MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Canadian fertilizer producer Focus Ventures said on Monday it has begun drilling at the Bayovar 12 phosphate site in northern Peru after local regulators gave the project a green light.
Focus signed a formal agreement to buy the Bayovar concession from Peruvian marine transport and service provider Juan Paulo Quay in January.
“All necessary approvals for the drill programme have been received from the Peruvian authorities and two drills are currently on site,” the Vancouver-based producer said in a statement.
Focus said it would drill twenty holes on a grid pattern over an area of roughly 14 square kilometres within the western end of the 12,575ha site, located in the Sechura Desert on Peru’s Pacific coast.
The holes would be drilled vertically to target phosphate beds within the so-called Diana Formation some 30-50 metres below the surface, the producer said.
The phosphate layers at the site are remarkably regular in content over long distances, while the phosphate rock itself is soft and crumbly, allowing exploration to be carried out using conventional methods and without the need for explosives, Focus said.
The site is next to Brazil-based mining company Vale’s phosphate operations, one of the largest phosphate deposits in South America, according to Focus.
Phosphate rock is the raw material used for the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers.