Techno Market Survey on Technologies for Utilisation of Low Grade Phosphate Fertiliser

Code No:TMS161Price:Rs2700/-Category:Foods & Agriculture: Inputs to the Soil



Summary  : Phosphorus is one of the three major plant nutrients. Though India has reserves of 300 million tonnes of rock phosphates only 25% of total requirement of phosphorous is met with Indian sources. The rest is through imports. TIFAC\'s detailed survey finds that there are technologies readily available in the country which can be scaled up to beneficiate viably even low grade rock phosphates. The survey report also gives an action plan for establishing facilities for this purpose. The report provides a valuable guide for not only setting up benefication Plants but also help laboratories in their research programmes

Year of Publication : 2001

Table Of Contents : : Executive Summary, Introduction, DEPOSITS in india-Including Occurrences of Low Grade Phosphate, Phosphate FERTILISER Scenario in india, Status of Utilisation of Low Grade Phosphate as Fertiliser in Foreign Countries, Status of BENEFICIATION AND Utilisation of low grade phosphate as fertiliser in India, Impact Assesment on Environment due to direct utilisation of low grade rock phosphate as fertiliser, Techno- economics of utilisation of low grade rock phosphate as fertiliser, Conclusions, Recommendations & Action Plan, Abbrevations, List of References, List of Annexures

The use of phosphatic fertilizers in India has maintained a steady upward trend with an ever increasing demand of apatite and rock phosphate. The current annual domestic demand of apatite and rock phosphate is of the order of about 4 millions tonnes, out of which 95% is consumed in agriculture sector as a source of phosphatic fertilizers. Domestic production of about 1.4 million tonne per year could meet hardly 35% of the total demand, while the remaining (65%) bulk demand is met through imports which involved Rs. 477.35 crores and Rs. 661.20 crores respectively during 1996-97 and 1997-98. The domestic demand of phosphates has been estimated at 41.27 lakh tonne, 57.88 lakh tonne and 81.18 lakh tonne for the terminal year 2001-02 ; 2006-07 and 2011-12 respectively by the working group on mineral development for ninth plan. While the projected production of phosphate rock from the present mines in India are projected to be 15 lakh tonnes, 20 lakh tonne and 25 lakh tonne by the terminal year 2001-02, 2006-07 and 2011-12 respectively. Thereby, leaving an expected gap, between demand and supply, of 26.27 lakh tonne, 37.88 lakh tonne and 56.18 lakh tonne respectively for these terminal years. Since fertiliser grade (+30%.P2O5) i.e. directly useable for manufacturing chemical phosphatic fertilizer and blendable grade (25-30% P2O5) phosphate resources are inadequate in the country together with insufficient capacity to beneficiate the low grade phosphate ores will force the country to depend more and more on the imported high grade rock phosphate. To avoid this envisaged precarious situation, effective steps should be taken immediately to identify and if required, develop technologies for utilisation of low grade phosphate as fertiliser either directly or by developing some suitable composition or by enlarging the existing beneficiation capacity or establishing new beneficiation plants suitable to beneficiate low grade indigenous rock phosphate resources in eco-friendly manner.

1. Scope and objective of the study

The scope and objective of the study as given by TIFAC is to address to the following aspects in the context of the topic

(i) Relationship and the importance of the specific topic to the broad area to which it belongs.

(ii) The current status of the technology in the world and in the country. Market (domestic/export) size and their potentials.

(iii) Assessment of the technology, resource parameters such as energy, raw material, infrastructure and manpower etc. to arrive at preferred technology options available to the country.

(iv) Short term & long term economic aspects of preferred options alongwith their feasibilities.

(v) Impact of the preferred option(s) itself and its spin offs.

In addition to the above the study is aimed to clearly being out the following :

  • Deposits of low grade phosphate rock in M.P. Rajasthan and U.P. ; Details of nature of occurrence (geographical location and depth of occurrence), reserves, quality etc.
  • Status of technologies available for their utilisation abroad giving details on technologies, sources, production till date etc.
  • Available technologies in India, their status, sources, production till date etc. and what needs to be done to upgrade and commercialise it.

