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 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.
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