Chatham Rock Phosphate chief executive Chris Castle says the company’s strategy is to build two-million tonne capacity in its international phosphate mining and trading.
Chatham Rock Phosphate says it will progress a prefeasibility study for the production of dicalcium phosphate (DCP), from its Korella phosphate projects in Queensland.
Chatham, listed on the NZX, Frankfurt exchange and Calgary’s TSX venture exchange, acquired a mining lease on the Korella phosphate and rare earth mine last October.
It recently told NZX a detailed scoping study had already been undertaken with Belgian phosphate production company Prayon SA.
The extraction process involves chemically removing “impurities” using sulfuric acid.
Dicalcium phosphate is used as a feed supplement for livestock, as well as health and dental applications, including toothpaste.
It is in high demand with Australian dairy farmers. In NZ, it is fully imported and subject to current global supply-chain limitations.
That has helped push commodity pricing through the roof over the past year, with raw rock phosphate soaring from US$83 (about $121) a tonne to US$185/t and triple superphosphate more than doubling in price from US$273/t in December 2020 to US$665/t.
Chief executive Chris Castle said the move into DCP production represented the first initiative in “value-adding to our phosphate deposits through use of technology”.
He said the company’s strategy is to build two million tonne capacity in its international phosphate mining and trading, with a focus on low cadmium, organic phosphate.