Abu Tartour in Egypt ’s New River Valley Province has the world ’s second-largest phosphate mine, with proven reserves of 700 million tons and estimated total reserves of approximately 100 billion tons. Mamdouh Ati, the mine ’s director of mines, said that Abu Tartour ’s phosphate reserves are abundant and that if used properly, it will promote economic development in Egypt. The total area of the mining area is about 1200 square kilometers, and the current mining area of the Egyptian Phosphate Company is only 122 square kilometers. It is estimated that for every 100 million tons of phosphate, a profit of 33 million US dollars can be made.
Despite the promising profit prospects, the operation of the mine has been poor. In 2003, mining companies owed as much as 13.4 billion Egyptian pounds. In 2011, the Central Audit Office of Egypt (CAO) reported that the mine’s auxiliary development investment in transportation port power and other aspects has been higher than the estimated cost of 352%. Due to improper planning and lack of feasibility studies, the mine was once a typical waste of public funds. In order to reverse the situation, the Egyptian government has reorganized the mining enterprises and established the Egyptian Phosphate Company (EPC). However, affected by the strike of the miners, the mine once lost as much as 5 million Egyptian pounds a day. Recently, a settlement has been reached between the enterprise and the miners, and the operating conditions have improved. In 2015, the company sold 1.5 million tons of raw materials for phosphates and made a profit of 90 million Egyptian pounds.
Industry sources said that experts in the United States believe that the phosphate raw materials of this mine are of high quality, and if used to produce chemical fertilizers, they can generate huge economic benefits. Egypt should build a phosphate fertilizer production company locally, which can produce considerable economic benefits and solve the employment problem of more than 3,000 people.