The annual global fertilizer market is forecast to be worth US$172 billion this year, an increase of more than 32% since 2010. This increasingly lucrative market is the foundation upon which ASX/ TSX-listed phosphate explorer and developer Minemakers is building its business.
And its intention to start producing quickly has seen it acquire a large-scale rock phosphate tenement in Senegal, which is on track to become operational in the latter half of 2016, writes Laura Cornish
“The phosphate industry is a key component of the world’s nutrient market, which is interesting from an economic point of view but more importantly, because it will contribute towards providing long-term feeding solutions for people across the world,” Minemakers CEO Cliff Lawrenson starts. “This is the foundation upon which our company has been built and will be further developed over time.”
And while the company has been exploring and continues to explore and evaluate a significant rock phosphate project in central Australia, the company has set its sights on securing a project which can be brought into production quickly. “Towards the end of 2014 we found that project, in Senegal,” Lawrenson states.
Securing an ideal project, in an ideal location
In April this year Minemakers entered into a conditional agreement to acquire 100% of Baobab, the potential near-term production rock phosphate project from Baobab Partners LLC, an affi liate of Agrifos Partners through an all scrip deal. Agrifos is an affiliate of Vulcan Phosphates, which is a co-investor with Minemakers in JDCPhosphate and a major Minemakers shareholder.
“The project was identified and secured after outsourcing our existing geological and process capabilities which enabled us to accumulate valuable shared knowledge on the potential of the project,” which is currently held by Baobab Mining and Chemical Corporation SA (Baobab), a company controlled by Agrifos.
An additional benefit of the transaction is Minemakers’ acquisition of the improved hard process (IHP) licence from JDCPhosphate, for the Republic of Senegal. Although the IHP beneficiation process has yet to be commercialised,..