The Federal Government has awarded major project status to the proposed $1.5 billion Ammaroo phosphate mine in the Northern Territory.
Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the move would help fast-track the project, expected to create about 900 jobs during construction and about 250 ongoing jobs when in full production.
Ammaroo – about 200km south-east of Tennant Creek – is one of Australia’s largest phosphate deposits.
The Verdant Minerals project is expected to produce around two million tonnes of phosphate rock concentrate each year for 25 years.
This will be locally converted to about 500,000 tonnes a year of phosphoric acid, a key component of fertiliser.
The project will include a 90km rail line, as well as upgrades to local roads and water infrastructure.
Verdant Minerals’ managing director Chris Tziolis welcomed the major project status for their work.
“The project will provide significant economic and employment opportunities for Northern Australia, the southern Barkly region and its local communities,” Mr Tziolis said.
“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.”