Core Lithium looks to sell Blueys silver project
The Blueys silver project is located an hour and a half from the town of Alice Springs in the Northern Territories. Drilling had previously produced grades of up to 1,000 g/t silver and 17% zinc and lead. Core also found very high grades of 4,500 g/t silver and 10% copper in rock chips at the surface.
Core’s managing director Stephen Biggins commented that the company’s management team was open to selling its silver assets, in light of the current silver price and the prospectivity of the silver assets. He added: “We are pleased to have received this interest in our noncore silver assets and will carefully consider the best course of action with a view to generating the maximum value out of these assets for our shareholders.”
“As we have stated, we remain committed to progressing activities at our flagship Finniss lithium project, in the Northern Territory, which was recently the subject of a A$5-million concessional finance facility through the Northern Territory government’s Local Job Fund. “We look forward to updating shareholders once we have carefully explored our options for these silver assets.”
Divesting itself of the Blueys silver project would also allow Core to focus more on developing the company’s flagship project, Finniss Lithium, also in the Northern Territories. The company recently announced that it plans to update the definitive feasibility study for Finniss, to include an increase to its production capacity, and assessing its grid connection to reduce the company’s emissions footprint.
Global iron ore production to recover by 5.1% in 2021
Global iron ore production fell by 3% to 2.2bnt in 2020. Global production is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7% to 2,663.4Mt between 2021 to 2025. The key contributors to this grow will be Brazil (6.2%), South Africa (4.1%), Australia (3.2%) and India (2.9%). Key upcoming projects expected to commence operations include South Flank in Australia (2021), Zulti in South Africa (H2 2021), Serrote Da Laje in Brazil (H2 2021) and Gudai-Darri (2022), according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, comments: “Declines from Brazil and India were major contributors to the reduced output in 2020. Combined production from these two countries fell from a collective 638.2Mt in 2019 to an estimated 591.1Mt in 2020. The reduced output from the iron ore giant, Vale, was the key factor behind Brazil’s reduced output, while delays in the auctioning of mines in Odisha affected India’s output in 2020.
“Miners in Australia were relatively unaffected by COVID-19 due to effective measures adopted by the Australian Government, while a speedy recovery in China led to a significant 10.4% increase in the country’s iron ore output.”
Looking ahead, the global iron ore production is expected to increase by 111.3Mt to 2,302.5Mt in 2021. Rio Tinto is expected to produce up to 340Mt of iron ore, while BHP has released production guidance of 245–255Mt, supported by the start of the Samarco project in December, which is expected to produce between 1–2Mt.The company has retained its guidance for Australian mines at 276–286Mt on a 100% basis, due to scheduled maintenance work at its ore handling plant and tie-in activity at the Area C mine and South-Flank mine.
Bajaj added: “The remaining companies are expected to produce more than 600Mt of iron ore, including FMG, whose production is expected to range between 175–180Mt supported by its Eliwana mine that commenced operations in late December 2020, and Anglo American, which is expecting to produce between 64–67Mt. Vale is expected to resume 40Mt of its production capacity, taking its overall production capacity to 350Mt in 2021, with production guidance of 315-335Mt.”