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Core Lithium has delivered its first spodumene concentrate from the Finniss lithium mine to Darwin, with loading now underway.

The spodumene concentrate was produced from the Grants open pit and will set sail within the next couple of weeks.

“The first export of Finniss’ spodumene concentrate was delivered safely to port ahead of schedule. This is a significant milestone for the Core business, our shareholders and the Finniss lithium operation,” Core Lithium chief executive officer Gareth Manderson said.

“With the resumption of full mining activities at Grants, we were also able to produce, transport and load an additional 2000 tonnes onto the St Andrew as part of our sales agreements with Yahua.

“Our focus now is to safely complete commissioning of the Dense Media Separation (DMS) plant at Finniss and ramp up our integrated operation.”

Along with the shipment, the Northern Territory Government also approved the BP33 underground project, the second proposed mine at the Finniss.

The granting of the mining authorisation was the last step in the approvals process for the BP33 project.

“Core Lithium would like to acknowledge the support of the Government of the Northern Territory. We have been able to commence operations at Finniss in a favourable market when it can deliver benefits for the NT and all its stakeholders due to the professional and efficient processes for approvals,” Manderson said.

“The BP33 development approval is another example of this.”

Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Mining and Industry Nicole Manison said the expansion would provide benefits to local suppliers and the economy.

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

“Lithium is in high demand right across the world and the Northern Territory has the resources needed for a renewable future.”