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Home » Terminals » How long is the world’s longest conveyor belt? It’s visible from space.

How long is the world’s longest conveyor belt? It’s visible from space.

PortandTerminal.com, June 30, 2020

CASABLANCA, MOROCCO – The world’s longest conveyor belt is 61 miles in length and runs from a mining town in the Western Sahara Desert in Morocco to the port of El-Aaiun on the country’s coast.

The conveyor belt starts at a phosphate mine located in the Western Sahara Desert
The conveyor belt starts at a phosphate mine located in Bou Craa in the Western Sahara Desert

The purpose of the conveyor belt is to transport phosphate ore, from a mining operation at Bou Craa in Western Sahara to the harbor town of Marsa near El-Aaiún where it can be shipped worldwide.

Phosphate, along with nitrogen, is one of the two most necessary components of synthetic fertilizer. But unlike nitrogen, which makes up 78 percent of the atmosphere, phosphate is a finite resource. And there’s no way to manufacture it so it is mined. Morocco holds more than 72 percent of all phosphate-rock reserves in the world.

All told, the phosphate’s journey on the conveyor belt covers over 61 miles of distance from one end of the belt system to another. 

As it travels along the conveyor belt the wind blows some of the phosphate ore off of it, creating a white streak across the desert that is easily visible from space.

Satellite view of conveyor belt across desert.
As phosphate blows off of the conveyor belt it makes a distinctive streak across the desert that is visible from space

Copyright © 2020 PortandTerminal.com

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