Uzbekistan to increase phosphorite ore production

Uzbekistan is set to significantly increase its production of phosphorite ore for the agricultural & industrial complex. With an annual growth of 2-2.5 million tons, this expansion is made possible through the establishment of the new production facility, NEOFOS, by Ferkensco Management Limited.

NEOFOS is a state-of-the-art mining and beneficiation complex located in the Navoi region. It encompasses a quarry for the extraction of high-quality granular phosphorite and a sophisticated beneficiation plant for the production of phosphorite concentrate.

This year, mining operations have commenced at the Jeroi-Sardarya deposit, covering an impressive area of 45.7 square kilometers with a depth of 50 meters. The project involves the utilization of 27 units of heavy machinery, including diesel-hydraulic excavators, milling machines, dump trucks, bulldozers, and graders.

"The ore deposits lie in a horizontal plane and have a thickness of up to one meter, which is why open-pit mining is used. Initially, the overlying overburden layer is removed, leaving behind a protective layer, known as the 'shirt', which safeguards the phosphorite layer from damage caused by heavy machinery. This shirt is removed before the actual extraction of ore mass takes place in the designated area", explained Iskandar Mukhtarov, the director of NEOFOS.

Currently, over 150 people are employed in the mining operations. Once the project reaches its full capacity, the staff at NEOFOS will exceed 500 employees.

The launch of the beneficiation plant is scheduled for the end of 2023. Prior to its opening, a reserve of ore will be accumulated, ensuring the full utilization of the production capacity. The finished product, phosphorite concentrate, will serve as a raw material for fertilizers at the upcoming Samarqandkimyo plant, another investment project by Ferkensco Management Limited.

"The Samarqandkimyo chemical complex will become the largest producer of phosphorus-containing fertilizers in Uzbekistan. Annually, the facility will produce up to 910 thousand tons of high-quality products, meeting the demands of local farmers and competing with foreign manufacturers in the export market. With its own raw materials sourced from NEOFOS, the complex's dependence on external suppliers will be reduced, ensuring uninterrupted operations", said Timur Juraev, the head of the Ferkensco Management Limited representative office in Uzbekistan.