06.12.2012 / Moroccan Government Building a Future in Phosphate
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 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 4.2 billion US$ 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 % phosphate rock increased from 100-150 US$/MMt in 2010 to 180-205 US$ just one year later in 2011.
Phosphate is the number one mineral mined in the Morocco, accounting for more than 90 % 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 3.1 billion US$ 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.