Norge Mining, a Norwegian mining company, unearthed 70-billion metric tons of phosphate rock 2.7 miles below the earth’s surface in 2021. The company now estimates the discovery will supply the world with phosphate for 50 years.
According to Columbia University, 90% of the world’s mined phosphate is used as fertilizer in ag. Morocco supplies 34% of the world’s traded phosphate rock, which is then refined in China, Vietnam and Norway, according to the EU. But this dynamic could soon change with Norge Mining’s discovery.
Jan Christian Vestre, Norway’s minister of trade and industry, says the country plans to use carbon capture practices to refine the 70-billion metric ton phosphate rock in a move to develop “the world’s most sustainable mineral industry.”
While ag will likely use the majority of the mineral, Norge Mining says it will also be used in lithium-iron-phosphate batteries in electric vehicles, and also in solar and chip manufacturing.