Demand for both phosphate and potash fertilizers is expected to continue growing as the world’s population increases and the amount of arable land decreases.
The phosphate market is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate of 5 percent between 2022 and 2028 to reach US$90.25 billion. Driving this growth will be increasing pressure on global food supply brought on by rising populations and climate change, as well as inflation and downstream costs.
Thankfully, phosphate-mining production around the globe is expected to increase, with the largest areas of growth being Africa and the Middle East. Project developments in Brazil, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Peru and Russia are all expected to contribute to increased phosphate rock production as well. In fact, global phosphate mine capacity is expected to increase from 238 million metric tonnes (MT) in 2020 to 261 million MT in 2024.
With those numbers in mind, the Investing News Network has put together an overview of phosphate-mining stocks. All had market caps of over $10 million as of February 16, 2022, and are listed in alphabetical order.
Arianne Phosphate (TSXV:DAN)
Market cap: C$90.88 million
Arianne Phosphate is moving forward at its development-stage Lac a Paul phosphate project in Quebec. The company has secured initial offtake and marketing deals, and the project is fully permitted and construction-ready; it is expected create 1,000 jobs during operation and to contribute C$12 billion to the region’s economy.
In February 2022, Arianne Phosphate launched a research program in collaboration with the Environmental and Biotechnology Research Group of Cegep Riviere-de-Loup with the goal of developing a new breed of fertilizers using organic waste and the company’s phosphate concentrate. In addition to agriculture, Arianne Phosphate is exploring the potential for the project to supply high-quality materials to the energy sector, including for use in hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-iron-phosphate batteries.
Market cap: AU$12.94 million
Avenira owns the Wonarah phosphate project in Australia’s Northern Territory. The site is considered one of the largest-known phosphate deposits in Australia, with measured resources of 64.9 million MT at 22.4 percent phosphorous pentoxide, indicated resources of 133 million MT at 21.1 percent phosphorous pentoxide and inferred resources of 352 million MT at 21 percent phosphorous pentoxide.
Avenira is currently conducting a strategic review on supplying material from Wonarah to the lithium ferrophosphate cathode market and the fertilizer market. The company is also engaged in ongoing discussions with strategic downstream industry participants.
Centrex Metals (ASX:CXM)
Market cap: AU$33 million
Centrex Metals holds the Ardmore phosphate rock project in Queensland, which it says is one of the world’s few remaining undeveloped high-grade phosphate rock deposits.
Ardmore has a JORC-compliant mineral reserve of 10.1 million MT at 30.2 percent phosphorous pentoxide that is contained within an existing mineral resource of 16.2 million MT. In October 2021, the company raised AU$4 million in a private placement to advance Ardmore.
Chatham Rock Phosphate (TSXV:NZP)
Market cap: C$12.23 million
Chatham Rock Phosphate is focused on building a 2 million MT per annum international phosphate-mining and trading house targeting low-cadmium, organic phosphate.
In October 2021, the company acquired the fully permitted Korella phosphate and rare earths mine in Queensland, Australia. It has the ability to begin generating positive cash flow in 2022. The acquisition placed Chatham on track to becoming a phosphate-producing company with a mine and two projects in its pipeline.
Market cap: AU$48.02 million
Fertoz markets and develops a range of organic fertilizer products in North America and Australia, and has two wholly owned rock phosphate projects in BC, Canada. Fertoz is currently working on mine permits and bulk sample applications at both its Wapiti and Fernie assets for 82,000 MT for extraction in the near term.
Through its products, Fertoz promotes sustainable agricultural practices that earn farmers carbon credits to offset emissions. The firm recently expanded its line of low-carbon and carbon-sequestering fertilizers and products.
Market cap: C$280.22 million
Itafos is a phosphate-based fertilizer and specialty products company with projects in Brazil, Peru, the US and Guinea-Bissau. Its Conda operation produces monoammonium phosphate, superphosphoric acid, merchant-grade phosphoric acid and specialty products, while its Arraias operation produces single superphosphate.
The vertically integrated company has five other phosphate-focused projects at various stages of exploration and development, including the high-grade Farim phosphate mine project located in Guinea-Bissau, and the vertically integrated high-grade Santana phosphate mine and fertilizer plant project in Brazil.
Minbos Resources (ASX:MNB)
Market cap: AU$68.34 million
Phosphate exploration and development company Mimbos Resources is focused on building a nutrient supply and distribution business targeting the agricultural sector of the Middle Africa region. The company’s Cabinda phosphate fertilizer project is located in Angola.
Minbos was granted a mining license for Cabinda in early 2021, and later in the year secured a commercial site for its phosphate granulation plant in Angola. The company completed a 14 MT bulk sample at Cabinda in September 2021, which targeted phosphate rock material from the asset’s high-grade zone.
Market cap: US$16.9 billion
Mosaic is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients. It has various phosphate operations in Florida, Louisiana and South America.
This phosphate-mining stock has greatly benefited from higher phosphate prices as greater demand for agricultural commodities is driving demand for fertilizers globally.
Market cap: C$53.98 billion
Nutrien, Canada’s largest potash company, is the product of the 2016 merger between phosphate-mining giants Agrium and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. The company is one of the world’s largest providers of crop fertilizers and services, with an agricultural retail network that services more than 500,000 grower accounts. In addition to its expansive portfolio of potash assets, Nutrien operates two large integrated phosphate-mining and processing facilities, and four regional upgrading plants in the US.
Market cap: US$82.05 billion
Global mining giant Vale has a number of phosphate-producing and development-stage projects. In Brazil, an agricultural powerhouse and the world’s fifth largest fertilizer consumer, the company operates the country’s only potash mine. In Peru, Vale has the Bayóvar mine, located on one of the biggest phosphate rock deposits in South America. The company is also developing phosphate projects in Canada and Mozambique.
This is an updated version of an article originally published by the Investing News Network in 2015.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.