The Federal government of Australia has granted Major Project status to the Verdant Minerals-owned Ammaroo phosphate project in the Northern Territory, Australia.

The A$1.5bn ($1.1bn) Ammaroo phosphate project is a proposed open-cut mining project located in Northern Territory, Australia.

It is 200km south-east of Tennant Creek and 300km north-east of Alice Springs in Northern Territory.

Australian Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said that the project is expected to generate about 900 jobs during the construction phase.

Andrews added: “The Ammaroo Phosphate Project has the potential to supply global markets with much-needed fertiliser, while supporting economic development in a remote part of the Northern Territory.

“The project will be a major jobs creator, providing new opportunities in the Territory, particularly for nearby Indigenous communities.

“The potential for a local processing facility as part of the project will also ensure Australia has access to critical phosphate for fertiliser – which is essential for our agriculture sector and food security.”

The Ammaroo phosphate project is expected to produce up to two million tonnes (Mt) of rock phosphate annually over an estimated mine life of 25 years.

Welcoming the Major Project status, Verdant Minerals managing director Chris Tziolis stated: “The project will provide significant economic and employment opportunities for Northern Australia, the southern Barkly region and its local communities.

“The Ammaroo Phosphate Project could be a key plank in enabling the creation of a globally significant fertiliser manufacturing industry in the Northern Territory, servicing the increasing needs of both Asia and Australia’s agricultural industries and food security needs.”

In July, the Northern Territory government awarded exploration firm Thor Mining’s Molyhil tungsten/molybdenum asset Major Project status.