Resource industry development

Outcome: Exploration and development of the NT’s mineral and energy resources is supported by quality information and advice to national and international stakeholders.

2017-18 Actual 2018-19 Budget 2018-19 Actual
Geological survey and industry development services    
Statutory industry reports and sample submissions processed 3,235 2,940 2,987
Geoscience products developed or updated 94 95 91
Target rating to Fraser Institute Annual Survey geological database 1 15th 10th 24th
Investment attraction and promotional events 14 14 14

1 The Fraser Institute survey is an annual global survey of mining companies that ranks the attractiveness of jurisdictions for exploration and mining investment based on respondent perceptions. The decrease in the NT’s ranking was heavily influenced by a small number of respondents. Mineral exploration expenditure in the NT has increased by 68 per cent from 2016‑17 to 2018‑19, compared with a 48 per cent nationally, suggesting the NT is remaining competitive in attracting exploration investment.

Promote and facilitate the development of primary industries and resources

  • Completed first year of the Resourcing the Territory (2018‑2022) initiative within budget and with major targets achieved.
  • Held successful Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar, AGES 2019 conference in Alice Springs, attracting the highest attendance since 2012.
  • Promoted the NT’s prospectivity and exploration potential at key international events: the China Mining Congress in Beijing, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada in Toronto and North American Petroleum Expo in Houston.
  • Participated in domestic industry events to promote the NT as an exploration destination, including the Katherine Resources Conference, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Conference in Brisbane, and NT Resources Week in Darwin.
  • Promoted investment opportunities in the NT’s resources sector to international investors in key markets, including two investment trips to China.
  • Implemented round 11 of the Geophysical and Drilling Collaborations industry grants scheme, with 13 out of 15 projects successfully completed. Announced 13 successful projects for round 12.
  • Completed agreements with Geoscience Australia to acquire new seismic and gravity data in the Barkly region to the east of Tennant Creek during 2019‑20.
  • Published 35 new geoscience reports, surveys and papers, including reports on the Aileron Province, Beetaloo Sub‑basin, McArthur Basin and Amadeus Basin.
  • Completed three‑year collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) on sedimentary and structural controls on zinc mineralisation in the McArthur Basin.
  • Completed the Tanami airborne magnetic and radiometric geophysical survey, one of the largest ever undertaken in the NT, with substantial co-investment from industry. Commenced a second major survey in the Barrow Creek region.
  • Commenced mapping field work in the Mt Drummond, Lake Amadeus and Bloods Range 1:250,000 map sheet areas.
  • Released 16,000 drilling and geochemical newly captured data points from historic exploration within the Batten Fault Zone in the Gulf area. Commenced digital capture of data from the Tennant Creek area.

Use regulation of our industries and resources as a foundation for appropriate economic development

  • Awarded contract for seismic data storage, copying and quality control services to facilitate improved quality and management of existing and new industry seismic data.
  • Continued to reduce the backlog of unreleased exploration reports under the five‑year sunset clause of the Mineral Titles Act 2010 with the release of all reports from 2010 and a large proportion from 2011.

Build capability, adopt contemporary technology and improve service delivery

  • Implemented MAPublisher software to improve desktop publishing and data management processes.
  • Added Petroleum and Geothermal Tenure Reports (PEX Tenure) collection covering industry petroleum reports related to tenure-wide or regional geoscience studies to online GEMIS platform improving discoverability and access.
  • Continuous improvement to online delivery systems, including major software upgrades to STRIKE and updates to the Geophysical Image Web Server interface.
  • Implemented Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International CC‑BY licences for Northern Territory Geological Survey products and data.
  • Completed designs for drill core facility expansion at Power Street in Alice Springs.
  • Released four Geographical Information
  • System datasets for legacy 1:100,000 scale geology maps focusing on the McArthur Basin and Tennant Creek areas.


Last updated: 23 October 2019

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