Deep beneath the ground right across the Northern Territory’s 1.35 million km2 are some of the world’s largest and richest mineral deposits.
Uranium, zinc-lead, bauxite, gold, phosphate and manganese are all mined in the Territory, with a production value of more than $2 billion.
Commodities such as copper, iron ore, rare earths, tungsten, mineral sands and potash are fast emerging.
The Northern Territory is a world leader in manganese production, with Groote Eylandt’s world-class deposit in Arnhem Land the centre of manganese mining activity in Australia.
Minerals extraction is a dominating industry and employer in the Territory, and a crucial contributor to the economy. The current 10 major mine operators are only scratching the surface of this mineral-rich province.
A further 16 projects, with a combined potential capital expenditure of more than $3.3 billion, are in development. And substantial tracts of prospective Territory ground are still unexplored.
The majority of minerals produced in the Northern Territory are exported overseas. Three quarters of all Territory minerals are exported to China; the other main export markets are Korea, Japan and India.
The AustralAsia Trade Route means minerals freight can be shipped between Australia and overseas quickly and reliably. Darwin’s logistics infrastructure in the East Arm Port, Darwin Business Park, Marine Supply Base and rail link mean significant competitive advantages for manufacturers, exporters and importers. This reinforces the NT’s emerging status as a world leader in mineral exploration.
An initiative led by the NT Government is the Creating Opportunities for Resource
Exploration (CORE) program, an exploration investment attraction program designed to attract mineral and petroleum exploration, particularly in under-explored areas. The program focusses on acquiring new pre-competitive geoscience information to stimulate exploration, collaborative regional assessments of shale gas potential, industry grants for high-risk exploration and programs to attract investment into resources projects in the NT.
The annual NT Resources Week sees the South East Asia Australia Offshore and Onshore Conference (SEAAOC) run alongside two other events, being the Mining the Territory and Building the Territory Conferences. Including an extensive combined exhibition, these events bring together more than 1500 attendees comprising captains of industry and leading personnel involved in mining, exploration, petroleum, oil and gas, engineering, construction and infrastructure. The events provide opportunity for meetings and discussions about the latest developments in northern Australia and South East Asia.