Business bulletin: 29 April 2021


Mine with sun setting

Annual funding toward the Resourcing the Territory Initiative by the Territory Government will increase in a bid to drive more mining development and create more local jobs.

The mining sector is worth $4.4 billion annually to the Territory and is one of our biggest employers.

The Territory is the world’s largest manganese producer and has some of Australia’s largest zinc, gold, bauxite, and rare earth deposits. It is increasingly being recognised for its massive resources potential.

From 1 July 2022, the Territory Government will increase its annual funding to Resourcing the Territory from $6.5 million to $9.5 million – with the funding to be ongoing.

There are currently 19 mining projects working towards a final investment decision (FID) in the Territory with a combined value of $5.8 billion and potential to create 5,800 construction jobs and 3,200 ongoing jobs.

This record investment increases total funding available for further exploration work to green-light these projects. Funding will also be made available for operational projects to conduct required exploration to extend mine life, and for exploration to identify new deposits. The funding will also accelerate geoscience programs to attract and de-risk further investment in exploration.

The Resourcing the Territory initiative was first launched in 2018, and delivered by the Northern Territory Geological Survey (NTGS) through a $26 million package over four years, which will be completed in June 2022.

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

For all products and data generated through Resourcing the Territory, go to the Resourcing the Territory website.

Audience at AGES 2021

Following the cancellation of last year’s event due to COVID-19, more than 250 people have converged in Alice Springs to attend the Territory’s premium exploration event, the Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES).

The event, which has been running for more than two decades, has proven critical in attracting and supporting the exploration of the Northern Territory’s rich resources, and provides a forum for industry and Government to discuss the latest state of the art geoscience information and data.

Highlights of the week included the announcement of an expansion to the Resourcing the Territory program, and recent results of pre-competitive geoscience from the Barkly region and central Australia that highlight exciting potential, especially for copper and gold. Nine exploration companies also presented on highlights and geological findings from their recent exploration programs.

Just last month the first data from an innovative drilling project has confirmed the mineral potential of a previously underexplored area of the East Tennant region of the Barkly Tableland.

Funded as part of the National Drilling Initiative, the preliminary analysis of data and samples from 10 stratigraphic drill holes shows the area is highly prospective for minerals, particularly copper and gold.

AGES is an important opportunity to showcase the latest geological results from the Northern Territory Geological Survey programs under the Resourcing the Territory initiative.

The Northern Territory’s exploration sector is set for a big year in 2021, driven by strong exploration for commodities such as copper, gold, gas and lithium.

Irrigation equipment in paddock

Future investment and development of the agriculture and aquaculture sectors has received a major boost with the Territory Government fast tracking sustainable development precincts.

The Territory Government will establish a Sustainable Agribusiness Precincts team, to develop pastoral and Aboriginal land in partnership with landowners and stakeholders.

The team will be made up of five individuals, who will work closely with the newly-appointed investment commissioner to advance new opportunities in the sector.

They will also work in partnership with existing agricultural investors to further develop pastoral leases and Aboriginal land, which will improve international and domestic supply chain access from the Territory.

The Territory plays an important role in Australia’s agricultural sector. Each year, local production exceeds $1 billion, and the sector directly employs more than 2,400 people across the Territory - many in regional and remote areas.

There are currently three land development opportunities under consideration following an expression of interest process: the Keep Plains, Wildman and Larrimah Agricultural Developments.

The release of these large-scale projects will create more jobs and training opportunities to grow the Territory’s agriculture sector. It will also see the Territory capitalise on the increasing demand for quality Australian produce.

The new team will include existing roles in the department plus three new positions which will be recruited to through a publicly advertised and competitive recruitment process.

Car driving towards Uluru

Tourism NT has launched its latest domestic marketing campaign targeting driving holiday makers with the tagline ‘It’s nothing like your normal road trip’.

The campaign is in market up to the end of May 2021 with national radio advertising as well as print advertising in News Limited newspapers and digital advertising across, Escape, Traveller and Nine Digital.

Primarily targeting domestic 50+ travel intenders as well as a secondary audience of travel intenders aged 25 to 49 with new creative, the campaign will then retarget interested audiences with deals from Expedia, Big 4 and other partners including Nitmiluk Tours, Kakadu Tourism as well as car and motorhome companies.

Executive General Manager Marketing Tourism NT Tony Quarmby said the creative messaging of the campaign promotes a driving holiday to the Northern Territory (NT) as not just the destinations you arrive at, but the surprises along the way that make an NT road trip different.

“From the Territory’s epic skies and iconic landscapes to tropical waterways, art, local culture, history and wildlife, whether you go short or go long, a driving holiday in the NT is amazing.

“As Australians are still limited to a domestic or New Zealand holiday as their next holiday choice, now is the time for us to be promoting all the attributes that make our drive holidays so different from everywhere else. We need to capture our share of the drive market to make sure every Territorian business benefits from full hotel rooms, packed tour groups and busy venues to assist in rebounding our tourism and hospitality economy.”

To see deals and offers as well as a downloadable NT drive guide go to the Northern Territory website.


More Territorians can now access free or low cost training courses with new changes to the JobTrainer program coming into effect this week.

The JobTrainer program provides free or low cost training for job seekers and young people to upskill and re-skill to get a job.

The eligibility criteria has been expanded to now include individuals who are underemployed.

Underemployed means individuals who are:

  • employed for less than 35 hours a week (part-time / casuals)
  • willing and able to work additional hours.

The JobTrainer program is part of the $1 billion JobTrainer Fund to deliver additional training to ensure job seekers can reskill and upskill for in demand jobs as the economy rebuilds from COVID-19.

There are over 40 courses now available for enrolment across a range of industries including building and construction, community services and health education, computing, primary industries, tourism and hospitality.

Additional courses will continue to be rolled out.

For further information and to find courses, go to the Northern Territory Government website.

Group shot of team participating in the Innovation Games

The National Innovation Games series continues in the Territory with teams turning their focus to optimising energy use.

Last week, local businesses, emerging talent and leaders from industry, government and academia collaborated in diverse innovation teams to uncover practical and scalable solutions for small businesses to optimise their energy use.

NC Electrical and Air Conditioning, High Point Homes and Territory Generation, who represented the property and construction industries, were awarded first place for their winning solution.

The team tackled the following challenge:

“How to get everyone to work in partnership on the network to coordinate, plan better, share, and collaborate for a better outcome.”

The team identified there are power network limitations with skinny isolated grids within the property, construction and trades industries.

To address these limitations, the team came up with a solution to implement a distributed model using solar, energy storage and micro grids to deliver stable and reliable power to business and homeowners.

Darwin Innovation Hub (DIH), Chief Operating Officer, Emma Nesbitt said, “As the manager of the Territory’s Hydrogen Technology Cluster, the DIH is working within industry on starting the path towards decarbonisation.

“The DIH is excited to be hosting the games, which has highlighted a significant interest amongst businesses to transition into the use of renewable energy and will be used to educate, as well as develop sustainable solutions,” Ms Nesbitt added.

Funded by the Australian Government, the games are delivered by Paddl, through the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia.

The Northern Territory series, co-sponsored by the Northern Territory Government, Industry Skills Advisory Council Northern Territory, National Energy Resources Australia and the DIH, includes a total of three games, with the first two taking place virtually, and a third taking place in-person on 23 and 24 June 2021.

For further information, go to the Innovation Games website.

Last updated: 29 April 2021

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