PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The federal government has granted Major Project status to the A$1.5-billion Ammaroo phosphate project to mine phosphate in the Northern Territory, which will create more than 1 000 jobs and export opportunities.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the project was expected to create about 900 jobs during construction and about 250 ongoing jobs when in full production.
“The Ammaroo phosphate project has the potential to supply global markets with much-needed fertiliser, while supporting economic development in a remote part of the Northern Territory,” Andrews said.
“The project will be a major jobs creator, providing new opportunities in the Territory, particularly for nearby Indigenous communities.
“The potential for a local processing facility as part of the project will also ensure Australia has access to critical phosphate for fertiliser, which is essential for our agriculture sector and food security.”
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the project would access the Adelaide-to-Darwin rail line to target supply lines through South Australia and export markets in India and Asia through Darwin.
“This project supports the government’s vision to further develop northern Australia and to support Australian exports, jobs and opportunities in the north,” Pitt said.
“Ammaroo is one of Australia’s largest phosphate deposits, and the project is expected to produce around two-million tonnes of phosphate rock concentrate each year for 25 years.
“The concentrate will be locally converted to around 500 000 t/y of phosphoric acid, a high value intermediate product which is a key component of fertiliser. The project will include a 90 km rail line, as well as upgrades to local roads and water infrastructure.”
Project owner Verdant Minerals MD Chris Tziolis welcomed the Major Project status for their work.
“The project will provide significant economic and employment opportunities for Northern Australia, the southern Barkly region and its local communities,” Tziolis said.
“The Ammaroo phosphate project could be a key plank in enabling the creation of a globally significant fertiliser manufacturing industry in the Northern Territory, servicing the increasing needs of both Asia and Australia’s agricultural industries and food security needs.”
Major Project status is the Commonwealth government’s recognition of the strategic significance of a project to Australia, and provides companies with extra support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, including a single entry point for Commonwealth government approvals, project support, and coordination with state and territory approvals.