Focus should be on :

- Centres for upgrading the technology
- Cost estimates of commercialisation with grades of raw materials.
- Ideal centres for commercialisation.
- Details of results of its uses in the field with data on increase in productivity.
- Detailed plan of action.

  • Whether direct application can be done or not.
  • Feasibility of direct application in rest of the acidic soils of India.
  • A review of technologies including patent applications world over with production figures and usage figures yearwise and country wise.
  • The cost of production of the fertiliser vis-à-vis the imported cost may be highlighted.
  • The cost of technology transfer if deemed necessary for technology upgradtion in India from abroad users/manufacturers for low grade rock phosphate.
  • Highlight on the implementation constraints.
  • The estimated phosphate requirements and savings in economic terms may be clearly highlighted (projections for 2010 may be done).
  • The short and long term ecological implications may be covered.

2. Implementation of Recommendations

For implementations of the recommendations, various critical inputs (such as raw materials, capital goods and human resources) required and their availability, investments required to commercialise etc. to be quantified and techno-economic benefits to be evaluated in terms of existing and new suggested ones, keeping in view the social and techno-economic scenario of the country and the emerging trends of technology developments worldwide with a view to its adoptions considering the scope of commercialisation, competitive advantage, environmental aspects etc.

3. Methodology

The study was conducted through intensive survey covering a number of relevant institutes/agencies viz., rock phosphate exploring, exploiting, processing and user agencies. Monitoring and government agencies were also covered along with R&D and academic institutes. The intensive study of relevant literature, periodicals, proceedings of national and international seminars/simposia etc. was also carried out. The list of literature scanned/referred forms a part of the report. The national and international data base including patents for technology was also scanned on internet. The available information, thus collected, is placed in Annexures LII & LIII.

A list of Academic Institutes, R&D agencies, Govt. bodies, Industries etc. those were contacted during the survey and study is included as Annexure-I.

Structured questionnaire, open ended questionnaire, personal visits and interviews were resorted to during the field survey. Separate questionnaires were used for the following categories of respondents.

  • Phosphate rock mining and beneficiation agencies (LGP/M&B)
  • R&D organisations/institutes carrying out were on phosphate rocks (LGP/R&D).
  • Agencies engaged in exploration and exploitation of phosphate rocks. (LGP/E&M).
  • Organisations and companies engaged in manufacture of phosphatic fertilizers (LGP/FM).
  • Individuals, organisation and agencies engaged in utilisation of phosphatic fertilisers and rock phosphate (LGP/U).
  • Organisations and agencies engaged in marketing of phosphatic fertilisers and rock phosphate (LGP/Mktg.).

A set of these questionnaires is placed as Annexures IIA to IIF. Besides, communications were made with many foreign embassies, companies and agencies. The informations received were compiled, processed, analysed and synthesised under various sub-heads. Missing/additional information was collected through subsequent quarries and also through available literature wherever required. Detailed discussions were held with the knowledgeable persons and experts of the respective fields for emerging technologies in the processing, beneficiation and other technical aspects in the utilisation of low grade rock phosphate as fertiliser.

Initially, less than 10% of these agencies/organisations/ institutes responded to the questionnaires sent to them. After about one month’s time reminders were sent and it was followed by personal visit to select places. As a result of this, informations were received from more than 30% of the agencies. The informations, thus collected, during the techno-market survey was synthesised, analysed and evaluated in accordance with the guidelines received from time to time from the TIFAC, on various aspects of low grade rock phosphate in general and the technologies for their utilisations as fertiliser in particular.

4. Limitations

Most of the entrepreneurs engaged in manufacture of phosphatic fertilisers and a few of the exploring and exploiting agencies for phosphate rocks were found to be not very much optimistic for utilisation of indigenous resources of low grade rock phosphate for fertiliser due to easy availability of suitably higher grade or rock phosphate in the international market and apathy towards any changes in their fertiliser manufacturing plants so as to make use of indigenous low grade phosphate rock as such or even after beneficiation for financial reasons.

