650m tonnes of phosphate rock reserves found in east

Phosphate mine. (File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — A phosphate exploration project in the east of the Kingdom has revealed that the region contains geological reserves of phosphate rock estimated at 650 million tonnes, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources as saying.اضافة اعلان

The ministry said in a statement Sunday that the project had produced promising results in terms of the quality and thickness of the phosphate ore in the exploration area.

“The initial resource was estimated at 650 million cubic meters of phosphate in the study area within an area of 70sq.km. of medium and high quality phosphate” said the statement.

It added that drilling and exploration work is going on in Al-Rishah/Al-Ruwaished region, and that the first phase is expected to cover 120sq.km. by the end of this year.

More than 960 samples (cutting samples) were collected and analyzed from 40 wells, with thicknesses ranging from 25m to 35m and a total length of more than 1,000m, the ministry indicated.

The ministry further explained that the rock phosphate in the Risha area is distinguished by a low percentage of clay impurities, as determined by the ratios of total aluminum, iron, and magnesium oxides to phosphorous oxide ratios.

The percentage of these impurities was very low, sometimes less than 0.04 percent, which is, according to the ministry, a low percentage globally, making this crude suitable for the manufacturing of phosphorous acids and other manufacturing compounds.

The quality of the phosphate layers was categorized based on the concentration ratio of phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5), according to the ministry, which disclosed that more than 15 wells had an average concentration of P2O5 of 25 percent, which is deemed to be of excellent quality based on the tricalcium phosphate (TCP) content with an average concentration ratio of 55 percent.

In addition, the P2O5 concentration in over 20 wells was deemed to be of medium quality, with concentration ratios ranging from 20 to 25 percent.

According to the ministry, the highest P2O5 concentration recorded was greater than 36 percent, or 80 percent of the TCP for phosphate grade.

The thickness of high quality phosphate layers with P2O5 concentrations between 25 and 36 percent varied between 4m and 8m.

The thickness of the sedimentary cover (overburden) over the phosphate layer did not exceed 10m on average, ranging from zero to 18m in some wells.

“The results indicated that uranium ore concentrations ranged from 56 to 117 parts per million, making the harvesting of uranium as a byproduct feasible,” the ministry said, adding that thorium concentrations were also recorded.

It said uranium concentrations averaged one kilogram per ten metric tons of phosphate ore. Fourteen of the 20 samples had uranium concentrations greater than 70 parts per million.

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