Sherwin Iron Limited and the Northern Land Council have reached an agreement on the terms under which Sherwin may mine the Roper River Iron Ore Project.
The agreement, ratified at a full council meeting of the NLC today, is a critical milestone in securing the future of the mine as well as providing substantial benefits to the traditional owners and native title holders of the mine.
The Roper River Iron Ore Project, which is 500km south east of Darwin, has a current resource of 488 million tonnes. The project includes several major deposits including Hodgson Downs, Mount Fisher, Sherwin Creek, Mount Scott and Yumanji.
The NLC agreement is subject to Ministerial approval.
The agreement covers mining and exploration over all Sherwin tenements and includes royalty payments and Indigenous employment targets.
Sherwin Iron Executive Chairman Barry Coulter paid tribute to the NLC and traditional owners for their commitment to the project.
“There has been a real spirit of openness and trust throughout the negotiations,” Mr Coulter said.
“We are all committed to achieving an outcome that brings benefits to the traditional owners, local people and the broader Territory community.”
Up to 200 people will be employed during construction of the mine, with 400 jobs created once fully operational. At least 200 million tonnes of ore will be produced over the mine life, including initial 40 million tonnes of high value Direct Shipping Ore.
Direct investment in the mine is estimated to be $800 million over the life of the project, which includes mine infrastructure, beneficiation facilities, camp, transport infrastructure and environmental control processes.
In broader Territory terms, assessment by Perth-based Prime Research estimates a boost of between $2,500 million and $2,900 million to the economy over the next eight years.
Sherwin Iron is currently moving through environmental assessment and community consultation ahead of lodging a Notice of Intent with the Northern Territory Government later this month.The project was granted Major Project Status by the Northern Territory Government earlier this year. Work is continuing on completing an Environmental Impact Statement and working towards receiving regulatory approval.