NAURU PROBED FOR RESIDUAL PHOSPHATE

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Sept. 6) – In Nauru, the preliminary results from rehabilitation tests indicate that there might be much more phosphate still to be mined on the island than previously thought.

The Nauru Rehabilitation Corporation has begun testing on three trial pits to see whether it is worth extracting the residual phosphate.

The Nauru Rehabilitation Corporation has spent years preparing for the tests but they have only recently commenced.

In a statement to the Parliament, the Minister responsible for Rehabilitation, Dr Kieren Keke, says early indications are that there is enough phosphate left to be mined.

The question, he says, is whether it is going to be worth it.

He says 20,000 metric tons of phosphate has been stockpiled from one of the test pits.

Nauru's Ambassador to the United Nations, Vinci Clodumar, who has been brought back to Nauru for five weeks to oversee the tests because of his background in phosphate mining, says the government of Nauru should have a report by the end of this year.

He says the report will put Nauru in a position to make a decision on whether secondary mining is worthwhile

September 7, 2004

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

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