Aguia Fertilizantes, the Brazilian division of Australia’s Aguia Resources, is planning to build phosphate mine in southern Brazil, reported Reuters citing Aguia Fertilizantes CEO Fernando Tallarico.

Tallarico said that the firm expects to receive an installation licence around October 2022. This is needed to commence construction work at the project.

Construction on the project is expected to be completed by late 2023. The firm is also required to receive operating licence prior to commissioning the project.

Aguia plans to explore resources at the Lavras do Sul deposit, which is projected to hold 105 million tonnes of phosphate lie. The firm is also developing a nearby copper project.

The phosphate mine is expected to have a 300,000tpa production capacity at maturity.

Tallarico was cited by the news agency as saying that the town of Lavras do Sul, which is located close to Uruguay’s border, is known for copper and gold production for more than 200 years.

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Tallarico said: “We were the first to verify the possibility to produce phosphate in the region.”

Although the development of fertiliser mining projects is advancing in Brazil following the government’s announcement to reduce its dependence on imports, complex legal system is creating hurdles.

The Brazilian Government has set a target to reduce overall imports of fertilisers to 45% of total domestic consumption by 2050 from the current 85%.

As a result, companies are considering reviving interest in old projects, including in the Amazon, where seeking permits could be challenging.