"CPG intends to produce 5 million tonnes of phosphate at end 2018 if social truce continues" (CPG official) | Tunisia News Gazette

“CPG intends to produce 5 million tonnes of phosphate at end 2018 if social truce continues” (CPG official)

In case the social truce continues in the mine basin, the Gafsa Phosphate Company (CPG) intends to produce 5 million tonnes of phosphate by the end of 2018 said central production director at CPG Rafaa Nsib.

In an interview with TAP, the official added that the goal was to reach a production threshold of 6.5 million tonnes of phosphate, “but the eruption of sit-ins in January 2018 and their continuation at the beginning of March of the same year, caused total blocking of the maintenance activity and prevented us from achieving this objective, he regretted.

He added that the CPG has no “social” problems with its staff or with the unions under the Tunisian General Labour Union.

Work was stalled because of the sit-ins that were observed in the mining basin and caused the total cessation of phosphate production and transport, he said.

From the beginning of 2018 until the end of April, the CPG has produced only 850 thousand tonnes of phosphate, i.e. less than half of the production recorded during the same period of 2010, namely 2 million tonnes.

The central director of the CPG reminded that the Tunisian phosphate faces a “fierce” competition on the world markets, citing, in particular, the Moroccan phosphate much easier to extract compared to the Tunisian phosphate.

However, the Tunisian phosphate has much more reactivity compared to the Moroccan phosphate, noted the official, adding that this advantage strengthens the processing capacity of the Tunisian phosphate at lower cost.

The CPG is in the midst of preparations to expand mining activities through the exploitation of new open-pit mines, such as those of Oum Lakcheb (Metlaoui) and Nefta / Tozeur.

The production capacity of these two mines is expected to reach about 5 million tonnes per year of commercial phosphate by 2025, Nsib said.

“If we are able to recover 80% of the production pace recorded in 2010, the CPG will be able to deal with many situations,” Nsbi said, adding that the Company is also able to strengthen the geopolitical position of Tunisia in its regional and international environment, thanks, in particular, to its strengths in the field of industry, in addition to its significant reserves and its technical expertise in phosphate recovery, cumulating 120 years of history since the creation of the company ( the end of the 19th century).

Source: TAP News Agency

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