A 61-mile white line cuts across the western edge of the Sahara Desert.
This impressive line, the world’s longest conveyor belt system, traverses the Western Sahara Desert from the Bou Klaa Phosphate Mine to the coastal town of El Marsa near Laayoun. This conveyor will help move important minerals from the remotest parts of North Africa to farmlands around the world, including the United States.
Phosphorus is a basic element of all living things and forms the backbone of our DNA. He is also one of three important nutrients used in commercial fertilizers. Most of the phosphorus in these fertilizers comes from phosphate rocks mined primarily in China, Western Sahara, Morocco, and the United States.
According to the United States, Morocco and Western Sahara produce about 38 million tonnes of phosphate rock annually, accounting for 17% of global production in 2021, according to the Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS also estimates that this region contains 70% of all known phosphate rock reserves on Earth.
The World's Longest Conveyor Belt (61 Miles) long in Western Sahara, a territory currently ruled by Morocco. Phosphates are conveyed by the belt from Bou Craa, a mining town in Western Sahara to the Morocco controlled port of El-Aaiun also in W. Sahara. https://t.co/iI4HdAkSA3— Africa Updates (@africaupdates) January 9, 2020
In his image above, taken on December 14, 2022, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, white dust of calcareous phosphate rock is seen blown out of the belt structure. increase. The white dust helps the belt stand out against the beige-brown desert landscape.
An open pit mine and its conveyor belt carrying 2,000 tonnes of phosphate ore per hour are so prominent in the Sahara Desert that it attracts the attention of astronauts on the International Space Station.