The Northern Territory Government has agreed to provide Rio Tinto with 10 years worth of its domestic gas supply so the mining giant can run its alumina refinery at Gove more economically.
Rio Tinto is expected to announce this week if it will keep the refinery open.
The agreement sees the Government abandon many of its previous strict restrictions on the deal.
But Chief Minister Terry Mills says it will only supply gas to keep the refinery open if Rio Tinto commits to keeping the facility operating.
The mining giant had threatened to close the refinery, operated by subsidiary Pacific Aluminium, if it could not source a supply of gas.
Mr Mills says the deal is also dependent on Italian energy company ENI, which supplies the Territory with gas to fuel the Territory's domestic electricity supplies, guaranteeing to supply replacement gas to Power and Water until 2026.
Mr Mills has not detailed how long Rio is willing to keep the facility operating or if domestic gas prices will be affected.
"We need to keep the refinery going, we need to have our gas infrastructure increased," he said.
"If Rio, as they have already indicated, maybe some time in the future intend to sell, we will still have an operating refinery, we will still have gas infrastructure." Mr Mills says Rio is yet to confirm how long it is willing to keep the facility operating.
"I am waiting for that response," he said.
Opposition leader Delia Lawrie has welcomed the agreement but says Mr Mills complicated the situation by drawing out negotiations.
"What we saw was Terry Mills putting a whole lot of furphies in the path of what is ultimately a full capitulation," she said.
The Resources Council says the Territory Government's decision to provide Rio Tinto with gas is a much-needed boost to the resources sector.
Council executive director Drew Wagner says mining development has stalled in the Territory but the agreement shows confidence in its future.
He says the Government's decision is the right one.
"This one also has the agenda ...
of saving the township of Nhulunbuy, which can only be seen as positive for the whole of the Territory," he said.
Mr Wagner says the time it took to reach an agreement shows the need for a long-term strategic plan for the sector in the Territory.