The Obscure Mineral

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"Phosphate is an essential mineral for all life on Earth and is added to farmers’ fields in huge quantities. But rock phosphate is a finite resource and the biggest supplies are mined in politically unstable places, posing risks to the many countries that have little or no reserves.

Phosphate use has quadrupled in the last 50 years as the global population has grown and the date when it is estimated to run out gets closer with each new analysis of demand, with some scientists projecting that moment could come as soon as a few decades’ time..."

"Mr Olsen aimed to unlock the hidden potential of soil through his invention, a seed planter called the SoilKee Renovator.

It mulches narrow strips of pasture and sows a mind-boggling seasonal mix of seeds...

The mass of plant roots stores carbon, improving fertility, aeration and water-holding capacity, and allowing the soil to support multiple plants.

"We have converted that 50 to 60 millimetres of topsoil into 200 millimetres of topsoil in the last five years, which has greatly increased the ability to push out some pasture on top," Mr Olsen said.

His soils have gone from holding 3 per cent of carbon to more than 10 per cent.

This high carbon content also helps retain valuable water in the soil.

"For every tonne of carbon, it can hold 30 tonne of water, so if you are storing that in your soil profile, you're a long way in front," Mr Olsen said.

He said carbon has also brought some much-wanted visitors to the pastures."


“In a few years’ time, it could be a political issue with some countries effectively controlling the production of food by having control of rock phosphate supplies,” Blackwell said. “There should be a lot more effort being put in so we are ready to deal with it. It is time to wake up. It is one of the most important issues in the world today.”

the “future of fertiliser”:

"We are in the stage now where we are getting that many machines ordered that we're going to have to expand and speed up production very quickly."

"In recent years, ICL has literally dug deep at its Boulby mine – long famous for potash production – to begin extracting high quality polyhalite from around 150m below the former potash seams.

Not only has the company extracted the mineral, but it has invested heavily in global agronomic research in order to demonstrate the added benefits from Polysulphate, a unique multi-nutrient fertiliser containing four essential plant nutrients; potash, magnesium, calcium and sulphate. All trials, undertaken by both ICL and its customers consistently shown increased quality and yield.

A key benefit of using Polysulphate is the phased release of these essential nutrients at a rate that is more closely matched to the need of the crop. And as a natural product, it’s organically approved and environmentally friendly with a very low carbon footprint."

"Sirius has previously raised just over $2 billion, including a placing and the issue of bonds that convert into company shares.
It needs to raise the $500 million in order to unlock a $2.5 billion credit facility that it arranged with JP Morgan, the US investment bank, that would give it access to the rest of the money it requires."

"Both the Times article and Teeside Gazette again offer only speculation as what might happen and then say so and so says. Someone they spoke to over a pint who also had a vague idea as to what might or might not happen. These reports are all unfounded with nothing to back them up so should just be ignored. The only people who know exactly whats going on is SXX and JPM and neither will make any comment to anyone , shareholders or reporters..."

to be continued ...