Resourcing the Territory initiative (2018–2022)
The Northern Territory Government’s four–year (2018-2022) Resourcing the Territory initiative includes a range of strategies designed to underpin the long-term sustainability of the Territory’s resources sector. The $26 million initiative is providing pre-competitive geoscience, investment attraction and exploration stimulus programs designed to increase exploration activity and success rates, and open up new areas of the Territory for exploration.
It replaces the successful $23.8 million Creating Opportunities for Resource Exploration (CORE) initiative (2014-2018).
Resourcing the Territory is the largest initiative ever undertaken to support resources exploration in the Northern Territory (NT). It aims to make the Territory a preferred destination for exploration investment and support local businesses and communities that rely on the exploration and mining sector.
The initiative is being undertaken by the NT Geological Survey (NTGS). It includes a focus on partnerships and collaborations with industry, researchers and other Government geoscience agencies to support industry innovation and deliver integrated and contemporary geoscience data and interpretations that are designed to open up new areas for exploration and underpin private sector exploration success.
Key themes of Resourcing the Territory are:
- Upgrading the Territory’s coverage of geophysical data with a focus on acquiring magnetic-radiometric or gravity data in prospective areas where data quality or density is insufficient. This is commencing with a major survey to upgrade magnetic and radiometric geophysical coverage of the entire Tanami Region, which will be the Territory’s largest ever high-resolution airborne survey. NTGS will also collaborate with Geoscience Australia on acquisition of innovative magnetotelluric, passive seismic and airborne electromagnetic datasets across the Territory.
- Supporting industry innovation through grants for greenfields exploration. Under Resourcing the Territory, the Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations grants program has been revised and expanded. It now offers increased funding and less restrictive criteria, opening the grants program to more explorers. Eligible programs under the revised scheme now includes reverse circulation drilling in greenfields areas. Service and supply by NT-based companies is now also eligible for co-funding in order to maximise local industry participation in funded programs.
- Unlocking the resource potential of the Barkly and Gulf regions through a diverse range of geoscience programs, including co-investing in major new data acquisition with Geoscience Australia under the Commonwealth’s Exploring for the Future program. This program includes drilling programs designed to investigate the minerals and energy potential of the Barkly Tableland, and will utilise new seismic data to assess the nature and potential of concealed frontier basins in this area. NTGS will also undertake geoscience mapping and other geoscience programs in the Lawn Hill Platform, South Nicholson Basin, and the Tennant Creek area.
- Stimulating greenfields exploration in central Australia through geoscience mapping and collaborative programs in the Amadeus Basin and Arunta Region, to highlight resource potential and support increased exploration in the central Australian region. This includes developing a 3D view of the subsurface geology and stratigraphy of the Amadeus Basin. NTGS will also release maps and reports that provide a new understanding of the geology and base metals potential of the Aileron Province.
- Promoting the Territory’s resource potential and investment opportunities. Under the initiative, the Territory’s resource potential will be promoted to the domestic and international exploration community. There will also be a continuation of the successful Minerals and Energy International Investment Attraction Program, which assists industry attract investment from key markets in East Asia. The program has already helped facilitate more than $360 million of new investment in the Territory’s resources sector over the past decade.
- Making exploration and geoscience data more accessible by upgrading the Territory’s geoscience databases and online delivery systems. A major program to capture all open-file exploration drilling and geochemistry data across the Territory is underway, commencing with the McArthur Basin, Tennant Creek and Barkly regions.
Under Resourcing the Territory, the NTGS will continue to acquire and assess data relating to the Territory’s onshore gas potential, and publish updates on the Territory’s mineral endowment and potential for critical mineral commodities.