1.5bn mining project awarded major project status

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The Federal Government has awarded major project status to the Ammaroo phosphate project, situated in a remote part of the Northern Territory.

Located approximately 200 kilometres south-east of Tennant Creek, the Ammaroo phosphate project is an open-cut phosphate mining project proposed by Verdant Minerals (VRM).

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the 1.5 billion project is expected to create about 900 jobs during construction, as well as some 250 ongoing jobs when fully operational.

“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,” Minister 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 connect to the Adelaide to Darwin rail line with a new 90-kilometre 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,” Minister Pitt continued.

“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 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 announcement, saying that the project would provide significant economic and employment opportunities for Northern Australia, the southern Barkly region and its local communities.

“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,” Mr Tziolis concluded.

Image credit: http://www.verdantminerals.com.au/