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PEAK PHOSPHATE a looming problem?

"There are no substitutes for phosphorus in agriculture"

Phosphate looming supply shortage

According to the Institute for Sustainable Development, Sydney (UTS) Australia...

"It is clear that already the quality of remaining global Phosphate rock reserves is decreasing and cheap fertilisers will be a thing of the past. Like oil in the 1970's Phosphate rock experienced its first significant price shock- a 700% increase from Us $50/tonne to US$350 per tonne in just 14 months in 2007. Yet there are no alternatives to Phosphate rock currently on the market that could replace it in any significant way."

Peak Phosphorus: the sequel to Peak Oil

[Download PDF]
by Professor Stuart White1 and Dana Cordell1,2
1 Director, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Australia.
2 PhD Scholar, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Australia and Department of Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University (LiU) Sweden.
Introduction

All modern agricultural systems are dependent on continual inputs of phosphate fertilizers derived from phosphate rock. Yet this is relying on a finite resource and current reserves could be depleted this century. More concerning is that before that point is reached, we will see a global peak in phosphate rock reserves, estimated to occur in the next 30 years.Read full paper

Australian Phosphate Rock Resources

Australia’s total production of rock phosphate in 2004 was 2.3 Mt (Jasinski 2005), mainly from Phosphate Hill, which is situated 135 km southeast of Mount Isa in northern Queensland. The remainder of Australian production is from Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Very large phosphorite resources occur in the Early Middle Cambrian Beetle Creek Formation in northwestern Queensland and the Northern Territory (Wallis 2004).
http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/238198/Phosphate.pdf

 

World Phosphate Usage Trends - 2008
From: http://www.unitedprairie.com/PDFs/phosphate_prices.pdf

Phosphate  Production (MMT) and Reserves (MMT) by country (2008)


Derived from: U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, January 2009

N.B. Two Australian companies have made substantial upgrades to their known resources over the last 12/12 months with Minemakers ASX:MAK expanding its Wonarah Deposit resource to 1,105Mt @18% plus having a 42% interest in the off-shore MEOB-SANDPIPER, Nambian project it shares with Universal Resources ASX:UCL with 1,581Mt at 18.8%.

phosphate-peer-resources-size-and-grade.gif

Phosphate Primer,website of the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research
http://fipr1.state.fl.us/PhosphatePrimer

"Figuring Out Phosphates," Food Product Design, June 2006, Lynn A. Kuntz
http://www.foodproductdesign.com/articles/661ingredient2.html

"Scientists warn of lack of vital phosphorus as biofuels raise demand". The Times
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article4193017.ece

How were Rock Phosphate Deposits Formed
http://www.mii.org/Minerals/photophos.html

A Conversation with Agricola, part I and part 2

Please note that this is a rapidly changing field and that the data contained will inevitably be out of date some of the time; meaning that you should not rely on it to make investment decisions and consequently you must do your own research.