Mapping the mining capability of Central Australia

In the Winter edition of Capability News, we brought you the story of an ambitious capability mapping project in the Northern Territory.

The project, known as the 5 Mines Project has commenced with ICN NT working to inform governments and RTOs what is coming so they can train people accordingly, track interstate investment, do business growth programs and prepare industry to survive the mining sector.

In the Central Australia and Barkly Region, there are five significant resource projects that received major project status from the NT Government.

ICN NT Central Australia Regional Manager Jennes Walker said these projects had an estimated capital expenditure of around $2.2B and potential for more than1000 jobs during construction and operational phases. They are all expected to begin construction in the next two to five years.

‘Given the potential economic impacts of these projects and the current economic climate within the Northern Territory, it is important that businesses and individuals have the appropriate skills, capabilities and knowledge to enable them to benefit from the opportunities associated with each of these projects,’ Jennes said.

‘To achieve maximum local content at a contractual, supplier and workforce level, both the project owners and supporting industries need to understand the likely work associated with each phase of the project. The knowledge will inform all stakeholders of capability and capacity of Central Australian enterprises and their ability to participate in projects.’

The supply chain mapping work means speaking with mine owners and project teams to determine what might be required to build the mine. This gives ICN NT a good insight into what their supply chain looks like so they then map that to the local industry.

‘We can then conduct a gap analysis and a skill-based audit based on likely or proposed packages of work to understand what the opportunities are, what the capabilities are and thus identify the resulting industry shortfalls in order to provide advice,’ Jennes said.

‘This information will help form a series of recommendations to bridge the identified gaps. These may include commentary on the size of work packages in relation to local industry, commentary on potential of joint venture opportunities, training pathways, programs, indigenous engagement, skilling and social development opportunities.’

This project allows ICN NT and the Northern Territory and Federal governments to understand what capabilities are in the Territory. The governments will then have the evidence to encourage project owners to hire local for the smaller packages.

Meanwhile, the work ICN NT is doing goes beyond mapping current skills to identifying gaps at an industry level. This can then inform industry and governments, shape policy and divert funding streams to enhance those gaps.