CSIRO technology extracts phosphate from lower grade ores

Image: CSIRO

CSIRO has developed a smelting process that allows soluble phosphate to be produced from low value ores, eliminating hazardous waste and improving environmental sustainability.

The PyroPhos smelting process uses high temperature to extract phosphate from ores, allowing phosphate miners and processors to increase their productivity in an environmentally sustainable way.

Extracting phosphate from ores using heat also produces phosphate feedstock and a valuable by-product that can be used in construction.

Phosphate is a key ingredient in fertilisers. The global phosphate market is valued at $73 billion and continues to grow as demand for fertiliser increases to meet food production needs.

The PyroPhos process has been exclusively licensed to PyroPhos to meet the needs of phosphate producers.

PyroPhos director Mark Muzzin said it was a unique technology offering in soluble phosphate fertiliser market. The process may provide an economic advantage to Australia and its phosphate resources.

“We have had an excellent response from the industry and believe it has the ability to make a major impact,” Muzzin said.

PyroPhos technology has emerged out of decades of research from CSIRO’s award-wining SiroSmelt innovation and pyrometallurgical expertise.

It has also involved commercial guidance and industrial design input from technical advisors at engineering company WorleyParsons, who has extensive experience in the phosphate industry.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.