Mining hub developed in Tennant Creek

Safety works at several legacy mines is developing Tennant Creek into the mining services hub of the Northern Territory.

The works will provide job opportunities while also improving safety for visitors.

It comes as the NT government announced another round of legacy mine works in the Tennant Creek region have now been completed, with Aboriginal-owned Territory company Piening Holdings carrying out the works at Lone Star, Enterprise and Kunjarra Quarry (aka The Pebbles).

Works at Lone Star, Enterprise and Kunjarra Quarry have included backfilling open mines, installing grates over abandoned openings, constructing fences and stabilising the ground.

Mining in the Tennant Creek area began in the 1930s, and most of the legacy mine sites predate the requirement for operators to rehabilitate mines.

The safety works are funded through the Mining Remediation Fund, created through a 1 per cent levy placed on mining securities.

So far $950,000 has been spent on 11 projects in the Tennant region, with work on 10 projects going to Territory businesses.

Regulatory certainty for offshore gas industry

A Bill has passed NT Parliament clarifying the obligation of operators in the offshore petroleum industry.

The Nuclear Waste Transport Storage and Disposal (Prohibition) Amendment Bill provides certainty to the offshore petroleum industry about their obligations in the management of nuclear wastes. This includes naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) that may be incidentally generated from offshore oil and gas activities and subsequently brought into the Northern Territory.

Naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) are widespread in sands, clay, soils and rocks and many ores and minerals, commodities, products and by-products.

The amendments to this Bill became necessary after uncertainties were raised by industry about whether NORMs were exempt from the Act. The Amendment Bill reframes the exemptions while maintaining the Parliament’s original intention when passing the original Act.

The Amendment Bill addresses ambiguities in exemptions for nuclear waste, including naturally occurring radioactive material that may be created as a by-product of industry activities.

It means nuclear waste material incidentally generated from offshore petroleum activities and brought into the Northern Territory will be exempt from storage and transportation prohibitions where the activity provides social and economic benefits for the Territory.