Approvals and compliance

The Project’s existing route to market is via road transport to Darwin Port and then shipping to Asia.

Darwin is located in the top region of the Northern Territory and is the primary service centre for logistics, services and personnel for the Northern Territory mining industry.


The Project’s tenements are surrounded by the Central Arnhem Highway to the North, the Roper Highway to the West, and the North/South Stuart Highway linking Darwin to the southern states which provides good road transport infrastructure to the Project.

The 2012 MMP envisages the transportation of up to 200,000tpa of ilmenite concentrate from the mine site along the Roper Highway and up the Stuart Highway to Darwin Port using road trains.

AIR and an independent consultant have estimated that the logistics costs for a 300,000tpa operation utilising the existing route to market in the current macro environment would be approximately US$40.00 per tonne.

Roads of the Northern Territory

Darwin Port is a full service multi-mineral export facility that can handle vessels up to Panamax (75,000t DWT) size.

The port access agreement with Darwin Port Corporation is currently in draft form and will need to be finalised and executed before regular shipments commence.

Based on conversations with Darwin Port Corporation reaching a final agreement should not be an issue and there is currently surplus capacity available at the port.

The existing layout of the port is set out below, however there are plans to significantly increase its capacity over the next 15 years.

Potential alternative pathways to market

Material value accretive opportunities exist to reduce transportation costs through an alternative pathway to market.


An opportunity exists to reduce road haulage distances and costs by utilising the Adelaide to Darwin railway line.

The Adelaide to Darwin railway is a north–south transcontinental railway in Australia, between the cities of Adelaide, South Australia and Darwin, Northern Territory. The railway is owned and operated by GWA.

The service operates from five intermodal freight terminals that it owns and operates terminals in Darwin, Katherine and Tennant Creek and has access to terminals in Adelaide and Alice Springs. 

GWA has direct access to bulk minerals handling facilities at Darwin Port and has built train-loading sidings on the mainline at Wirrida,Muckaty and Union Reef for the loading of bulk minerals.

Regional solution

A regional infrastructure solution that potentially includes the adjacent Roper River Iron Ore Project and/or other local mining companies may represent a material value accretive opportunity for a Potential Purchaser, especially when combined with the low mining costs of the Project.

A regional solution may include a rail corridor thank links to the Adelaide to Darwin railway line, dedicated haul roads, or a barging solution from the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The DME has advised AIR that it is willing to consider funding a regional infrastructure solution to encourage investment in the mining sector in the region.