• Media Release

Recommendations clear barriers for NT to become major global supplier of critical minerals

The Northern Territory Minerals Development Taskforce’s report released today recommends the removal of barriers currently limiting investment in the NT and ensure that the NT can become a leading supplier of the minerals the world needs for the clean energy transition.

The report acknowledges that the NT has world-class mineral deposits, but it is underexplored and currently has only a handful of operating mines.

This doesn’t have to be the case. The NT has significant potential to become one of the world’s leading jurisdictions for critical minerals as the globe transitions to net zero emissions in the next two decades.

These minerals include lithium, rare earth elements, cobalt, manganese, phosphate, copper, nickel and zinc.

This is a once in a generation opportunity for the NT which is ideally placed geographically with its proximity to growing markets in south-east Asia and its deep water harbour in Darwin.

As a member of the Taskforce, comprising industry and government representatives, the MCA urges the NT government to adopt the recommendations to turbo-charge the Territory’s mining sector.

These recommendations are aimed to increase the NT’s global competitiveness, accelerate private investment and harness sustainable new downstream opportunities.

Simplifying the royalties regime, streamlining regulatory processes, minerals titles, land access, improving engagement with communities, downstream promotion (including precincts and shared infrastructure) are all part of the Taskforce’s recommendations.

A royalty system that operates more like those in other successful Australian jurisdictions is an essential step.

The only way to ensure returns for all – whether its royalties to government and Indigenous communities, wages and goods and services for NT business or returns on capital – is by making the NT system easy to navigate, simple and transparent.

The minerals sector contributes significantly to the NT economy, second only to the federal government. Without growth on the minerals sector, the NT is unlikely to reach its ambitious target of a $40 billion economy by 2030.

The sector not only provides economic benefits for the NT government but is also a large employer of Territorians, provides training and education opportunities, and supports regional communities.

It is therefore imperative for the future of the NT and all Territorians that these recommendations are adopted.