Core Lithium’s Finniss Lithium Project, built last year in the Northern Territory, has completed its first product test work, which confirmed the company is producing “battery grade” lithium hydroxide monohydrate.
The ASX-listed company on Tuesday announced the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) completed test work from a sample of its product, successfully extracting over 95% of lithium on two kilogram samples of blended concentrate in two separate tests.
Australia is by far the world’s top producer of lithium, with a number of mines concentrated in Western Australia. The Finniss Lithium Project is the first-ever lithium mine to be approved outside of the state and is the first new mine of significant scale to be approved in the NT since 2013.
Global lithium consumption is projected to rise around 750,000 tonnes by 2025, spurred by electric vehicle uptake and the expansion of big batteries – which continue to dominated by lithium-ion models.
Core Lithium aspires to have its Finniss Lithium Project at the “forefront” of lithium production for the global market. Proponents of project argue has perhaps the best-supporting logistics chain to markets in Asia of any Australian lithium project. The Project lies within 25 km of the port, power station, gas, rail and one hour by sealed road to workforce accommodated in Darwin and importantly to Darwin Port – Australia’s nearest port to Asia. The Finniss Lithium Project was recently awarded Major Project Status by Australia’s federal government.
“Today’s announcement confirms that battery grade lithium hydroxide suitable for high-end uses in the lithium battery, renewable energy and EV industries, can be produced from Core’s excellent quality lithium concentrate produced from the Finniss Project,” Managing Director Stephen Biggins said. The company is also looking at the potential of adding downstream processing infrastructure to its portfolio, he added.
The company said it remains focussed on on completing its definitive feasibility study for the Finniss Lithium Project and finalising off-take negotiation deals ahead of its final investment decision expected in the third quarter of this year.
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