Chatham Rock Phosphate Limited, “CRP” or “the Company” (TSXV: “NZP”, NZX: “CRP” FSE “3GRE”) notes with interest the continuing strong market prices of rock phosphate. This is despite declining nitrogen and potash market prices.
An article in World Fertilizer Magazine (May/June 2023) helps explain why:
“Except for a small amount of production in Finland, there is no commercial mining of phosphate in the EU. Traditionally, Europe has relied on two main sources; Russia accounts for almost 60%, and Morocco around 40%. While phosphate fertilizer imports from Russia have not technically been banned, complications arising from financial payment restrictions and transportation insurance premiums have greatly impeded their movement, not only to Europe, but to many consuming nations. Morocco, which has the world’s largest phosphate reserves, has been increasing its production to take advantage of the gap. State-owned OCP has announced that it will boost shipments by 50%, and is building three 1 million tpy granular phosphate units at Jorf Lasfa. While farmers are calling for increased imports from Morocco, there is a complication. Production from the North African nation is relatively high in cadmium. The toxic trace element and its compounds can cause cancer, attacking the renal, digestive, reproductive, and respiratory systems. Fertilizer is one of the major sources for the build-up of cadmium in soils, and, in 2022, the EU emplaced a cap of 60 mg/kg on cadmium levels in fertilizers. Producers were able to meet the cap by mixing Russian-sourced phosphate (which is significantly lower in cadmium than Morocco’s products), but now that option has largely disappeared”.
Conclusions that can be drawn from this state of affairs are:
- Phosphate rock prices are not likely to fall for quite some time.
- Low cadmium rock phosphate is going to become increasingly highly sought after.
All of Chatham’s rock phosphate that will be mined in Korella (Queensland), Makatea (French Polynesia) and on the Chatham Rise is ultra-low in cadmium.
As such our diversely located phosphate reserves are likely to be viewed by phosphatic fertilizer producers as increasingly attractive strategic products/assets.
Our reserves are expected to be able to sustain forecast production levels of four million tonnes per annum for decades.
Statements about the Company’s future expectations and all other statements in this media release other than historical facts are “forward looking statements”. Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including risks inherent in mineral exploration and development, which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any projected future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Neither the Exchange, its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined under the policies of the Exchange), or New Zealand Exchange Limited has in any way passed upon the merits of the Transaction and associated transactions, and has neither approved nor disapproved of the contents of this press release.