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.

Water Licensing Amendments effective 1 July 2019 
The amendments to the Water Act commenced on 31 December 2018 and will from 1 July regulate mining and petroleum water activities. Prior to this such activities were managed through a mine management plan (MMP) which was assessed by the Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) and determined in accordance with the Mining Management Act 2001. The amended Act includes transitionary arrangements which mean that if a mining or
exploration operation is operating under an MMP which was submitted for approval before 1 July 2019 (and then approved with no substantive changes to water resources) then licences and permits under the Act will not be required until such time as the MMP requires a new approval. To read the Act click here.
If members wish to discuss specific issues, they may contact Hannah Grogan, Water Licensing Regulation Project Officer, on 08 8999 4519 or email.

Mine Management Plans redraft
The redrafting of the Mine Management Plans for Operations has begun. Your input and views on how to improve and streamline the MMP are welcome.

Environmental reform continues 
The Environmental Protection Act 2019 has entered Parliament and is before the Scrutiny Committee. AMEC provided a submission to the Committee raising concern with the single Environmental Minister sign off, the strengthened role of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the lack of a clear significance test for approvals.
AMEC is seeking to present to the Scrutiny Committee to raise the concerns of industry. In the 18 month process so far, AMEC has met with the Minister and Department staff multiple times, made submissions and attended workshops. A second Environmental reform piece of legislation that directly addresses native vegetation clearing, mining approvals and the role of environmental practitioners and auditors is expected in the next six months.

Mining Remediation Fund
Following a successful workshop at the AMEC Convention. AMEC is working with members and the Government to develop a Governance framework.

Minerals Investment Strategy
Following the launch of the Northern Territory Critical Minerals Strategy, the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation has begun drafting a Mineral’s Investment Strategy for the Northern Territory. AMEC has provided feedback outlining the need to streamline approvals, cut the cost of doing business and consult widely with all stakeholders, including Land Councils, to reflect the realities of working in the Territory.

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.