DAVID WOOD | November 8th, 2011
Mr Vatskalis was speaking as part of an Australia seminar at the China Min- ing Congress and Expo 2011 in the city of Tianjin.
He said the Northern Territory was set up to export to China with the north-south rail line and the Darwin port utilised for iron ore, manganese and copper concentrate, with the Territory also being a major producer of uranium, bauxite, zinc and gold.
He said in 2010 there was $195 million spent on exploration in the Territory, an increase of 31 per cent on 2009 with most of the money invested in exploration for rare earths, phosphates, uranium, gold and copper.
Mr Vatskalis said since the start of a government strategy to increase Chinese investment, there had been 16 agreements signed between Chinese and Territory companies and 53 exploration licences granted to Chinese exploration companies with $157 million in publicly announced deals.
There have been 21 Chinese companies investment in exploration and mining in the Territory.
He said that there was great potential for uranium mines, with a prime example being a majority equity investment in the Energy Metal Bigrlyi project in the Ngalia Central Australian mine by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group.
“Several opportunities exist for Chinese companies to participate in developing the Territory’s uranium resources,” he said.
“The Northern Territory and other growth centres across northern Australia stand on the edge of the second resources development boom,” Mr Vatskalis said.
“Indeed I have long believed that a new economic paradigm is gradually emerging in our country”
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