The Northern Territory Government has committed to fund a feasibility study into the development of a common user mine and processing facility in Tennant Creek, set to bring more jobs to the region.
The feasibility study will determine the viability of the project, which aims to allow small mining operations to begin without the cost of a major investment in their processing fees.
“This is an impediment which is preventing small companies and mining efforts from getting underway,” NT chief minister Michael Gunner, who made the announcement, said.
The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) welcomed the commitment, with CEO Simon Bennison saying the study showed the government’s recognition of the mining industry’s contribution to the Territory.
“It is a fantastic outcome for those small miners who may just need that extra incentive to invest or expand in the Northern Territory,” Bennison said.
“There is strong competition between Australian states and territories to attract the mining dollar and the opportunity to trim costs by using a common processing facility could make all the difference to where that dollar is spent.”
The feasibility study is one of five major projects the NT Government is funding with the upcoming 2017 Budget; set to boost the Territory’s economy, create employment and attract investment.
“They are aimed at creating jobs now both directly and indirectly and leveraging additional investment from the private sector later,” Gunner said.
The other four projects include transforming the Darwin CBD; creating a Ship Lift and Marine Business Park to assist defence and border force vessels and other shipping fleets; revitalising the Alice Springs CBD; and establishing the Katherine Logistics and Agribusiness hub.
Earlier this month, the Territory Government also committed $250,000 for feasibility study assessing the possibility of developing a second LNG train at ConocoPhillips’ Darwin LNG facility.