For the above stated cause difficulties were experienced in collecting informations particularly on detailed aspects of technology and economics. Only some individuals were willing to part with the detailed informations. The R&D organisations in the country had already developed beneficiation technology to upgrade low grade rock phosphate for its utilisation in manufacture of phosphate fertilisers on laboratory scale and in few cases at pilot plant scale also, but so far no commercialisation of these technologies have taken place. Similarly, certain other methods of direct applications of low grade rock phosphate as fertiliser, by enhancing leachability of P2O5 by microbes or developing certain composition, have been developed but not commercialised due to one or the other reasons, hence techno-economics of these methods could not be established. However, some informations could be collected during personal meetings. Thus, the text of the report should be considered with the following limitations :

  • The informations on commercial aspects of the technologies were obtained from only a few
  • No interview could be possible with foreign experts. The details of technical and economic aspects is based on the informations which could be collected and synthesised during the survey.
  • The informations regarding world scenario on utilisation of low grade rock phosphate is based on the published literature and informations collected through internet, survey and literature requests.
  • Thus, the study is based on published literature, mail survey, personal visits and interviews.

5. Structure of the report

The report deals with status of utilisation of phosphatic rock as fertiliser in India, reviews overall resource position in general and utilisation of low grade indigenous rock phosphate in particular in agriculture sector. Its importance and impact together with interlinkages with the consumer sector. Status of mining and processing technologies are covered to appreciate the diversity of technologies involved in the phosphate fertiliser industry as a whole. The introductory part covers general informations about phosphate, phosphorite, world resources & their distribution, status of Indian phosphate deposits & technologies for their utilisation, scope and importance of the present study in the light of technological developments in this sector. While the chapter two on Phosphate deposits of India has dealt with geographical and geological distribution of phosphate occurrences in the country including resources, grade, extent etc. of each deposit. The details of low grade phosphate deposits and occurrences in the states of M.P., Rajasthan and U.P. are presented in this chapter. The chapter three dealing with phosphate scenario in India provides totoal resources of phosphate in the country alongwith present practices of mining i.e. production and its utilisation, particularly in agriculture sector and the likely future trends. The chapters four and five are devoted to present the current status of utilislation of low grade phosphate rock as fertiliser, status of technologies, alongwith ongoing R&D activities and options for future in foreign countries and in India respectively are dealtwith. The chapter VI deals with the assesment of impact on environment due to direct utilisation of low grade rock phosphate as fertiliser. While chapter-VII deals with the technological options for the optimum utilisation of identified low grade rock phosphate resources in India alongwith the techno-economic of beneficiation of low grade rock phosphate. The final chapter eight concludes the report with the recommendations (long-term and short-term) alongwith action plan and impacts, if, the recommendation are implemented.

6. Major findings and anlayses of the survey

1. Phosphate rocks of sedimentary origin are by far more abundant than the apatite bearing phosphate rocks of igneous origin in the world and provide more than 80% global resources for the phosphate. Only a small percentage of around 2% phosphates are derived from guano and guano based resources.

2. The known global resources are of the order of 163,000 million tonnes of all grades and types, out of which so far only around 105000 million tonnes have been identified and evaluated in terms of its phosphatic contents. Out of all these resources, so far, only 55000 million tonnes are classified as recoverable resources for commercial purposes and these are capable of meeting the world demand with all types of future projection for consumption demands of the world for over 200 years.

3. Though globally adequate, these resources of phosphate are in equitably distributed geographically. Africa contains about 41%, USA has 21%, erstwhile USSR 13%, the Middle East 10%, Asia 8%, South America 3%, While Australia, New-Zealand, Oceania together account for only 2% and the entire Europe less than 1%. The phosphate scenario in India is not comfortable as it posses a resource of only 306 million tonnes of all types and grades, which forms only 0.19% of the world resource of phosphate to cater the agricultural needs of 1/6th (one Arab i.e. 100 million) population of the world.

