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.
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.
Relatively large resources also occur in the the Roper iron field, which is hosted in the Roper Group of the McArthur Basin, south of the Roper River. The Roper iron field contains more than one billion tonnes of moderate grade iron ore, with around 85 million tonnes of higher grade direct shipping ore - 57-59% Fe - at the Roper River and Roper Bar deposits. Mining occurred at Roper Bar in 2013-2014, with export through Bing Bong port. Iron ore in the Roper field occurs as oolitic sedimentary hematite deposits with localised higher grade enrichment.
Iron resources also occur as part of the Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Arunta Region, where feasibility studies propose the production of pig iron from a future mining operation.
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.
Last updated: 13 October 2017