A wide variety of mineral resources exists throughout the 1.35 million kms2 of the Northern Territory. From bauxite and uranium in the north east, to zinc, lead and silver in the Gulf region, to gold in the centre and west, the prospectivity of the Northern Territory has proven to be strong. Mining activity has been operating for some decades, with $3.05 billion of mineral resources produced in 2015-16.
The Northern Territory offers an attractive opportunity to efficiently transport bulk minerals to market because of the bulk material handling facilities in place in the Port of Darwin, and the national rail line running the length of the Northern Territory, together with faster shipping times to Asia than any other Australian port.
Ten operating mines are producing gold, uranium, bauxite, manganese, silver, lead and zinc. Eighteen additional projects with a combined potential capital expenditure of over $5 billion are in feasibility, approvals or construction processes.
Significant producing mines in the Northern Territory include:
- Gove - Rio Tinto (bauxite)
- GEMCO - South32 (manganese)
- Ranger - ERA (uranium)
- McArthur River - Glencore (zinc, lead)
- Bootu Creek - OM (manganese)
- Callie - Newmont (gold)
- Cosmo - Kirkland Lake Gold (gold).
Advantages that set the Northern Territory apart
- A history of strong support for the industry from both sides of the Northern Territory Parliament, including access to geological data, know-how and existing infrastructure.
- Access to capable labour and expertise locally and via a fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workforce.
- Endowed with sought-after commodities, especially gold, manganese, bauxite, base metals, phosphate, uranium and rare earths.
- Significantly shorter shipping times to Asian ports.
- Willingness to work with investors interested in utilising the Australian Government’s regional migration visas for skilled labour.
- Access to capital markets and expertise in Australia, one of the world’s most experienced centres in the funding of resources projects.
- Vast exploration opportunities from greenfields to existing brownfields exploration.
Opportunities for investors
The Northern Territory has world class reserves of manganese, uranium, phosphate, base metals, gold, vanadium and rare earths. Not only is there a significant number of proposed mineral projects and opportunities under development or in evaluation, substantial prospective ground is yet to be fully explored.
The Nolans Rare Earth Project is a world class deposit and currently in approvals processes.
The Australian continent contains 30% of total known reserves of uranium, much of it existing in the Northern Territory. Uranium has been mined in the Northern Territory since the 1950s, with established transport operations through the Port of Darwin. There is potentially a massive global undersupply of uranium looming, creating strong market prospects for the strategically located reserves in the Northern Territory.
Two major phosphate deposits located in the centre of the Northern Territory (Ammaroo and Wonarah) are currently in approvals processes and may move into development in the next few years.
Substantial gold deposits exist in many parts of the Northern Territory, and mining development is being enhanced by the recent development of enabling infrastructure.
Significant producing mine locations