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Image: Core Lithium.

The Northern Territory Government has granted Environmental Approval for the Finniss Lithium Project BP33 mine, with Core Lithium to develop and operate an underground lithium mine on the Cox Peninsula, about 33 kilometres west of Berry Springs.

This approval follows the assessment of potentially significant environmental impacts by the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) in consultation with key government authorities.

The approved mine forms one part of the wider Finniss Lithium Project, which has been recognised by the Australian and NT governments as being significant to the economy and holds major project status.

The mine has a capital investment value of $33.79 million and will create about 60 jobs during construction, and 120 to 150 jobs during operations.

Global demand for lithium is expected to increase significantly over the next two years, driven by the use of lithium in rechargeable batteries, for electronic devices, electric vehicles and storage of renewable wind and solar energy.

Territorians are invited to comment on development proposals requiring environmental impact assessment as a provision of the environmental regulatory regime. Comments can be made on open consultations via the NT EPA’s consultation hub.

Environment Minister Eva Lawler said the Government’s reformed environment protection legislation, which commenced in 2020, provided Territorians with an improved environmental regulatory regime.

“This Environmental Approval follows a thorough assessment of potentially significant environmental impacts by the NT EPA – it is the second to be granted under the EP Act, and the first for a mine,” she said.

“We will continue to work with Core Lithium on this project to ensure the best outcomes.”

The move news in the wake of the execution of a crushing services contract with CSI Mining Services for the project.

Run of mine ore will be stockpiled prior to feeding into the CSI crusher circuit, and the crushed ore will then be stockpiled before being processed by the dense media separation plant to make spodumene concentrate for export.

The crusher civil works are nearing completion with CSI expected to start mobilising to the project during June.