Tanami Gas Pipeline gets commissioning go ahead

A mobile drilling rig, drilling core samples on a gold mining lease in the Tanami Desert. Image: Steve Lovegrove / Shutterstock.com

Construction of the $170 million Tanami Gas Pipeline is complete, and Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Paul Kirby has granted pipeline owner AGI Tanami conditional consent to commission and operate the infrastructure.

Consent to commission means AGI Tanami can now test the pipeline by introducing gas at the pressure under which it will operate. Once testing is successfully completed and independently verified, the pipeline will be able to go into full operational mode.

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.

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Kirby said, “The Territory Labor Government supports the delivery of job-creating infrastructure, so I am pleased to approve the next stage of works for the Tanami Gas Pipeline”.

“Newmont’s Territory mining operations are some of the most successful gold operations in Australia,” he said.

“This pipeline will provide year-round, cleaner power – supporting existing jobs and creating the potential for more jobs.

“The Territory Labor Government will continue to focus on attracting private sector investment across the Territory, and on getting job-creating projects out of the ground as quickly as possible.”

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The Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) has welcomed the announcement.

“This is one of the most significant projects and investments we have undertaken in Australia and is an extremely exciting and complex project given its isolated location and geographical terrain,” AGIG’s chief customer officer Andrew Staniford said.

“Importantly, it will deliver much-needed natural gas to Newmont’s Tanami Operation and is expected to lower production costs while also reducing carbon emissions,” he said.

Staniford said the pipeline follows the alignment of Tanami Road and passes through a mix of pastoral land, Aboriginal freehold land and Crown land.