Norge Mining said it has discovered up to 70 billion tonnes of phosphate rock in southwest Norway.
Phosphorous is on the European Union’s list of minerals of importance to the economy and the new deposit could mean enough raw material to the meet demand for batteries and solar panels for the next 50 years, according to the company.
Before this discovery, the largest amount of phosphate rock was in the western Sahara region of Morocco, with around 50 billion tonnes.
According to the US Geological Survey, proven phosphate reserves equal 72 billion tonnes globally.
“Now, when you find something of that magnitude in Europe, which is larger than all the other
sources we know – it is significant,” said Michael Wurmser, founder of Norge Mining.
Around 90% of mined phosphate is used to produce fertilizer for agriculture, but demand for clean technology has rapidly increased.
The European Union is almost entirely dependent on imports of phosphate rock from other countries, according to a report from The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies.
The European Commission welcomed confirmation of the massive Norwegian deposit, EURACTIV reported.
“The discovery is indeed great news, which would contribute to the objectives of the Commission’s proposal on the Critical Raw Material Act,” said a spokesperson for the EU executive.