A common misconception but Phosphate is not Potash

When talking to investors I have frequently encountered people who think that Potash and Phosphate are different terms for the same chemical.

Phosphates are the naturally occurring form of the element phosphorus, found in many phosphate minerals. In mineralogy and geology, phosphate refers to a rock or ore containing phosphate ions. Inorganic phosphates are mined to obtain phosphorus for use in agriculture and industry.

Diammonium phosphate (DAP) (chemical formula (NH4)2HPO4, IUPAC name diammonium hydrogen phosphate) is one of a series of water-soluble ammonium phosphate salts. DAP is used as a fertilizer.

ASX listed companies with Phosphate resources/interests.


Potash refers to potassium compounds and potassium-bearing materials, the most common being potassium chloride (KCl). The term "potash" comes from the old-Dutch word potaschen. The old method of making potassium carbonate (K2CO3) was by leaching wood ashes and evaporating the solution in large iron pots, leaving a white residue called "pot ash". Later, "potash" became the term widely applied to naturally occurring potassium salts and the commercial product derived from them.

Potash is important for agriculture because it improves water retention, yield, nutrient value, taste, colour, texture and disease resistance of food crops. It has wide application to fruit and vegetables, rice, wheat and other grains, sugar, corn, soybeans, palm oil and cotton, all of which benefit from the nutrient’s quality enhancing properties.

Canada is the world’s leading producer, followed by Russia and Belarus; the United States ranks seventh. The most significant reserve of Canada's potash is located in the province of Saskatchewan and controlled by the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.[1]

ASX listed companies with Potash Resources

 Phosphate has been described as the major catalyst in all living systems. It is essential for metabolism and photosynthesis, and is, as I mentioned earlier, needed for the synthesis of sugars and the replication of DNA. If you wonder why the organically grown fruit you buy isn’t sweet, it’s because the Phosphorus/ Potassium ratio is out of balance
A Conversation with Agricola, part I
and part 2