Friday 22nd Jan, 2021

Phosphate project wins Major Project Status

A $1.5 billion project to mine phosphate in the Northern Territory, which is expected to create more than a thousand jobs, has been awarded Major Project Status.

The Ammaroo Phosphate Project is based in a remote part of the NT about 200 kilometres south-east of Tennant Creek.

Major Project Status means the project has strategic significance to Australia. It provides companies with extra support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, including a single entry point for Federal Government approvals, project support, and coordination with state and territory approvals.

Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the project is 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.

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“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.”

Resources, Water and Northern Australia Minister 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.

“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,” Pitt said.

“The concentrate will be locally converted to around 500,000 tonnes a year of phosphoric acid, a high value intermediate product which is a key component of fertiliser.

“The project will include a 90-kilometre rail line, as well as upgrades to local roads and water infrastructure.”

Verdant Minerals Managing Director Chris Tziolis welcomed the Major Project Status.

“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.”