THE WEEKLY TIMES | Phosphate rock could supply a third of Australia’s fertiliser


A Northern Territory phosphate rock resource could potentially supply about a third of Australia’s ammonium phosphate fertiliser needs within five years if it gets the green light.


Verdant Minerals is working through the feasibility of turning the largest known deposit of phosphate rock in Australia into a regular supply of mono-ammonium and di-ammonium phosphate fertilisers for Australian farmers, reducing a hefty reliance on imports.


Discovered in 2010, the phosphate rock deposit 200km southeast of Tennant Creek is estimated at more than 1.1 billion tonnes, making it one of the largest in the world.


Verdant Minerals managing director Chris Tziolis said the company planned to complete a definitive feasibility study by the end of this year to determine the viability of establishing a modern, integrated, highly automated fertiliser manufacturing plant at the mine site.


Known as the Ammaroo Project, it has received Major Project Status from the Federal Government, paving the way for government support.


Grain Producers Australia director Andrew Weidemann said the nation needed to invest in fertiliser plants to counter security of supply and quality issues with imported products.


Mr Weidemann said, while the fertiliser would be priced at world parity prices, shipping costs would be eliminated, making it slightly cheaper for Australian farmers.