With a slowing Chinese economy, many argue that Australia’s mining boom, which helped it avoid a recession for 21 years, has come to an end.
But Australia’s largely untapped Northern Territory is rich in resources like uranium, zinc, lead, bauxite, gold, phosphate and manganese.
Prime ministerial hopeful, Tony Abbott wants to develop the Northern Territory and bring a new wave of mining investment to the country, according to Reuters. But environmentalists and aboriginal groups are working together to discourage mining.
We drew on the work of Reuters photographer David Grey that show the vast, untouched Northern Territory.
Australia's Northern Territory is said to be size of South Africa and has abundant diamond, gold and uranium reserves.
Over half of Australia lies above the Tropic of Capricorn, but it is home to only 5% of the population
Tony Abbott, prime ministerial hopeful, wants to develop the 'sparse and inhospitable' Northern Territory by 2030.
Abbott wants to draw a new wave of mining investment to the country. He has emphasised the Northern territory's proximity to growing Asian economies.
'No longer will northern Australia be seen as the last frontier, it is the next frontier,' Abbott said at one point.
But a fifth of the Northern Territory is owned or controlled by aboriginal groups and many Aborigines have joined environmentalists to discourage mining.
Earlier this month a mining company was found guilty of desecrating an Aboriginal site for the first time.
Mining operations are carried out at the Rio Tinto alumina refinery and bauxite mine in Gove, 404 miles east of Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory.
A tailings dam can be seen at the Rio Tinto Alcan alumina and bauxite mining operation in Gove, also known as Nhulunbuy.
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