NT Government offers $5 million loan for lithium project

THE proponent of a lithium mine near Darwin, Core Lithium, has had its financial case for a go-ahead significantly strengthened by a $5 million conditional loan offer from the NT government.

The low-cost business investment concessional loan from the NT Government's Local Jobs Fund (LJF), will contribute to lower start-up capital costs and overall costs for Core, which aims to begin construction on the mine production facilities at its Finniss Lithium Project about 80km from Darwin later this year.

Core was recently one of 10 companies to get funding from the latest round of the Territory's Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations Grants.

Core managing director Stephen Biggins said the support of the NT government demonstrated further confidence in the robust long-term financial returns to be generated by the Finniss project.

"We are delighted to have the support of the Northern Territory government in the offer of a concessional finance facility, which contributes to the transition from developer to miner," he said.

Core managing director Stephen Biggins.
Core managing director Stephen Biggins.

"The Northern Territory government's proposed financial commitment is a recognition of the value of the near development-ready Finniss Lithium Project and its contribution to reducing global emissions and rebound in economic growth in the Territory."

The offer of a non-binding finance facility term sheet by the NT government follows an assessment by the LJF investment committee and is in recognition of the significant employment opportunities - more than 250 jobs - and the accompanying socio-economic benefits and enterprise opportunities the project will bring to the region.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the proposed financial commitment would bring new industry and jobs to the NT.

"To ensure the Territory rebounds strongly from COVID-19 the Northern Territory government is investing in projects that will help our economy grow and create jobs for Territorians," he said.

"The Territory government has provided Core Lithium a non-binding term sheet for a $5m Business Investment Concessional Loan through the Local Jobs Fund, subject to due diligence."

Originally published as NT Government offers $5 million loan for lithium project