Budget 2013/14 Northern Territory Economy
Tabled paper 295
Tabled Papers for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by David Tollner
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.
Department of the Treasury and Finance
Mining and Manufacturing 125 Northern Territory Economy In 201112, the Territory accounted for 3.0percent of gold produced in Australia. The largest producing gold mine in the Territory is the Granites mine owned by Newmont Mining Corporation in the Tanami Desert. Newmonts operation produces between 240000 to 260000 ounces of gold per annum. Gold is also produced by Crocodile Gold near Pine Creek. Strong growth in gold prices since 2000 has led to substantial growth in exploration activity throughout the Territory and encouraged higher levels of production from existing mines, while also supporting the commencement of new operations and exploration at Crocodile Golds Union Reef International and Maud Creek deposits. Gold production in the Territory is estimated to decline from $356million in 201112 to $346million in 201213 (down by 2.8percent) mainly due to lower quality ore at the Granites mine and the cessation of production at Crocodile Golds West Howley and Rising Tides operation in the Junequarter2012. Partly offsetting the decline in the year was CrocodileGolds Cosmo operations reaching commercial production in early2013. Australia is the worlds largest producer of bauxite, with 73milliontonnes produced in 201112. The bauxite resources at Weipa in Queensland and the Gove peninsula in the Territory are considered to be among the worlds highest grade deposits. More than 85percent of bauxite mined globally is refined into alumina for the production of aluminium. Bauxite mined at Gove is primarily used as feedstock for alumina manufacturing at the nearby Pacific Aluminium refinery while the remaining product is exported to Asia. Production in the Territory is estimated to increase from $245million to $269million in 201213 (up by 9.8percent). This is mainly due to Pacific Aluminium increasing alumina production to capacity. Iron ore is Australias largest export commodity by value and volume and is primarily used in the production of steel. While there are a number of known ore bodies in the Territory these are not on the same scale as those present in the Pilbara region of WesternAustralia and hence have not been as intensely mined. The Territory currently only has one operating iron ore mine, located at FrancesCreek. Gold Bauxite Conversion of the Pacific Aluminium Alumina Refinery from Heavy Oil to Gas The proposed conversion of the Pacific Aluminium refinery from oil to gas arose as a result of substantial growth in the price of bunker oil that Pacific Aluminium uses to power the refinery. Negotiations between Rio Tinto, the Territory Government and the Commonwealth resulted in the Territory Government committing a proportion of its gas supply from the Blacktip field to Pacific Aluminium, which will, subject to final approval, convert the generators from oil to gas at an expected cost of $150million. The project will involve the construction of a pipeline from the existing Amadeus pipeline to Gove. Iron Ore