The Northern Territory Government recently announced that its mining and resource industry is valued at $6.2 billion, a milestone in achieving its $40 billion economic target. The NT resource industry received a boost from the $74.4 million expenditure in mineral exploration for the September 2023 quarter.

According to NT Chief Minister Eva Lawler, a substantial and diversified economy will generate revenue for investment in Territory priorities such as secure energy supply, health, education, housing, and infrastructure. 

“The government is sending a clear message to investors that the Territory is a world-class destination for mining and that the resources needed for low-emission technologies are available,” she said.

As part of its efforts to attract more investment in the sector, the Territory Government has released an updated guide to Critical Minerals in the Northern Territory. The guide outlines the Territory’s critical minerals in high demand worldwide. 

The critical minerals list has grown from 15 to 17, with gallium and graphite added to it following recent discoveries of these vital minerals in the Territory.

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The government will also implement a Territory-wide Social License campaign to reinforce the regulatory environment’s rigour in the Territory. According to NT Minister for Mining Mark Monaghan, the government must work with the industry to inform Territorians about the impact of mining and resources in the Territory. 

“The government has an important role in building trust with the regulator to fulfil its responsibilities to do right by Territorians,” he added. 


South Australia Bridges the Gulf to a Green Steel Future

The South Australian Government is interested in collaborating with businesses to explore the development of a hydrogen-based direct reduction iron (DRI) plant. The aim is to determine the necessary industrial precincts and infrastructure required to make green iron and steel investment less risky in South Australia.

South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas said that the world needs steel, and as it moves towards decarbonisation, it will require more value-added green iron and steel. 

“The Upper Spencer Gulf has the essential elements for a DRI plant, including a vast magnetite resource and, soon, a supply of renewable hydrogen that comes from the region’s remarkable wind and solar resources,” he said. 

The South Australian Government wants to establish the DRI plant before the end of this decade, as it is an alternative to using coal-fired furnaces to convert iron ore to steel. DRI plants use renewable sources, such as hydrogen, to reduce emissions from the iron smelting process by up to 95%.

South Australian Mining Minister Tom Koutsantonis said, “South Australia has a tremendous opportunity to grow the state’s wealth by promoting green re-industrialisation, including critical minerals like copper and green iron and steel.”

“The government is actively seeking to collaborate with industry partners to ensure that South Australia is the best place for investors to do business,” he added. Expressions of interest in the partnership will be accepted starting in June.


Alcoa Makes a $3.4 Billion Bid for Alumina

Alumina Limited has announced today that it will support an exclusive takeover bid from its joint-venture partner, Alcoa. The deal is worth $3.4 billion and will see Alcoa acquire 100% of Alumina through a scheme of arrangement. 

In exchange, shareholders will receive 0.02854 shares of Alcoa common stock for each Alumina share. This proposal sets the price of Alumina at a 13.1% premium from its share price on February 23, and a 19.5% premium based on the average exchange ratio over the past year. 

The two parties have already established a transaction process and exclusivity deed, and Alcoa has been granted a 20-business day period of exclusivity to negotiate an implementation agreement. Alumina has recommended that its shareholders vote in favour of the deal, which is the result of a series of earlier offers from Alcoa. 

Alumina Limited owns 40% of Alcoa World and Alumina Chemicals (AWAC), and the two companies have been linked since 1961. The AWAC joint venture has a global network of assets, including bauxite mines and alumina refineries in Australia, Brazil, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Guinea. 

AWAC also holds a 55% interest in the Portland aluminium smelter in Victoria, Australia.


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