Phosphate

Phosphate and Potash

The Northern Territory contains Australia’s largest undeveloped phosphate resources.
Pickaxe statistic icon
JORC resources
2.11 billion tonnes of rock phosphate (10% P2O5cut-off); 330 Mt contained P2O5; 8.4 million tonnes potassium sulfate.

The Georgina Basin is a world-class phosphate province with numerous large Cambrian sedimentary phosphorite deposits in both the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Advanced phosphate projects

A bankable feasibility study on the Ammaroo project by Verdant Minerals Ltd has proposed a mining project producing up to 2 million tonnes per annum of rock phosphate concentrate (33% P2O5). For the Wonarah project, Avenira Minerals are investigating the potential for production of super-phosphoric acid.

In approvals process

  • Ammaroo – Verdant Minerals Ltd 1.145 Bt @ 14% P2O5 including 348 Mt @ 18% P2O5
  • Ammaroo South – Verdant Minerals Ltd 70 Mt @ 13% P2O5 including 13 Mt @ 17% P2O5
  • Wonarah – Avenira Ltd 842 Mt @ 18.1% P2O5including 5.3 Mt @ 30% P2O(Main Zone) and 4.4 Mt @ 30% P2O5 (Arruwurra)

Under feasibility

  • Highland Plains – Gibb River Diamonds Ltd 53 Mt @ 16% P2O5

The Nolans rare earths deposit in the Aileron Province near Aileron, is hosted within fluorapatite, and contains 11% phosphate. A definitive feasibility study by Arafura Resources has proposed annual production of 135,800 tonnes of merchant grade phosphoric acid as a by-product of rare earths processing.

Advanced phosphate projects

In approvals process

Significant potential for potash resources occurs within brines in aquifers associated with salt lakes in Central Australia as well as in evaporitic deposits within the Neoproterozoic to Palaeozoic Amadeus Basin.

Advanced phosphate projects

Verdant Minerals Ltd’s Karinga Lakes potash project, southwest of Alice Springs, contains hundreds of salt lakes with associated sub-surface brines enriched in salts containing potassium, magnesium and sulfate.

The brines have potential for the production of potassium sulfate (SOP) and potassium magnesium sulfate (schoenite). The current resource at Karinga Lakes comprises 8.4 Mt of SOP (4760 mg/l K) which equates to a maximum schoenite resource of 19 Mt.

More information

  • Kruse et al 2013. Georgina Basin. In Geology and mineral resources of the Northern Territory. NTGS Special Publication 5, Chapter 28.
  • Khan et al 2007. Phosphate testing of waterbores and diamond drillcore in the Georgina, Wiso and Daly basins, Northern Territory. NTGS Record 2007-003.
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JORC resource

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In approvals process

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