We regularly comment on the environmental benefits of Chatham rock phosphate – it's low in cadmium, will have a low carbon footprint and will involve low run-off of phosphates into water ways if used as a direct application product. After watching the documentary at the link below, describing how phosphate is mined in some parts of North Africa, we also think we can add social responsibility to our list of strengths.
As you know phosphate is a globally valuable commodity, necessary for manufacturing everything from fertilisers and detergent to wine and cosmetics. It has long been one of Tunisia's (along with Morocco and other North African states) principal sources of export earnings.
But some of the mining communities that deliver phosphate have long-standing social and economic grievances and are suffering from severe environmental impacts. This film, aired recently on Al Jazeera television and recommended by one of our shareholders, centres on an area responsible for the start of the Arab Spring protests of four years ago and reveals the unpleasant and dangerous impacts of phosphate mining on these communities.
We think it is another demonstration of the comparatively benign nature of seabed mining of phosphate such as we propose. The world needs phosphate for the human race to survive, and it has to be mined somewhere.