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Employment Northern Territory

Funding for mineral exploration creates more jobs in the Territory

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mineral exploration

The Territory Labor Government announced the increase of funding towards mineral exploration, creating thousands of more jobs across the state.

“We’ve done a lot of exploration over the past decade and we know the Territory is mineral-rich. We’re backing them in to stimulate the sector on high prospectivity projects and get them off the ground,” said Chief Minister Michael Gunner. 

“This is record investment now to create near term jobs and cement our comeback.” 

The annual funding for the mining development has increased from $6.5 million to $9.5 million. With 19 mining projects currently working towards a Final Investment Decision (FID), the support from the funding has the potential to create 5800 construction jobs and 3200 ongoing jobs. 

Aside from green-lighting these mining projects, the increased funding will also be made available for operational projects to conduct required exploration to extend mine life and identify new deposits. 

The funding will allow 

  • Near-term resource development through an increased focus on exploration of ‘brownfields’ sites 
  • Identification and promotion of new areas of the Territory for resource exploration 
  • Acceleration of geoscience programs to attract and de-risk mineral exploration 
  • Expansion of the Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations grants program 
  • Studies of the Territory’s geological potential for critical commodities to support a low-emissions future 
  • Further collaboration with the Federal Government’s Exploring the Future program which has facilitated substantial investment in the NT 

This announcement delivers confidence and certainty to the industry as mining development will be crucial in unlocking major projects. This is because the mining sector is worth $4.4 billion annually to the Territory and is also the area’s biggest employer. 

Executive Director of MCA NT Drew Wagner said the funding will not only boost jobs and local communities in the area and provide new opportunities for mineral exploration, but it will also support the first step in understanding the local geology. This could give potential investors the confidence to invest in the Territory’s economy.

The Territory is the world’s largest manganese producer. It also has some of Australia’s largest zinc, gold, bauxite, and rare earth deposits. The area is being recognised for its massive resources potential, and the Government is invested in helping de-risk known areas of high prospectivity for the private sector.   

“We remain focused on securing investment opportunities for the Territory and creating more local jobs. The resources sector will play an enormous role in our comeback, and that is why we are investing record amounts in this space,” Minister for Mining and Industry Nicole Manison said. 

The record investment delivers on recommendations of the Territory Economic Reconstruction’s final report. 

The Government is committed to the sustainable development of the sector. They do this by providing geoscience data to the industry and proactively promoting the Territory’s resource potential and investment opportunities. 

The Resourcing the Territory initiative was first launched in 2018. It was delivered by the Northern Territory Geological Survey (NTGS) through a $26 million package for a period of four years. 

The private sector has invested more than $350 million in minerals and petroleum exploration expenditure in the Territory since the start of the initiative. It has also helped generate more than $36 million in co-investment from the Australian Government. 

“We are making the Territory the best place to do business, and the best place to invest,” Chief Minister Gunner said. “Private investment leads to more opportunities for local businesses and more jobs for Territorians.” 

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