Budget Paper 1994-95 No.6 Northern Territory Economy
Tabled Paper 2156
Tabled Papers for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by Barry Coulter
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
Mining the minerals industry is poised for healthy medium term growth. Uncertainty over Native Title legislation and the modest pace o f reform in the transport sectors are drawbacks to an otherwise improving outlook. However, while the full ramifications o f Native Title legislation are yet to be determined, agreements between the Jawoyn people and Zapopan (the developers o f Mt Todd) have encouraged a number o f Aboriginal organisations to seek direct negations with mining companies to facilitate exploration and mining on Aboriginal land. In the Territory, the Mt. Todd gold mine started production during late 1993 with projected production from open cut mining operations o f 3.1 tonnes per annum, which will increase Territory gold production by almost 18% with a corresponding rise in value o f production of some $54 million. Stage 2 o f production will involve full-scale underground mining with expected production o f roughly 4.0 to 4.6 tonnes per annum. ABARE forecasts increased world demand for gold, especially demand for non-adornment jewellery from China and other Asian nations. Medium term prospects for zinc, lead and silver production are encouraging, with M cArthur River mine scheduled to commence production in 1995. At maximum production level, an estimated 1.5 million tonnes o f ore per annum will be produced which will be refined to 180 000 tonnes o f zinc, 50 000 tonnes o f lead and 50 tonnes o f silver. These figures are all significantly above current production levels in the Territory Energy The Northern Territorys known energy resources include oil, natural gas and uranium. Uranium is produced near Jabiru, one o f two currently producing areas in Australia, and oil and gas exploration and production occurs onshore and in three areas offshore, namely: the submerged lands adjacent to the coast o f the Territory, ie. landwards o f the three nautical mile outer limit; the Northern Territory Adjacent Area, ie. beyond the three nautical mile territorial sea (including the Zone o f Cooperation with Indonesia - Area B); and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands Adjacent Area, which are administered by the Territory on behalf o f the Commonwealth. Natural gas production in 1992/93 was 333 410 megalitres worth $22.8 million. Natural gas produced onshore from the Amadeus Basin fuels the Territorys main power stations (including Channel Island power station in Darwin), provides energy to a number o f mining operations (including Cosmo Howley and Mt. Todd mines and in the future M cArthur River mine), as 4 6