Israel Chemicals (ICL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Leviev Group’s Namibian subsidiary LLNP to establish a phosphates and downstream production business in the country after carrying out a feasibility study.

LLNP holds permits and exploration rights to mine phosphate deposits totalling one billion tonnes.

The companies will finalise the technology development needed to produce phosphate downstream products from marine deposits, and will also establish a local industrial pilot plant over the next several months.

ICL and LLNP will prepare a detailed feasibility study to obtain financing for the project.

"This initiative is meant to serve as the next wave in ICL’s expansion of its specialty business after most of our existing growth projects are completed."

The production plant will be located on Namibia’s Atlantic shore close to the marine mining site and will have logistic advantage as it will be adjacent to land-based transportation systems serving areas with high demand in southern and West Africa.

An adjacent port will be used to export goods and import raw materials required in the production process.

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By GlobalData

The latest collaboration with LLNP follows ICL’s recent formation of a phosphate joint venture with China’s phosphate company Yunnan Yuntianhua.

ICL CEO Stefan Borgas said: "The majority of the substantial investment in the project is expected to commence in three to four years.

"This initiative is meant to serve as the next wave in ICL’s expansion of its specialty business after most of our existing growth projects are completed."

The Leviev Group said: "We are pleased to enter the MoU with ICL, a global manufacturer of products based on specialty minerals that fulfil humanity’s essential needs in the food and agriculture markets."

Within the framework of the JV with ICL, the companies will develop the raw materials required to produce high-quality end-products in the country.