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How mining can support a stronger NT recovery

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Global Mining Review,

Mining’s role in sustaining jobs, supporting communities and restoring economic fortunes in the Northern Territory (NT) has never been more important.

A new agenda focusing on jobs, skills and partnerships is essential to delivering a better future for the Territory.

Today the MCA Northern Territory Division outlines how to realise this vision with the launch of ‘There’s more to Territory Mining: Minerals Industry Strategy 2020-2024’.

Building on the sector’s existing contribution, the 4-year agenda outlines an exciting future of more development and jobs, increased skills development and closer community engagement for the Territory.

The NT minerals sector is poised for growth if certainty can be provided to project proponents to encourage investment in our natural assets.

A strong NT minerals sector will always lead to a strong NT economy and the partnership between the NT’s minerals industry, government and communities already delivers a significant economic and social contribution to the Territory and the nation.

Yet this partnership can deliver much more with the right policy settings, and the Territory is ready to deliver a substantial expansion in sustainable economic development.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NT mining sector continued to support the Territory economy and regional jobs by keeping its workforce, families and communities safe and healthy.

As this health crisis is navigated, the government – in partnership with the minerals sector – has a unique opportunity to implement pragmatic and targeted reforms so the industry can play an even larger role in underpinning a sustainable and enduring recovery.

The MCA Northern Territory Division has identified a range of policy and regulatory options that if adopted will help the NT’s minerals industry to maximise its contribution to economic recovery, make the most of opportunities for downstream usage of raw materials and remain a quality long-term exporter of minerals and metals.

The mining industry’s partnership with Traditional Owners, Aboriginal and remote communities, rural and regional development organisations and service providers is founded on respect and a long-term commitment to support local cultural, social and economic aspirations and will deliver this vision.

Greater policy certainty will support strong continued production in established commodities such as bauxite, zinc, lead, gold and manganese, and the emergence of vital new ones such as rare earth elements, phosphate, lithium and the commodity of the 21st century, copper.

Competitive and sustainable policy frameworks for environmental assessments and approvals, respectful land access, community development, skills and workforce development, competitive taxation and royalties regimes and a fundamental commitment to health and safety are the key elements of the industry’s growth strategy.

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