4. Apatite and phosphate scenario in India (146) as on 1-8-99 is as follows :


Items Proved Probable Possible Total
(A) Recoverable Reserves 1-4-95 (All Grades) (Million tonnes) 89 27 43 159
(B) Lease Area, 31-3-98 (Hectares)       4,819
(C) Mines Reporting Production

No. of Mines

Production (Th. tonnes)

  1997-98 1998-99 1997-98 198-99(p)
INDIA 12 11 1,226 1,623
Public Sector 11 10 1,223 1,620
Private Sector 1 1 3 3
Captive 1 1 62 60
Non-Captive 11 10 1,164 1,563
Andhra Pradesh 1 1 3 3
Madhya Pradesh 2 2 147 191
Rajasthan 5 5 953 1,407
Uttar Pradesh 3 2 119 11
West Bengal 1 1 4 11
30-35% P2O5     664 649
25-30%     85 84
20-25%     146 181
15-20%     331 709
(D) Production Trend 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99
(Th. tonnes) 1,108 1,319 1,350 1,226 1,623
(E) Closing Stock 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99
Quantity (Th. tonnes) 673 555 651 511 493
(F) Imports (Rock Phosphate Quantity (Th. tonnes) 1,903 2,540 2,444 2,038 2,668
Value (Rs. in Crores) 382.58 468.28 524.28 477.35 661.20
(G) Imports by Country in 1997-98 Jordan Morocco Senegal Isreal South Africa Others
Quantity (Th. tonnes) 913 460 358 344 109 484
Value (Rs. in Crores) 225.16 111.15 99.76 85.75 35.48 103.90
(H) Exports 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98  
Quantity (Th. tonnes) - 200 145 221 153  
Value (Rs. in Crores) - 0.02 0.06 0.14 0.61  
(I) Apatite & Principal Phosphorite Mines in 1998-99      
Name of Mine  Apatite Location of Mine Address of Mine Owner
Beldih Vill. Beldih Distt. Purulia, West Bengal West Bengal Mineral Dev. & Trading Corpn., Ltd. 13, Nellie Sengupta Sarani, 2 Floor, Calcutta-700087
Andhra Phosphate Vill. N.R. Puram Distt. Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh Andhra Phosphate (P) Ltd., 45-58-1715, Narasimha Nagar, Vishakhapatnam-530024, Andhra Pradesh


Vill. Jhamarkotra, Distt. Udaipur, Rajasthan Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Ltd., 24, Uniara Garden, Jaipur-302004, Rajasthan
Jhabua Vill. Kachaldhara, Distt. Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh State Mining. Corpn, Ltd., Paryavas Bhawan, Jail Road, Arera Hills, Bhopal -462012, Madhya Pradesh
Kanpur Vill. Kanpur, Distt. Udaipur, Rajasthan Madhya Pradesh State Mining. Corpn, Ltd., Paryavas Bhawan, Jail Road, Arera Hills, Bhopal -462012, Madhya Pradesh
Maton Vill. Maton, Distt. Udaipur, Rajasthan Hindustan Zinc Ltd., Yashad Bhawan, Udaipur-313001, Rajasthan
Hirapur (Chhattarpur) Vill. Maddeora Distt. Chhattarpur, Madhya Pradesh Madhya Pradesh State Mining. Corpn, Ltd., Paryavas Bhawan, Jail Road, Arera Hills, Bhopal -462012, Madhya Pradesh
Dehradun Maldeota, Dehradun, U.P. Pyrite, Phosphates & Chemicals Ltd., Dehradun unit, 1-AB, Ravindra Nath Tagore Marg, Dehradun-248001 (U.P.)
(J) Contribution of above Principal Mines in 1998-99 Quantity (Th. tonnes)

(K) Percentage Share to All-India Production






5. For all practical purposes sedimentary phosphate bearing rocks called phosphorite or rock phosphate form the commercial source of phosphorus element. The phosphorus is one of the three essential major elements for the growth of plants and thus for the agricultural production. Phosphorus plays an important role in root development and in synthesis of protein, fats and carbohydrates by the plants.

