The Northern Territory Chief Minister says he expects a final decision about the future of Gove's alumina refinery a few days after his return from high-level meetings overseas.

Terry Mills is in Canberra and will travel to Singapore and Europe in the next few days for meetings about securing gas for Rio Tinto subsidiary, Pacific Aluminium's Gove refinery.

Mr Mills says he believes Rio Tinto is serious about saving Gove.

"I've come to the conclusion that they are as a corporate player," he said.

"If they had no soul whatsoever they could just let it go. But they are in the market, they want to continue business."

Mr Mills says it is time to develop a national gas policy that will ensure future domestic energy supply.

He says the discussions about keeping the Gove refinery open are an opportunity for the domestic gas market.

"How we achieve that, if that's with a conventional gas reservation yet, I'm not certain yet," he said.

"I've got some ideas on that but we do need to think more creatively on that space because we can't just have the international market making use of an asset that we have and we're left in a weaker position."

The Chief Minister says he is in a strong position to secure a gas deal for Gove.


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