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Mining company makes 'significant' discovery that could change our cars forever: 'When you find something of that magnitude ...'

"It is significant."

Phosphate rock discovered

Photo Credit: iStock

With clean energy efforts booming, a new discovery in Norway could fuel the future of the movement. A mining company has found an estimated 77 billion-ton phosphate deposit, enough to satisfy the global demand for the next 50 years, according to its discoverers.

The deposit was discovered by Norge Mining back in 2018, but it wasn't until this May that the company announced just how much phosphate it had discovered.

"Down to 400 meters, we established two world-class resources, which together allow a supply of raw materials for at least 50 years," Michael Wurmser, Norge Mining's founder and deputy CEO, told Euractiv.

Phosphate, when processed into phosphoric acid, is a key ingredient in lithium iron phosphate batteries. These batteries are what keep many solar energy systems and electric vehicles running.

In fact, lithium iron phosphate batteries are soon expected to boom in usage. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2040, the market share of lithium iron phosphate batteries in commercial vehicles is expected to increase to 90%

As demand for clean energy systems soars, this discovery isn't just important for its size — but also for its location. Before the discovery of this deposit, key producers of phosphate were Morocco, China, the U.S., and Russia. Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the market has been massively disrupted.

The discovery of this deposit is expected to help alleviate some of that strain, which means EVs and solar panels could see a decrease in their costs. 

"When you find something of that magnitude in Europe, which is larger than all the other sources we know — it is significant," Wurmser said. "We believe the phosphorous that we can produce will be important to the West — it provides autonomy."

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