WINDHOEK: Phosphates in mine tailings from the Okorusu Fluorspar Mine will in the near future be used as commercial fertiliser for crops in the maize triangle. Mine tailing refer to materials left over after the extraction of valuable minerals from ore.
The project, which is in its pilot stage, is the result of a collaboration between the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) and the mine, which is situated between Otjiwarongo and Otavi.
NAB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Christof Brock said in a media statement issued on Monday the idea took hold at a time when the price of phosphate fertilisers became highly inflated and a viable alternative was needed.
He said the next step in the process is to step up production as a continuous process in a small-scale pilot laboratory housed in two containers with the aim of ensuring that it can be a commercially feasible operation in its own right.
The mining process at Okorusu contributes significantly to the success of this initial phase of the project because after blasting, the rock is ground quite finely, making laboratory work that much easier.