Primero wins contract for NT's first lithium mine

NRW Holding’s Primero Group has secured a long-term operations and management contract to support the Northern Territory’s first modern lithium mine.
Primero wins contract for NT's first lithium mine Primero wins contract for NT's first lithium mine Primero wins contract for NT's first lithium mine Primero wins contract for NT's first lithium mine Primero wins contract for NT's first lithium mine

Core's Grants pit

Haydn Black

Reporter

Core Lithium, which officially cut the ribbon to mark the start of mining at Finniss yesterday, announced the A$60 million, five-year contract at the same time.
 
Primero has been involved with Finniss since aiding with the scoping study, and was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract in September 2021.
 
The new deal is focused on operation of the dense media separation plant that is Primero is constructing and is set to be commissioned next year.
 
It also covers the tailings storage facility.
 
NRW chief executive Jules Pemberton said Primero was successfully diversifying into longer term operational contracts.
 
Core has an option to extend the contract beyond the initial term.
 
Primero has a long history in Western Australia's lithium space, working with Pilbara Minerals' Pilgangoora, Covalent Lithium's Mt Holland, Allkem's Mt Cattlin, and Alita Resources' Bald Hill developments.
 
Core's $89 million Finniss is Australia's only lithium mine outside Western Australia. It started selling direct shipping ore this month, and expects to sell its first spodumene concentrate next year. 
 
Finniss has transformed from an exploration concept to open pit mine in just over six years and is expected to process some 16 million tonnes of ore over 12 years. 
 
Core, which now has cash of around $210 million, expects to spend a further $95 million to produce its first concentrate. 
 
It has earmarked $25 million for extensional and exploration drilling
 
Core will develop multiple deposits at Finniss to produce 197,000tpa of concentrate for sales to the likes of Ganfeng Lithium and Tesla, with around 80% of production under contract. 
 
Core shares closed yesterday at $1.14, valuing it at $2.1 billion, while NRW's stock was last traded at $2.47, capitalising it at $1.1 billion.