Core Lithium (ASX: CXO) is set to commence construction at its Finniss Lithium Project before the end of 2021 after inking a mining services agreement with Lucas Total Contract Solutions.
The award of the three-year deal for development of the Grants open pit is described by Core as a ‘major milestone’, with first lithium production expected in late 2022.
“With recent spodumene spot sales above US$2,000/t, Core is the only Australia- focused, ASX-listed company forecast to join the ranks of new spodumene producers between now and the end of 2022″
Speaking on the news, Core Lithium Managing Director Stephen Biggins said: “We are pleased to progress Lucas from preferred contractor status to our inaugural mining contractor, representing a major step forward for Core as it moves towards first construction at the Finniss Lithium Project this year. With recent spodumene spot sales above US$2,000/t, Core is the only Australia- focused, ASX-listed company forecast to join the ranks of new spodumene producers between now and the end of 2022 in a position to take advantage of these high prices.”
The scope of work includes clear and grub, topsoil management, pads, roads, dumps, dams, bunds and water controls, and open pit mining (load and haul plus drill and blast).
CXO had recently completed a $91 million institutional placement and a $25 million share purchase plan. The company had also received a $34 million equity investment subject to Chinese Government approvals and an offtake agreement with a subsidiary of Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co., Ltd. In exchange, the company would supply 75,000 tonnes p.a. of spodumene concentrate from the Finniss Project over 4 years.
Core describes Finniss as Australia’s most advanced new lithium project on the ASX, placing it at the front of the line of new global lithium production.
Images: Core Lithium Ltd