The Tanami natural gas pipeline is now officially open, after being built on budget and commissioned ahead of schedule.
The project, a part of Newmont Mining’s $346 million Tanami power project, is expected to provide the Tanami gold mine with a safe and reliable energy source that lowers power costs and carbon emissions by 20 per cent.
It involved the installation of two power stations, a 66 kilovolt interconnected power line and the 450km gas pipeline.
The Tanami Gas Pipeline will provide gas to Newmont’s Granites gold mine, located approximately 550km north-west of Alice Springs in the Tanami Desert.
Historically the mining operations have had to rely on diesel to operate, which meant a pause in production if roads became impassable and diesel could not get through.
Ben Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of pipeline builder AGIG, said the Group was proud to be involved in providing Newmont Goldcorp with natural gas to reduce power costs and carbon emissions at its world class Tanami operation.
“Gas is an indispensable fuel in Australia – both directly and for power generation – and today it is very low emissions compared to electricity generated from diesel or coal,” Mr Wilson said.
Newmont’s exploration success at Tanami may also extend its mine life beyond 2028, with the company considering a second expansion project. Newmont’s first expansion of Tanami in 2017 has increased mine capacity by 80,000 ounces of gold a year.
Newmont will make a full funding decision on the proposed expansion at Tanami in the second half of the year.
NT Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Paul Kirby, said “The Territory Labor Government’s number one priority is creating jobs, so I am pleased to open the Tanami Gas Pipeline which will support jobs at Newmont’s Territory mining operations.
“Under our Government, we are seeing confidence in the Territory’s mining sector and strong interest in our resources.
“Our Government will continue to support investment into the Territory’s mining sector – creating local business opportunities and delivering local jobs.”