PHOSPHATE miner Centrex has sent its first shipment of phosphate overseas.
The company, which operates the Ardmore mine in north-west Queensland, has sent 5000 tonnes to New Zealand where it will be distributed by NZ fertiliser cooperative Ravensdown.
The exports come just weeks after Centrex sent product from the Port of Townsville to Victoria for processing.
Company officials hailed the news as further proof of success in the business' ambitious push to increase phosphate fertiliser security in Australia and New Zealand.
Centrex chief executive Robert Mencel said he saw strong demand throughout the region for locally produced phosphate, saying the Australia / New Zealand region currently imports over a million tonnes of phosphate rock, primarily from north-western Africa.
"Like Australia, New Zealand requires surety of supply because domestic food security is not something to be gambled with," Mr Mencel said.
He said Centrex, through its wholly owned subsidiary Agriflex, would work on a long term plan to supply New Zealand with phosphate.
"We are delighted to be working with Ravensdown to introduce our product to the New Zealand market," he said.
Mike Whitty, Ravensdown GM Supply Chain, says initial assessments of the rock have been promising.
"We believe Ardmore phosphate rock has the potential to form a part of Ravensdown's nutrient offering, helping to firm up local supply of high-quality superphosphate for New Zealand farmers and growers," Mr Whitty said.