6. Optimum and judicious utilisation of phosphate is necessiated by the fact that there is little opportunity or scope for its substitution or recycling, unlike other vital metallic commodities like iron, copper, aluminum etc.

7. With the increase in demand of phosphatic fertilizers due to sharp rise in population worldover, the prices of phosphatic fertilisers have increased many folds. Ofcourse, many other contributing factors for this hike in prices of phosphatic fertiliser include transportation cost, beneficiation cost, cost of other ingradients used in manufacture of phosphatic fertilisers, cost of manufacturing the fertilisers etc.

8. During 1997 the world production and export of phosphate rock was 137.5 million tonne and 31.56 million tonne respectively. There were only nine major countries exporting over one million tonnes of phosphate. With its export of about 11.67 million tonne of rock phosphate Morocco was at the top of the list of exporting countries. Though USA produced 43.5 million tonnes of rock phosphate, yet its export for rock phosphate had been only a small quantity of 0.27 million tonnes and the rest was consumed internally for various purposes, ofcourse, mainly for phosphatic fertilisers and thereby USA has controlled the food grain market of the world.

9. Rock phosphate with a minimum of 28% P2O5 is normally required for manufacturing phosphoric acid and phosphatic fertilisers, the principal end use. Presently, most marketed grades of phosphate rock contain more than 30% P2O5. To meet this requirement most of the phosphate ores undergo beneficiation, because most of the high grade phosphate rocks worldover have either been exhausted or are near the stage of exhaustation.

10. For upgradation of low grade phosphate ore many techniques are available including washing, screening, de-sliming, magnetic separation, flotation and calcination.

11. Other methods for utilisation of low grade phosphate rock include acidulation, alkalisation and direct application of phosphate rock to the soils. These methods either have not been implemented at all in India or the implementation is on very small scale as in case of direct applicitions of rock phosphate.

12. The latest trends of activities in the phosphate industry is gradually shifting. As the quality of phosphatic rock decline at the major sources of supply, the processing techniques are developed to cope with different impurities present in the phosphatic rocks. Thus, the role of beneficiation is becoming increasingly important due to the fact that the reserves which need little or no treatment are becoming more and more scarce worldover.

13. Processing costs for rock phosphate are increasing without compensating increase in price of the finished product. Due to this cause and also other reasons including competition in the international market and enforced requirements for environmental protection, the processing of the phosphatic ores has become not only essential, but costlier also.

14. Another significant factor affecting phosphate rock trade had been the expansion activities of the major producers of rock phosphate into downstream processing and the corresponding increase in trade of phosphate fertiliser products rather than raw material. For example the world's largest phosphate rock exporter, OCP of Morocco, now transforms more than 50%, of its output into chemical products. Thus, now imports of finished products is gaining importance over the raw rock phosphate.

15. Of late, environmental considerations have also moved to the fore and the provenance of the phosphate is becoming a significant factor in determining its exportability, particularly to the more environmentally concerned nations. Generally, phosphates of sedimentary origin contain higher impurity levels than igneous apatite ores, and it is the cadmium and arsenic impurities which are considered to be especially damaging to the environment, where as the associated impurities of uranium in most of the cases is removed as a by product.

16. Our country has preponderance of low grade phosphate resources. Out of 306 million tonnes, 252 million tonnes are of low grade and the bulk of which has extremely low grade containing about 12% P2O5 only. Of these, the total recoverable reserves of apatite and rock phosphate are placed at only 159 million tonnes, which includes only 14 million tonne of fertiliser grade (+30% P2O5) and 145 million tonne is of beneficiable (20-25% P2O5), soil reclamation (11-20%) and unclassified grades. In addition there are 147 million tonnes of low grade (5-11%) phosphatic rock. Under these prevailing circumstances utilisation of low grade phosphate resources and to know as to how a low grade material could be converted to a potential resource for direct applications or with low energy inputs in eco-friendly way, holds the key in widening the base of phosphate exploitation in India.

17. The prevailing beneficiation processes in the country (at Matoon and Jhamarkotra, districts Udaipur, Rajasthan) are generating millions of tonne tailing from the beneficiating plants. These tailings analyse 10% P2O5, a substantial wastage of phosphate resource.

