Phosphorus rocks

• Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers informed Parliament that India will explore indigenous deposits of phosphatic rock, a step towards becoming AatmaNirbhar in fertilizer production.


• Phosphorus rocks or phosphate rocks are unprocessed ores.

• Phosphate rock deposits can be sedimentary (formed from sediment deposited by water or air) or igneous (having solidified from lava or magma).

• However, the easiest way to obtain phosphorus is by way of mining and concentrating phosphate rock from the phosphate deposits.

Used in fertilizers:

• Worldwide, more than 85% of the phosphate rock mined is used to manufacture phosphate fertilizers.

• All common fertilizers have an “N-P-K” rating. Phosphorus is the “P” in fertilizers, which is essential for plants.

Where is it found?

• Phosphate rock deposits can be sedimentary or igneous and are mined from sedimentary deposits formed by the deposition of phosphate-rich materials in marine environments.

• Large sedimentary deposits are located in China, Middle East, Northern Africa, and the United States.

• Meanwhile, the igneous deposits are mined in Brazil, Canada, Finland, Russia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Phosphorus in India:

• Phosphate rocks are majorly produced only from two States in India, namely Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

• Currently, there exists 30 lakh MT of phosphorite deposits in the country, for which important steps are being taken by the Government to ramp up its production.

• These deposits are available in Rajasthan, central part of peninsular India, Hirapur (Madhya Pradesh), Lalitpur (Uttar Pradesh), Mussoorie syncline, and Cuddapah basin (Andhra Pradesh).


Mains Paper 2: Geography

Prelims level: phosphorus rocks

Mains level: Used of phosphorus and their deposit location

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