Mount Isa to Tennant Creek railway

Location: Northern Territory, Australia

Project proponent: Project dependent

Sector: Infrastructure

Investment type: Greenfield

Estimated total project cost: Project dependent

Investment amount sought: Project dependent

Project status: Conceptual project

Project description

The Mount Isa to Tennant Creek Railway (MITCR) would run for approximately 620 kilometres and connect the mining towns of Tennant Creek and Mount Isa.


The Darwin to Adelaide railway link was developed in 2001, giving resource and freight operators access to new freight links and opportunities. The railway enabled the operation of a number of mines and stimulated interested in new mining prospects.

The development of the MITCR would connect the existing Darwin to Adelaide railway with the Mount Isa to Townsville railway and in doing so, open up access to an underexplored but highly prospective Barkly region. The province is bounded by Tennant Creek, a historic gold and copper mining province and Mount Isa, a rich resource province that continues to produce copper, silver, lead and zinc.

The corridor has several technical challenges, including substantial areas of black soil plains that require substantial engineering solutions to deliver a modern railway.

Map of Australia showing route of railway line

Current status

The Northern Territory, Queensland and Australia governments have undertaken substantial technical work to understand the engineering challenges associated with developing the project.

Current work on the project is focused on developing a more comprehensive understanding of the mineral, petroleum and natural resources in the Barkly region. This pre-competitive geoscience information is being collected by the Australian and Northern Territory governments under the AU$100 million Exploring for the Future program.

The release of the information is expected to generate new exploration and discoveries in the region that could underpin future demand for the railway.

The development of the railway is aimed at greenfield infrastructure investors that have a development focus and a long term return horizon.

Contact details

Jason Robertson
Project Director, Investment Territory
Department of Trade, Business and Innovation

Phone: +61 8 8999 6617

Disclaimer: This web page includes information provided by third parties. The information is general in nature and is for information purposes only. The Northern Territory Government makes no representation about the veracity or accuracy of information provided by third parties. You must rely on your own due diligence before proceeding. You should consider seeking independent professional advice.