The mining industry in the Northern Territory in 2018-2019 contributed $3.0 Billion of value to the Gross State Product. This is the second largest contribution to the Territory’s GSP, following ‘public administration and safety’. However, despite its relative size, the mining industry in the Northern Territory is still remarkably small when compared with other comparable States, and against the scale of prospectivity and opportunity that exists there.
Currently there are only 9 operating mines in the Territory.
With careful stewardship the contribution of the mining and the mineral exploration sector could grow. The Territory has some of Australia's largest deposits of uranium, zinc-lead, bauxite, gold, phosphate and manganese. There are also significant deposits of copper, rare earths, vanadium, lithium, tungsten, salt, mineral sands and potash.
The rocks are in the ground, and with the right regulatory settings, mining could transform the Northern Territory economy. Greenfield mineral exploration is nearly 50% of total mineral exploration, with a number companies pursuing opportunities to make a world class discovery. The Territory boasts not only great geology but a progressive Geological Survey, a strong precompetitive data set.
A strong commitment to greenfield mineral exploration in the long term is the key to the Territory making the discoveries needed to build the mines of the future.
AMEC’s work in the Northern Territory
AMEC works to lower the cost of doing business and make it easier to operate in the Territory for mineral exploration companies and developing and operating miners. AMEC’s aim is to make sure that each decision maker knows the views of our industry constructively and persuasively.
This would not be possible without the generous and constant support of the Northern Territory Committee.
If you would like to be involved, please contact Neil van Drunen.
NT budget Crisis
Industry still awaits the Government’s decision on how to fix the Territory’s widening structural budget deficit. In December 2018, the Nothern Territory Government announced it was overspending its Budget by $4million a day and that it was consulting widely on a solution. The Government employed Mr John Langoulant AO, former WA Under Treasurer, to report on a possible path forward. AMEC has provided a submission proposing a “New Deal for the NT” to facilitate economic development and as a result Government revenue. AMEC proposed the reform of the royalty structure, lower the cost of doing business, and seeking Commonwealth Government financial assistance to overcome the infrastructure gaps that slow the Territory’s development. AMEC has discussed our submission to Mr Langoulant and multiple Government staff.
Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES)
The Northern Territory Geological Survey’s (NTGS) Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES) is held every year in Alice Springs and is the Territory’s premier exploration focused event. AMEC attended, met with a range of Government regulators on the sideline of the conference and discussed the raft of reform underway in the Territory.
Environmental reform continues
The draft legislation that was circulated in November and December 2018 is undergoing a further redrafting following comments from industry and AMEC. AMEC had considerable concerns with some aspects of the environmental legislation, such as the lack of clarity around what is considered significant, the establishment of a new levy and a new fund with little detail provided.
Mining Remediation Fund
A successful workshop was held on 19 February with Government and industry to discuss the development of a MRF governance framework. AMEC attended and secured a commitment for an acquittal of the expenditure so far, and a focus on establishing a transparent process for managing the fund going forward. Following the workshop a further discussion paper is being published summarising the outcomes. AMEC has also written to the NT Treasurer requesting that the interest garnered by the MRF remains in the Fund rather than being skimmed into the Consolidated Account. AMEC are awaiting a response.
Mine Management Plans: one down, two to go
The first phase of reviewing the Mine Management Plan has been successfully concluded with the publication of the MMP for Exploration earlier this year. AMEC provided multiple submissions and met with Government to assist in the streamlining. Your views are now sought on how to improve the Mine Management Plans for Operation and the Mine Management Plans for Extractives. A workshop was held at the AGES conference in Alice Springs to discuss the process of MMP reform.
AMEC Critical Minerals Strategy for the Northern Territory.
Membership in the Northern Territory
AMEC membership is open to all companies working in and for the mineral exploration and mining industry. Full membership is for mineral explorers, emerging producers and miners, with Associate membership open to companies who service the mining and mineral exploration industry. Whether your organisation provides legal services, undertakes drilling, financial advice, or other services that support our industry, you can be an AMEC associate member.
To learn more about our work and the benefits of membership in the Territory, please contact the Manager, Northern Territory and South Australia, Neil van Drunen.