Iron ore machinery

Iron ore

The Northern Territory contains a number of iron ore deposits with two periods of mining from 1967-1974 and 2007-2014 producing a total of 18.2 million tonnes of iron ore.
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Total production
18.24 Mt of hematite ore
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Remaining JORC resources
~100 Mt of DSO iron ore (>55% Fe)

Most production has occurred from the Frances Creek iron ore deposits near Pine Creek, which are hydrothermally-enriched hematite deposits within the Pine Creek Orogen.

Read the iron ore factsheet PDF (1.2 MB)


For more information go to NRR Pty Ltd

Remaining JORC resources: 629.7 Mt @ 40.3% Fe (global resource).

Nathan River (previously Roper Bar), an established open-cut iron ore mine located 55km southeast of Ngukurr, had been in care and maintenance until 2015, after the previous owner went into liquidation. In 2018, Nathan River Resources was approved to reopen the mine and ship existing stockpiled minerals and process low-grade ore at the site.

It is estimated that approximately one million tonnes of high-grade iron ore will be mined and exported from the existing open pits and transported via the established haul road to the Bing Bong load-out facility. Production recommenced in 2020.


Large resources also occur in the Roper iron field, hosted in the Roper Group of the McArthur Basin, south of the Roper River. The field contains more than 1 billion tonnes of moderate grade iron ore, with around 85 million tonnes of higher grade direct shipping ore (57-59% Fe) at the Roper Valley and Roper Bar deposits. Mining occurred at Roper Bar in 2013-2014, with export through Bing Bong port. Iron ore in the Roper field varies from massive to oolitic and pisolitic haematite, within the Mesoproterozoic Sherwin Ironstone Member.

In approvals process

Iron resources also occur as part of TNG Ltd’s Mount Peake vanadium-rich magnetite project in the Aileron Province, where feasibility studies propose the production of high purity Fe2O3 with vanadium pentoxide and titanium dioxide.

In approvals process

Exploration results

Pine Creek Orogen hosts a number of high grade and low tonnage hydrothermally-enriched hematite deposits.

JORC resources

  • Frances Creek (Care and maintenance) - Trendsheer Holding Pty Ltd 10.06 Mt @ 58.1% Fe
  • Yarram – Fe Ltd 15.1 Mt @ 52.1% Fe and 0.24% P including 4.5 Mt @ 61.7% Fe

Historical mining of gold- and copper-bearing ironstone at Tennant Creek has produced tailings containing up to 70% magnetite at a number of sites that are located near the Alice Springs-Darwin railway line and existing infrastructure.

Under feasibility

  • Warrego tailings – Wisdom Initiative Pty Ltd 7.72 Mt @ 35.2% Fe for magnetite concentrate of 2.92 Mt @ 67.1% Fe


  • NTGS Report 13 – Iron ore, manganese and bauxite deposits of the Northern Territory (2001)
  • Glass and de Chaeney, AGES 2014 Abstracts Volume – Frances Creek iron ore deposit - a unique style of iron mineralisation?

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Operating mine
Care and maintenance
In approvals process
Under feasibility
JORC resource
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