18. The proposed new phosphate beneficiation plants should be developed for utilisation of Indian phosphate resources at Jhabua, Heerapur in M.P. and at Lalitpur in U.P. The tailings of beneficiating plants should be suitably used in one or the other way as enumerated in the succeeding point.

19. Utilisation of low grade phosphate resources including the tailings of beneficiation plants by developing phospho-composts or other suitable compositions for enhancing the efficiency of available P2O5 in these low grade rock phosphates. This could be achieved by microbes or partial acidulation or alkalisation or else exploiting these resources by in situ leaching and developing management strategies to increase phosphorus efficiency by using these low grade phosphate resources for phosphorus efficient plant species etc. are considered to be most suitable techniques and methods for optimal utilisation of the available indigenous phosphate resources.

20. Mining and processing of low and low-medium grade rock phosphate deposits by Vat leaching/Heap leaching using HCl or HNO3 is the most approprate technology for exploitation and utilisation of Indian deposits. It has so far not been utilised in the country.

7. Constraints in utilisation of low grade rock phosphate in India

The main constraints in production of low grade rock phosphate in the country include :

(i) Almost all the producing mines of rock phosphate and apatite are under public sector.

(ii) Government has full control over the production of rock phosphate, phosphatic fertilisers and its distribution.

(iii) There are strict government directives that rock phosphate containing less than 16% P2O5 can not be used as phosphatic fertiliser (Ref. 188).

(iv) Their is no agency which can publicise and practice the known techniques of using low grade rock phosphate directly as fertiliser.

(v) Rock phosphate in general and the low grade rock phosphate in particular is low grade but high bulk material involving high transportational cost.

(vi) PAPR is not yet recognised as fertiliser by Fertiliser Ministry in India.

(vii) Utilisation of low grade rock phosphates as a compacted fertiliser with either SSP or MAP is not recognised by the Fertiliser Ministry.

(viii) Indian Fertiliser Industries (DAP units in particular) still have reservation in utilising indigenous phosphate concentrates. As a result of which even the beneficiabley amenable low grade rock phosphate are not being put to use. As most of the plants are designed based on imported concentrates.

8. Recommendations for enhancing utilisation of indigenous low grade rock phosphate

To ensure increase in utilisation of low grade/medium low grade indigenous rock phosphate following steps are necessary to be taken at the government level immediately :

(i) Focus should be given on the freight elements in movement of rock phosphate/phosphate concentrates/low-grade rock phosphate for proper development of Indian phosphate fertiliser industry.

(ii) Private sector should be encouraged in mining and processing of rock phosphate.

(iii) PAPR should be recognised as phosphatic fertiliser by the Fertiliser Ministry.

(iv) Low grade rock phosphate as a compacted fertiliser with SSP or MAP should be recognised as phosphatic fertiliser by the Fertiliser Ministry.

(v) The present reservation of DAP industry for not utilisation of indigenous phosphate constrates should gradually be changed, so that the low grade indigenous rock phosphate amenable to beneficiation could be utilise in DAP industry, which at present is the major consumption centre for rock phosphate in the country.

(vi) Due to poor infrastructural developments at the locations of rock phosphate occurrences/deposits, the raw material, phosphate concentrate as well as the finished fertiliser products involve long distance transportation. Thus for proper development of Indian phosphate industry based on indigenous rock phosphate resources, it essential to subsidise the freight charges for all these materials.

9. Recommendations

In the light of the fact that most of the existing phosphatic fertiliser plants and phosphoric acid plants were designed on the basis of high grade rock phosphate and availability of only very small quantity (14 million tonne) of such resources in the country it is recommended that -

(i) The future phosphatic fertiliser plants or the plants which might be setup as replacement to the existing ones should be designed to accept indigenous phosphatic rocks or at the most a blend of imported and indigenous ores.

