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First phase of phosphate exploration in Al Ruwaished estimated at half billion metric tonnes — Kharabsheh

By JT - May 14,2022 - Last updated at May 15,2022

Energy Minister Saleh Kharabsheh during a visit to the phosphate ore exploration project at Al Ruwaished, the eastern  region, on Saturday (Photo courtesy of Energy Ministry)

AMMAN — The estimated volume of phosphate during the first phase of the phosphate ore exploration project at Al Ruwaished, the eastern  region, is estimated at more than a half billion metric tonnes of phosphate suitable for manufacturing and with a concentration percentage ranging between 25 and 36, Energy Minister Saleh Kharabsheh said on Saturday. 

The remarks were made following Kharabsheh’s visit to the site of the project, which was launched at Al Risheh region last December, to have a first-hand look at the latest developments of the excavation and exploration activities, according to a ministry statement.

The preliminary results of the first phase of the project, conducted over an area of  60 sq. km, are “promising”, especially the results related to thicknesses and quality, the minister said, noting that the confirmed thicknesses during the initial drilling reached 4-10 metres, while concentration of the confirmed layers ranged between 25 and 36 per cent.

Iron and clay metal impurities average less than 0.1 per cent, he said, noting that international standards accept ore that shows impurity of 1.2 per cent.

The results showed that the Jordanian ore is “free from all impurities that could hinder manufacturing businesses”, he said, adding that the preliminary results of exploration in the Risheh region in terms of thickness and quality showed that the Jordanian ore is suitable for the production of phosphoric acid and phosphorus, used in mining, medical and food industries, in addition to the production of phosphate fertiliser.

Highlighting the importance of the project, the minister said that the phosphate project is close to Al Risheh gas field that the National Petroleum Company and the Ministry of Energy are working to increase its production capacity to become an energy source for the phosphate ore used for manufacturing.

The total area of the initial exploration is 3,000 sq. km, including several stages, the area of each is about 120 sq. km.

About 52 per cent of the project was completed in accordance with the plan of the first phase, which covered some 62 sq. km, as the drilling of 41 exploratory wells, 25 to 50 metre deep, were completed. 

More than 850 rock samples were collected, with analyses made for more than 700 samples to test the quality of phosphate ore and the associated elements.  

 

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