An area east of Tennant Creek has been identified as "possibly" holding new mineral deposits worth up to $12.4 billion.
The "discovery" was announced by the Federal Government yesterday.
Federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt said the find was revealed through a government-funded mining exploration program.
The program has analysed new geological data and mineral potential assessments to identify the area east of Tennant Creek from the $225 million Exploring for the Future program.
"This program has a strong focus on boosting investment in the resources sector, generating jobs and maintaining a strong economy," Mr Pitt said.
"The data shows that the key to economic growth in the Northern Territory will be investing in its gas and resource potential.
"This analysis by ACIL Allen estimates the overall direct net economic benefit from exploration in the East Tennant area could be around $638 million," he said.
"Detailed data collected in the East Tennant area suggests it could host a new mineral deposit with characteristics similar to those of the Ernest Henry near Mount Isa - one of the largest copper-gold mines in Australia.
Ernest Henry mine, near Cloncurry, is one of the world's largest copper deposits in the world and also has large gold reserves.
Tennant Creek has historically been linked to gold mining.
"Geoscience Australia, in collaboration with the Northern Territory and Queensland geological surveys, identified the region's potential through a range of activities undertaken between Tennant Creek and Mount Isa.
"Lying between two remote towns known for their mineral deposits, it is not surprising the East Tennant area turned out to be prospective.
"Exploring for the Future has helped narrow the search down for mineral explorers, giving them the pre-competitive data they need to make an investment decision."
Minister Pitt said the East Tennant area was just one promising example of resource potential uncovered by the program between Tennant Creek and Mount Isa.
"Based on data collected by Exploring for the Future, oil and gas company Santos has committed $95 million to exploration in the South Nicholson Basin, on the border of the Northern Territory and Queensland, through a farm-in with Armour Energy," he said.
"Understanding the resource potential of these underexplored areas of Australia is key to continuing our economic success story and supporting the recovery post COVID-19. The data and information collected by the program will support and de-risk resource decision-making, investment and jobs creation for years to come.
"The Government believes the resources sector will be a key driver of supporting the economy post COVID-19, so the success of the Exploring for the Future program and realising the resource potential in regional areas is an important component of ensuring the mines and ultimately jobs of the future."
Senator Sam McMahon welcomed the news for the Territory, acknowledging the find could result in hundreds of intergenerational jobs and opportunities right across the Territory, but particularly in the Barkly region.
Led by Geoscience Australia, the Exploring for the Future program collects new data and information about potential mineral, energy and groundwater resource systems on the surface and deep underground.
It comes as the NT Government pledges a $5 million loan to the Core Lithium Ltd prospect to lower start-up capital costs and overall costs for Core, which aims to begin construction on its mine production facilities at its Finniss Lithium Project near Darwin later this year.
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