Infrastructure | Mining & Resources

16 takeaways from NT Resources Week 2014

8 Oct 2014, by test test

NT Resources Week 2014 was held in late August with record participation from the 3 conferences (SEAAOC, Mining the Territory & Building the Territory), exhibition, and accompanying social functions across the the week. We take a look back at what was said about the resources and construction industries in Northern Australia and South East Asia.

What we learnt from the 20th Anniversary South East Asia Australia Offshore & Onshore Conference (SEAAOC):

INPEX
A virtual look at the INPEX Ichthys project in Darwin
  • Record investments into oil and gas projects continue to drive innovation, with world first projects such as the Shell Prelude FLNG further magnifying the attention and interest in Northern Australia
  • Gas price drivers – North American LNG will impact prices for Australian gas once it comes on-stream, yet growing demand for gas and new markets will diminish some of the impact on future prices
  • New supply – Exploration of shale gas opportunities in the NT are one of the brightest new emerging markets with immense potential, shorter time to market and lower developments costs
  • Linking Australia’s gas markets for improved energy security – A gas pipeline linking the NT with Australia’s eastern states would deliver improved outcomes for eastern states facing huge gas price increases and possible shortages
  • Cost control and competition must be improved for the next round of gas projects seeking FID
  • Economic potential – Northern Australia continues to emerge as the commercial and financial powerhouse with significant opportunities located across the entire northern Australian band and South East Asia

Mining the Territory Conference 2014 confirmed the dynamism and enthusiasm of the resources sector operating or developing projects in the regions of the Northern Territory. What were the key takeaways from the event?

Mining in the Territory
After years of record investments in the Territory, the resources industry has been facing a tough economic market and has successfully responded to change.
  • NT Government key initiatives – Strong NT Government investment in exploration initiatives, including programs to lower risk for minerals and petroleum exploration, and stimulate exploration
  • Positive future for upcoming projects – Despite a decrease in exploration expenditure, an enormous potential for onshore developments – 19 minerals projects in various stages of feasibility or approvals, including 3 projects planning to start production in 2015 – “exploration and development projects still present outstanding value based on historical averages”
  • Mining productivity – Mine main focus on health and safety with a number of safety records at mine sites, and successful implementation of mining productivity programs with up to 30% production increase
  • Resource industry economic contribution – Remote and regional operations are investing in community programmes, training, and local procurement to count with the development of sustainable local communities and economies
  • Finance – Upcoming projects are relying upon strategic supply chains and secured funding; investment trends are changing, and more JV’s and alliances are anticipated

Building the Territory Conference brought NT’s built environment into focus, joining NT Resources Week for the first time. Here are 5 interesting takeaways from the event:

Darwin city skyline from the top of the Evolution building
Darwin city skyline from the top of the Evolution building
  • Reducing red tape for NT’s construction and development industry is a clear priority for the NT Government. The new fully integrated system for building approvals was highlighted as just one of the successful initiatives contributing to the rise in building approvals in region.
  • Watch out for Palmerston’s future transformation! Often in Darwin’s shadows, Palmerston is earmarked for some exciting future development opportunities. Plans include identifying surplus land that can be developed to its full potential; including residential developments, the creation of a Main Street that would offer the lifestyle options that you would expect of a thriving CBD, such as Alfresco Dining and easily walk-able CBD.
  • “Transport Infrastructure is a key driver of economic development and has been specifically identified by the agricultural, resource, tourism and transport industries as requiring investment to improve industry performance and growth”. Clare Gardener-Barnes of The Department for Transport gave an update on the regional infrastructure plan and the project scope, which will prioritise regional infrastructure projects based on greatest economic, social and environmental benefit (value for money) among other criteria.
  • Plenty of development opportunities, right? But “What happens when we overlay some of the zones that are unsuitable for building or difficult to build residential dwellings on?” was the questions posed by Morgan Shearer speaking on behalf of the Real Estate Institute NT. Waterlogging, man groves, protected conservation areas, vulnerability to storm surge, national parks, defence properties and buffers – don’t leave much room for development argued Shearer. This is surely a reason contributing to the NT Government’s move to scrap CBD height limits, only last week (these would be subject to approval from the aviation authorities and the RAAF), before the plan can go ahead.
  • There are some great construction projects underway for the NT and these will bring major benefits. Australian Agricultural Company ‘s Livingston Beef Processing Facility, currently under construction is tipped to offer millions of dollars a year boost to the economy, creating 300 new, permanent jobs for the region, plus 500 indirect jobs… not to mention a 30 per cent increase in container traffic at Port of Darwin.

Want more? You can view the conference papers from each event on slideshare:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K00w2-O8tAA]

Dates have been announced for NT Resources Week 2015 for August 25-27 at the Darwin Convention Centre. View full information here

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