That role will strengthen as the NT moves towards a world of renewable energy and net zero emissions.
More than 5000 Territorians are employed directly and hundreds of more jobs supported by the NT’s mines and onshore gas production activities, exploration projects and two liquefied natural gas plants.
Hundreds of businesses, many of them small, family-run operations, have contracts in the industry. And millions of resource royalty dollars go towards schools and hospitals every year. Resources companies are good corporate citizens in many ways – training Territorians, including Indigenous people, and sponsoring community and sporting organisations. The industry is on the cusp of dramatic growth.
Several major mining projects are moving towards a final investment decision and results from the massive Beetaloo onshore gas basin are encouraging.
The Territory has some of the most desirable critical minerals in the world, including lithium and rare earths, which are used to make products such as solar panels, batteries for electric vehicles and high-tech electronics.
Gas, as a low carbon energy source, is empowering the transition to renewable energy across the globe.
The Territory Government is ensuring that all resource projects are carried out in a sustainable way that does not harm the NT’s environment, culture or social life.
The industry is well regulated in the Territory.
Geochemist Dr Ritnesh “Ricky” Syna, who has an honours degree in geology and a PhD in nuclear chemistry, is the Territory Government’s Director of Assessment and Compliance, Mining Operations.
“The Northern Territory has a world-class and robust regulatory system, and this is supported by a highlyskilled workforce ,” he says.
“My team is made up of engineers, erosion settlement control specialists, flora and fauna experts and people with a whole raft of other skills.
“We always implement best practice when it comes to mining and regulation, and in accordance with the latest guidelines.”
“My team and I use our knowledge, our experience and our ability to ensure the environment is protected and mining activities are always undertaken in accordance with the Act.”
Reforms to the Northern Territory’s environmental regulation of mining activities were passed through Parliament in late 2022, providing greater transparency and certainty for Territorians and industry.
The new Environmental Protection Legislation Amendment (Mining) Bill 2023 will improve the Territory’s environmental management of mining activities, and help to provide certainty for Industry.
The Territory’s emerging onshore gas industry is also highly regulated.
Following the completion of all 135 recommendations from the hydraulic fracturing inquiry’s final Report, the NT Government has put in the regulatory framework that ensures the onshore petroleum industry will operate to the world’s best practices.
Priorities are to protect the environment, ensure greater transparency and accountability, and provide regional jobs and economic benefits for all Territorians.