23 March 2010 17:47 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma’aden) is considering a significant expansion of its phosphate activities through the exploitation of a second major phosphate rock resource in the north of Saudi Arabia, a company official said on Tuesday.
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The project could add close to 1.5m tonnes annually to Ma’aden’s scheduled phosphate rock capacity, Mudaifer said.
The estimate was based on measured and indicated resources at the Al-Khabra mining licence, which stand at 234m tonnes grading at 17-19% P2O5. Given very low heavy metals content, the phosphoric acid produced will be of high quality, according to Mudaifer.
Mudaifer said it would not be appropriate to suggest a timetable for the development of the project until after the study has been completed, adding that the project would also be better defined once its current phosphate fertilizer project is on stream.
Ma’aden’s existing phosphate joint venture with SABIC includes a mine and benefication site at Al-Jamid, which also has a capacity of around 1.5m tonnes/year of phosphate rock, and processing plants at Ras Az Zawr.
The company’s 2.9m tonne/year DAP plant at Ras Az Zawr is expected to come on stream at the end of this year, but will probably not reach full capacity until April 2011, Mudaifer added.
The Phosphates 2010 Conference runs from 22-24 March.
Antonella Harrison also contributed to this story.
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