Phosphate production and concentrate reserves are spread across China, Russia, the Middle East and North Africa.
China is the largest exporter of phosphate fertilizer, with Russia not far behind. The largest phosphate concentrate reserves, which are necessary for the production of LFP (lithium-iron-phosphate) batteries, are in Morocco followed by other Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries. These LFP batteries are becoming prominent in EVs (electric vehicles) as well as energy storage systems. The West has typically relied on these suppliers for its phosphate but as geopolitical concerns emerge, many North American and European companies are eager to have a phosphate source closer to home.
China and Russia have recently suspended or minimized exports of phosphate, which is proving problematic to the supply chain and for manufacturers relying on Chinese phosphate. Similarly, the phosphate concentrates in the Middle East and North Africa are dependent on geopolitical stability that is often fluctuating.
When you take all these factors into consideration, it’s apparent that the phosphate market is in need of a Western supplier that is stable, high quality and addresses environmental concerns.
Canada-Based Arianne Phosphate Checks All The Boxes
Arianne Phosphate Inc. DRRSF is a promising phosphate mining company that can help meet the growing demand for phosphate used in batteries and fertilizer. The company’s Lac à Paul project in Quebec, Canada, is a response to the growing global demand for phosphate, which is increasing by 2% to 3% each year for agricultural demand and, could be considerably higher when LFP batteries are taken into account.
The Canada-based company adheres to stricter environmental, social and corporate standards, aligning with North American and European agendas, and is setting itself apart from Chinese, Russian and MENA competitors.
One major edge Arianne says it has is, deposit is igneous which allows it to produce a concentrate higher than 90% of the world’s phosphate, which is housed in sedimentary rock. This allows Arianne to produce a high-purity and low-contaminant phosphate concentrate ideal for use in batteries and fertilizer.
Arianne is also dedicated to sustainable practices to help offset the carbon footprint of processes within the supply chain. For example, battery production is an energy-intensive process so it is crucial to minimize carbon emissions as much as possible during phosphate mining. Arianne takes its responsibility seriously. Hydroelectricity — a clean, green, renewable energy source — will provide 75% of all energy required for the Lac à Paul project. Arianne also has followed a greenhouse gas emissions accounting program since 2010 to help reduce its ecological footprint. The company is committed to being sa carbon-neutral as possible.
Further, Arianne is considering how its mining affects local communities. On June 12, 2015, the company signed a cooperation agreement with three First Nations — indigenous Canadian peoples — for the exploration and preconstruction phase of the Lac à Paul project with ongoing negotiations to conclude its impact and benefits agreement. The Company says it is determined to adhere to best practices and maintain its strong social license among the population to operate.
During the seven-year downturn in phosphate prices from 2012 to 2019, Arianne continued to advance its project, receiving all necessary permits from the government, signing various MoUs and some initial offtakes. The Lac à Paul project is a fully permitted, shovel-ready project.
As European and North American companies pivot away from their overdependence on Chinese, Russian and MENA suppliers, Arianne Phosphate may be well-positioned to fill the supply gap.
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