Instead of installing new manufacturing plants for SSP & TSP which used H2SO4 acid as the basic raw material (which itself is manufactured from imported sulphur) following route for production and utilisation of indigenous low grade (5-10% P2O5) and medium low grade (10-20% P2O5) rock phosphate is recommended

(a) The low grade deposits should be mined and procesed by Vat leaching or heap leaching method using indigenous HCl or HNO3 acid (both the route are available). Leaching the rock insitu, or mining the deposit, crushing and leaching it in heaps or in Vats, is a cheaper technology than leaching in agitated tanks followed by counter-current washing in a series of thickners as is practiced today.

(b) Using HCl or HNO3 as leaching agents, although appears to be apparentely more expensive than the commonly used H2SO4, following advantages are gained. :

- Low capital and operating cost

- Production of HCl or HNO3 do not require any imported material as is required for the production of sulphuric acid.

- Overall saving in consumption of H2SO4 in the enhanced capacity of fertiliser industry (if recommendations are implimented) will not add any burden on foreign exchange exchequer of the country.

- Elimination of gypsum disposal problem, as no gypsum by-product will be produced in this process.

- Enhances the possibility of recovering uranium, rare earths and heavy metals and flourine as useful by-products. It will make the phosphate fertiliser industry more eco-friendly than the present industry, which is mainaly based on sulphuric acid and creats lot of environmental problems.

- Enhances possibility to control radium and its decay products

- Makes use of even low grade phosphatic deposits containing the impurities mentioned above

(c) As power conservation measure, solar ponds could be used to evaporate the leach solution to produce the end product either CaCl2.Ca(H2PO4)2.2H2O or Ca(NO3)2.Ca(H2PO4)2. 2H2O depending on whether HCl or HNO3 is used in the process. These crystals are then decomposed at 200-250°C to yield dicalcium phosphate, CaHPO4, a high grade markatable product containing around 40% P2O5%

(ii) Trends all over the world indicate that the grade of phosphatic ores in most of the deposits is declining. Hence the phosphatic industry in India will not face any acute problem in future, if the recommendations are implemented.

(iii) R & D institutes and organisations in the country have already developed beneficiation techniques to upgrade all types of low grade Indian phosphorite deposits to the desired grade for manufacturing chemical phosphatic fertilisers at laboratory scale/bench scale/pilot plant scale. Further R & D work to commercilise these techniques should be continued on priority basis.

(iv) Indian Bureau of Mines has developed and established beneficiation plants at Jhamarkotra (for RSMML) and Matoon (for HZL) to utilise the rock phosphate deposits of these places located in Rajasthan. Existing capacities of these plants should be enhanced so that the ore from other nearby deposits located in Udaipur district could also be beneficiated profitiably for utilislation in fertiliser industry.

(v) Similarly, IBM independently or in collabroation with other R&D organisations has developed suitable beneficiation processes for deposits at Hirapur and Jhabua in M.P. ; Lalitpur in U.P. and Beldih in West Bengal. At least one beneficiation plant at Hirapur in M.P. and one plant at Beldih, Purulia district in West Bengal should be setup to beneficiate rock phospate and igneous apatite bearing rocks respectively. For the former proposed plant (i.e. Hirapur, M.P.) even the pre-feasibility tests counducted by IBM & RRL Bhopal have already established the commercial viability of the deposit longback in 1994.

(vi) 8 to 10% P2O5 content being lost in the tailings of the existing beneficiation plants at Matoon and Jhamarkotra in Udaipur district of Rajasthan should be recovered by Vat leaching technique, before their disposal. Similarly, provisions should be made in the two proposed beneficiation plants, viz. at Hirapur, M.P. and at Beldih in West Bengal.

(vii) Low grade rock phosphate deposits containing permisible limits of cadmium, arsenic and radioactive uranium should be identified for their direct utilisation or acidualation, alkalisation or for developing suitable compositions like phospho-compost, phosphosulphate compost etc.

(viii) P2O5 release efficiency of low grade phosphatic rocks should also be enhanced microbially, while its direct utilisation or developing it into any bio-phospho compost compositions should be encouraged. Further steps should be taken to enhance considerably the present production of PSB/VAM/Biofertilisers (upto 20 times the present) which helps in enhancing the P release efficiency of rock phosphate.

