Amidst the surge in clean energy initiatives, a recent breakthrough in Norway holds the potential to drive the movement forward. A mining company has unearthed a substantial phosphate deposit, approximately 77 billion tons in size, projected to meet the world’s demand for the next five decades, as indicated by its founders.
In 2018, Norge Mining uncovered the deposit, but it wasn’t until May of this year that the company revealed the quantity of phosphate they had found1. Michael Wurmser, the founder and deputy CEO of Norge Mining, stated that they identified two exceptional resources extending to a depth of 400 meters. These resources have the potential to provide raw materials for a minimum of 50 years, as he informed Euractiv2.
Phosphoric acid, derived from phosphate processing, plays a crucial role in lithium iron phosphate batteries, essential for powering solar energy setups and electric vehicles. The usage of these batteries is projected to surge, with lithium iron phosphate batteries anticipated to dominate commercial vehicle markets with a 90% share by 2040, as per the International Energy Agency.
This discovery gains significance not only due to its size but also its location. Previously, major phosphate producers included Morocco, China, the U.S., and Russia. However, the market experienced substantial disruption following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
The identification of this deposit is anticipated to ease some of the pressure, potentially leading to reduced costs for electric vehicles and solar panels. According to Wurmser, the discovery’s magnitude surpasses all known European sources, making it highly significant. He believes that the produced phosphorous could hold importance for Western regions, contributing to increased self-sufficiency.