Northern Territory Acting Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Dale Wakefield
Exploration Licence Approved For Winchelsea Island
Victor P Taffa
Northern Territory Government’s number one priority is to create local jobs by developing the bush and attracting private investment.
A manganese exploration licence covering part of Winchelsea Island has been granted to the Winchelsea Mining Pty Ltd.
This is a joint venture between the Anindilyakwa Advancement Aboriginal Corporation (AAAC) and AUS China International Mining, with AAAC the majority partner.
AAAC is made up of the two Traditional Owner clans of Winchelsea, and benefits from this project will be shared with all 14 Anindilyakwa clans.
Unique joint venture came together following the successful trade mission by Chief Minister Michael Gunner and the Anindilyakwa Land Council to Rizhao, Shandong, in November 2016.
“This is great news for Anindilyakwa and the Territory, and a great example of how working together with our Asian neighbours can deliver results for Territorians.” Acting Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Dale Wakefield said.
“Supporting the development of mineral resources in a sustainable manner will maximise economic benefits for local communities.”
In 2018 the Northern Territory Government signed the Groote Archipelago Local Decision-Making Agreement with the Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC), a binding agreement that outlines Anindilyakwa priorities and timeframes for transition to local control in the areas of housing, education, health, local government, economic development, law and justice, and environmental sustainability.
Exploration licence enables the joint venture to explore part of Winchelsea Island. Should an economic resource be located, an application will then be made for a mineral lease.
Northern Territory is a world leader in the production of manganese with more than 100 Million tonnes of manganese ore and concentrate produced to date.
Groote Eylandt deposit is deemed one of the world’s largest and highest-grade manganese mines. If exploration locates an economical resource, resulting in a subsequent mineral lease, a new mine would result in direct jobs for Territorians, and positive flow-on effects for Territory businesses by providing opportunities for new contracts and new tenders.