss Project, Nathan River Resources’s Nathan River Project, McArthur River Mine’s Overburden Management Project, KGL’s Jervois Mining project, Vista Gold’s Mt Todd Gold Mine and TM Gold’s Spring Hill Mine project.

The Territory Government has set a goal to build a $40 billion economy by 2030 to create more jobs, and mineral resources will play a critical role in helping meet this target.

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