Thursday, 08 November 2012 07:23
The introduction of a new mining law in 2013 and government implementation of fresh trade policies are key initiatives that will help Morocco’s phosphate mining industry almost double in size by the end of the decade, states industry analysts GlobalData.
The company’s new report - Mining Market in Central, Northern and Eastern Africa - Key Trends, Production, Reserves, Competitive Landscape, Active and Planned Projects of Key Countries - also expects the growing demand for phosphate in the international market to play a major part in seeing production increase from last year’s total of 28.1 million metric tons (MMt) to 55 MMt by 2020.
Booming global phosphate demand is particularly good news for Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) – the country’s only phosphate producer – who plan on capitalizing on an advantageous market position by investing around US$4.2 billion ($4 billion) to start up new mines and wash plants during the next decade.
OCP can also expect to benefit from higher prices as global hunger for phosphate increases. Free on Board (FOB) prices of Morocco’s 31-33 per cent phosphate rock increased from $100-$150 per metric ton in 2010 to US$180-$205 ($173-$197) just one year later in 2011.
Phosphate is the number one mineral mined in the Morocco, accounting for more than 90 per cent of the country’s metals and minerals output by volume on average.
The Moroccan government is working hard to develop the country’s mining industry as a whole and aims to implement a new mining law next year to update the current regulations that have been in place since 1951.
In addition, trade policies adopted by the government are playing a key role in boosting investments in the mining industry, which stood at around US$3.1 billion ($3) for the period 2006–2010.
Several trade agreements such as the Agadir Agreement with Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US, and the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement have helped in establishing better trade relations with other countries.
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