Darwin-based Australian Ilmenite Resources is mining only a small stretch of its leases in the Roper region. But exploration has shown that it has enough high-grade minerals to export 300,000 tonnes of ore a year to China and the United States for at least 16 years.
Ilmenite, which is used to make plastic, paint and paper products, has been identified on the surface of the Moon by the Hubble Space Telescope – which some industrialists say is enough to justify a manned lunar base. AIR was named Seven Darwin Exporter of the Year at the Chief Minister’s NT Export and Industry Awards at the Mindil Beach Casino Resort in late September.
The awards are staged by the International Business Council, a division of the NT Chamber of Commerce. Territory born-and-bred civil construction company Sunbuild won the Local Content award. Alana Kaye College, which is expanding its services overseas, was named Austrade Emerging Exporter. Australian Blue Cypress, which exports essential oils to the United States, won the Manufacturing Award.
This is the third year the company has been recognised for its export success. And Charles Darwin University won the StudyNT Education and Training Award for its consistently high recruitment of overseas students.
Darwin-based Pressure Dynamics, an engineering company delivering specialist hydraulic and lifting work to the oil and gas, mining, infrastructure, Defence, marine and power generation industries, took out the Professional Services Award.
Its main customers being international resources companies. South East Asian Livestock Services won the Agribusiness Award.
The Darwin-based company is leading the field in opening new live export markets while maintaining world-class animal welfare standards.
The quirkiest winner was PlantSensors, a small company that sells high-tech instruments to measure the health of trees. It won the Technology & Innovation Award.
Chamber of Commerce chief executive Greg Bicknell says: “It is positive to see such diversity and innovation in the services and products that are being exported from within the NT.
“Each year these companies are growing in the right direction, some with significant increases compared with last year. The international education sector is a perfect example of increasing export growth. We congratulate Australian Ilmenite and all Export and Industry award winners and wish them luck in the next phase – the 57th Australian Export Awards.”
The Export Award winners will now progress as finalists to the 57th Australian Export Awards in Canberra on 3 December. TQ