(ix) Direct application of already identified MRP, URP and Meghaphos should be enhanced from its present share of less than 1% of the total phosphatic fertiliser consumption to atleast 15-20% share.

(x) Low grade phosphate rock should also be used by suitably developing agricultural management strategies to enhance phosphorus utilising efficiency of these low grade resource for phosphorus efficient plant species.

(xi) Farmers should be encouraged to prepare phospho-composts of different types (using pyrites and/or glauconite and/or mica wastes) depending on the requirements of their agricultural soils for local use by them.

(xii) Phosphate bearing tailing waste (8-10% P2O5) of the beneficiation plants should be used for either leaching out the phosphate content by dump leaching or be made available to the local farmers, free of cost for optimal utilisation of this finely powdered rock phosphate.

(xiii) Low grade phosphorite deposits (e.g. Kala Dungar, Jaisalmer; Tiruchirapalli; Bhawanthpur, Palamau district, Bihar and similar other deposits in India) may be allowed to be exploited by the local farmers for local consumption with nominal/token charges for its consumption in their agricultural fields.

(xiv) The existing directives from the government (Ministry of Fertiliser) for using low grade rock phosphate as fertilisers should be removed with an immediate effect.

10. Impacts, if recommendations are implemented

If all the recommendations are implemented, it will have both long term and short term impacts on :

(a) Reduction of expenditure to import the high grade rock phosphate and phosphatic fertilisers to the extent of 70%.

(b) Due to easy availibility of cheaper phosphatic fertilisers government would be in a position to withdraw the entire subsidy of the order of Rs. 400 cores annually

(c) Optimal utilislation of indigenous resources of phosphate rock.

(d) Reduction in dependance on imports of phosphatic fertilisers.

(e) Increase in chances of assured supply of phosphatic fertilisers to the farmers in time.

(f) Enhancement in the economic viability of existing and proposed beneficiation plants by extracting as low as 8 to 10% of P2O5 even from the tailings of these plants.

(g) This will result in easy handling of tailings of the beneficiation plants.

(h) Bio-phospho-composts will also ensure supply of other associated nutrients to the corps.

(i) Easy availability of cheaper phosphatic fertilisers will enhance its usage to ensure self sufficiency not only in food grain production but will also be a step towards achieving self sufficiency in most of the agricultural products.

(j) Socio-economic development of not only the area where phosphate deposits occur, but also of the entire poor farmers of the country will be enhanced.

(k) Development of phosphatic industry will enhance employment opportunities for the unskilled as well as skilled workers.

(i) R&D activities would get further impetus for utilisation of other low grade indigenous resources in agriculture sector.

11. Agencies/organisations/institutes identifided, which are likely to actively participate in implementing the recommendations include

(i) Ministry of agriculture, Govt. of India.
(ii) Ministry of chemical and fertiliser, Govt. of India.
(iii) Ministry of commerce, Govt. of India.
(iv) Ministry of Mines and minerals, Govt. of India.
(v) State Govts. of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
(vi) RSMML, Jhamarkotra, Udaipur, Rajasthan.
(vii) HZL, Udaipur, Rajasthan.
(viii) PPCL, Dehradun.
(ix) U.P.S.M.D.C., Lucknow, U.P.
(x) B.S.M.D.C., Patna, Bihar.
(xi) M.P. State Mining Corporation.
(xii) NML, Jamshedpur, Bihar.
(xiii) RRL, Bhopal
(xiv) IBM, Nagpur.
(xv) Many agricultural Universities like :
(a) Bidhan Chandra Agricultural University, Nadia, West Bengal.
(b) Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat.
(c) Banglore Agricutural University, Karnataka.
(d) Kerla Agricultural University.
(e) Gujarat Agricultural University .
(f) Hisar Agricultural University.
(g) H.P., Agricultural University.
(h) Pant Nagar Agricultural University.
(i) Bhubaneshwar Agricultural University etc.