An Australian resources analyst says Rio Tinto has no other option but to sell or shut down its alumina refinery at Gove.
The Northern Territory Government had offered to supply the company with 10 years worth of domestic gas, but only if a replacement gas supply is secured.
Resources analyst Lew Fellowes says it will not be enough for Rio Tinto.
"Whether it's the ultimate sale of the refinery or the shut down of the refinery in the meantime, I really do believe they are the only options from Rio's point of view going forward," he said.
"Rio, conservatively, is currently losing about $30 million a month on their operations on this project.
"I guess the question is are they prepared to gamble for the next 12 to 18 months before this potential cost saving from the gas deal is done? I think it's too little too late." Mr Fellowes says the future looks bleak for the refinery.
"My view is that you will see the moth-balling of the Nhulunbuy refinery in the shorter term," he said.
"That's not to say it can't start down the track again, when the gas supply is guaranteed." Dave Suter from the East Arnhem Chamber of Commerce agrees the extra conditions could force the mining company out of Gove.
"I feel that at this late stage to start asking if there's gas around and giving a guarantee of that, if somebody doesn't know already, then how long's it going to take to know?"