Mar 11, 2017

NT backs two major mining projects

NT backs two major mining projects The Ammaroo phosphate project could generate 300 construction jobs and 160 operational positions.

The Northern Territory’s $750 million Ammaroo phosphate project and $850 million Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project each took major steps forward this week.

The NT Government has signed Project Facilitation Agreements reflecting “whole-of-Government” approach to support the development of the projects, both granted Major Project Status.

Verdant Minerals managing director Chris Tziolis said the Ammaroo phosphate project, about 180km south-east of Tennant Creek, would bring a range of benefits to the region and the NT during construction and production over the ensuing decades. 

“The development of Ammaroo and other fertiliser mineral projects in the Territory could in time enable the value adding to the minerals to produce finished fertiliser products to service demand in both Asia and Australia, which now imports most of its fertiliser needs,” Mr Tziolis said.

“Benefits associated with the development of this industry over time include employment, training and business development opportunities.  We look forward to working closely with the relevant NT Government agencies to deliver the project as a starting point to the development of what could be a significant long term industry for the Northern Territory.”

A bankable feasibility is under way for a phosphate rock concentrate operation to export product to the Asian region.

If approved the project could commence construction by the second half of next year, and become operational in late 2019. It is estimated that the construction workforce would peak around 300, and once operational there would be about 160 direct jobs.

Meanwhile TNG’s Mount Peake project is expected to create more than 1700 construction jobs and 600 ongoing jobs in the Territory.

The signing of the Project Facilitation Agreement with the NT government paves the way for the company to develop the mine about 280km north of Alice Springs and a refinery in Darwin, where vanadium, titanium and iron products for export overseas will be produced.

“This is a $850 million project with potential for 500 jobs during construction and more than 200 jobs during operation of the mine, plus more than 1200 jobs during construction and 400 jobs during operation of the refinery,” Mr Gunner said.

Drilling at the Mount Peake tenements.

TNG is undertaking a range of technical, engineering and environmental studies to assess the Darwin refinery site prior to a final investment decision (FID).

Annual production is expected to be 17,560 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide, 236,000 tonnes of titanium dioxide (pigment) and 637,000 tonnes of iron for export.

“The TIVAN™ downstream metal refinery is a key component of the overall project production and logistics chain which will see the application of state-of-the-art processing technology to cost effectively extract high-value vanadium, titanium and iron from the Mt Peake deposit and produce high-purity metals for export,.” TNGs managing director Paul Burton said.

“The TIVAN™ refinery is a value-added downstream process which we expect will bring significant economic benefits to Darwin and the Northern Territory and help to enhance the region’s position as the development hub for Northern Australia.”