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Nineteen Northern Territory mining projects – with a combined value of $8.3 billion and capable of creating 5000 construction jobs – are working towards final investment decisions.

The potential of the mining sector – still comfortably the largest part of the NT economy – will be all the talk at the Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar.

The seminar program includes details of a new clay-hosted rare earths discovery on the Barkly Tableland and the emerging Bluebird copper-gold discovery near Tennant Creek.

Other highlights on the AGES agenda include:

Critical minerals such as lithium and rare earths

Emerging insights into for sediment-hosted copper and iron-oxide copper-gold potential across the Territory

Updates on the stratigraphy and resource potential of the Birrindudu Basin

The latest on shale gas exploration and appraisal in the Beetaloo Sub-basin

Updates on gold exploration in the Tanami

There will also be presentations from the Northern Territory Geological Survey, researchers and exploration companies on new geoscience data and concepts, plus exploration highlights from across the NT.

Geological Survey director of regional geoscience Dorothy Close says: “Each year the release of the AGES program is highly anticipated and this year will see another comprehensive technical program including the latest data, industry presentations and exploration highlights.

“As the peak event for the NT’s minerals and energy exploration sector, AGES provides a unique opportunity to access the latest in fresh exploration ideas and geoscientific data, plus the opportunity to network with colleagues who share an interest in the discovery and development of the Territory’s resources.”

The 24th seminar is part of a broader plan to attract and support investment in the Territory, in keeping with the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission’s recommendations, which identified mineral exploration as a priority industry.

It is hosted by the NT Geological Survey and is the Northern Territory Government’s flagship exploration event.

AGES will be held at the Alice Springs Convention Centre on Tuesday 18 April and Wednesday 19 April 2023, with registrations available at

The seminar is being held in conjunction with the Alice Springs Mining Services Expo, which provides business development opportunities for Territory companies to showcase their products, services and local capabilities to support exploration and mining ventures.

The expo has attracted local, national and international businesses, suppliers, purchasers, government agencies and associations across the mining and exploration sector.

It showcases the capacity of local businesses, as well as the availability of products and services in the central Australian region.

Steve Shearer, Central Australia manager of car and truck rental company Thrifty, has been going to the expo for 17 years.

“We target the mining services industry so it’s a golden opportunity for us to wave our flag,” he says. 

“We get to meet existing customers and network with other people in our industry.

“And it’s a great opportunity to keep up with what’s going on.”

Exhibitors see the expo as a vital opportunity to network, promote and engage with key industry contacts.