NT an exploration hotspot after gold found

Resource companies have reported promising finds while searching for gold near Tennant Creek.
Resource companies have reported promising finds while searching for gold near Tennant Creek.

The Northern Territory could become home to Australia's next gold rush with high-grade deposits discovered during recent exploration.

Resource companies have reported promising finds in the Barkly region while searching for gold at exploration sites near Tennant Creek.

The results support the case for a gold processing hub being built in the town of 3000 people, which is about 500km north of Alice Springs.

"There is absolutely buzz around the town, there is a huge amount of exploration activity happening out there," NT Mining and Industry Minister Nicole Manison said on Wednesday.

There are companies making great discoveries. We have the real potential to bring Tennant Creek back to its glory days of being a thriving mining town."

There are 20 mining projects currently working towards a final investment decision in the NT worth a combined value of $6.2 billion.

This could create 5700 construction jobs and 3400 ongoing jobs, Ms Manison said.

"Our message is clear, if you are looking for the next resource or mining investment, come to the Territory," she said.

Emmerson Resources chief executive Rob Bills said new NT government-supplied geoscience data had made the region an "exciting exploration hotspot".

"Tennant Creek is one of Australia's highest-grade gold districts," he said.

The Western Australian company has partnered with Tennant Consolidated Mining Group following the discovery of gold beneath an area known for high-grade gold mineralisation.

It was likely to become the first new open-pit deposit in the Tennant Creek area with a planned processing mill to follow, Mr Bills said.

Emmerson has also partnered with the traditional owners to develop a deposit in the Jasper Hills area.

Native title holders will have direct equity, plus employment and training opportunities, Mr Bills says.

Numerous other companies are also exploring in the Barkly region, including Newcrest Mining, Rio Tinto, Castile Resources, Encounter Resources and Inca Minerals.

Australian Associated Press