Arabs explore massive phosphate project

23-03-2010 | |
Arabs explore massive phosphate project

Saudi company Ma’aden is studying a significant expansion of its phosphate activities involving the exploitation of a second major phosphate deposit in the north of Saudi Arabia.

The development of the mine would supply merchant grade phosphoric acid to the fertilizer, food and animal feed industries.
"The progress of the Umm Wual Al-Khabra project, our second phosphate initiative, demonstrates that Ma’aden and Saudi Arabia are becoming major contributors to the global phosphate industry and that our desert kingdom will help to feed the world in years to come," added Abdullah Dabbagh, Ma’aden’s president and CEO.
"The projects help fulfill Ma’aden’s commitment to develop the mineral wealth of the Kingdom and become a catalyst for downstream industries."
The aim of the feasibility study is to evaluate the viability of the project to supply highly demanded phosphate intermediate products to augment Ma’aden’s phosphate product mix. So far a timetable has not been set.
The project would involve the development of an open pit mine and simple beneficiation process adding approximately 1.5 million tonnes annually to Ma’aden’s scheduled phosphate capacity.
Good quality phosphate
Previous surveys of the area have indicated resources at the Al-Khabra mining license standing at 234 million tonnes grading at 17 – 19% P2O5.
There is very low heavy metals content, ensuring that the phosphoric acid will be of the highest quality and could be used for the food and feed industries.
The Umm Wual concession contains of 446 million tonnes as well as significant further resource potential. Ma’aden is continuing exploration activities in the area to expand the resource.
Ma’aden was established as a Saudi Arabian joint stock company in March 1997 to facilitate the development of Saudi Arabia’s non-petroleum mineral resources and to diversify the Kingdom’s economy away from the petroleum and petrochemical sectors.
Ma’aden is engaged in the development, advancement and improvement of all aspects of the mineral industry, mineral products and by-products and related industries in Saudi Arabia.

Dick Ziggers Former editor All About Feed