Iron ore machinery

Iron ore

The Northern Territory contains a number of iron ore deposits with three periods of mining from 1967-1974, 2007-2014 and 2020-present producing more than 18 million tonnes of iron ore.
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Total production
18.88 Mt of hematite ore
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Annual production
0.64 Mt 2020/21
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Remaining JORC resources
~100 Mt of DSO iron ore (>55% Fe)
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Value of production
$74 million 2020/21

Most iron ore production has occurred from the Frances Creek deposits near Pine Creek, which are hydrothermally-enriched hematite deposits within the Pine Creek Orogen. The largest iron ore resources and most current production is located within large oolitic hematite deposits of the Roper iron field in the McArthur Basin.

Read the iron ore factsheet PDF (3.0 MB)

Care and maintenance

For more information go to Nathan River Resources Pty Ltd

Remaining JORC resources 279 Mt @ 41.5% Fe inc 28 Mt DSO @ 59.4% Fe

Roper Bar is an open-cut iron ore mine located 55km southeast of Ngukurr in the Roper Group of the McArthur Basin. The mine operated briefly in 2013-15 before closing due to a low iron ore price. Current owners Nathan River Resources Pty Ltd (a subsidiary of British Marine Ltd) .


Large iron ore resources 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. This includes the Frances Creek iron ore deposits, which were mined from 1967-1974 and 2007-2014. In June 2021, Linecrest Pty Ltd exported a shipment of iron ore from stockpiles at Frances Creek that had been beneficiated using automated ore sorting technology.

JORC resources

  • Frances Creek (Care and maintenance) Linecrest Pty Ltd - no current published JORC Resource
  • Yarram – Fe Ltd Exploration Target of 4Mt to 6Mt with a grade range of 60% - 62% 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.

In approvals

  • Warrego tailings – Northern Iron Ltd 7.8 Mt of tailings to produce 2.92 Mt of Magnetite @ 67.1% F


  • 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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