Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Likely Low Cadmium Rock Phosphate Source Available in NZ


16 January 2013

Likely Low Cadmium Rock Phosphate Source Available in NZ

Cadmium levels in Chatham Rise rock phosphate are among the lowest in the world, according to Chatham Rock Phosphate Ltd managing director Chris Castle.

Mr Castle said the rock, located on the Chatham Rise seabed showed an average of 2.2 parts per million (expressed as mg/kg of P) from a range of samples gathered by CRP in 2012 from 11 separate locations. The lowest value was 1.3 parts per million with a high of 5.3 parts per million.

This compares with the voluntary limit of 280 parts per million that New Zealand fertiliser companies observe at present for manufactured superphosphate, a limit that is often approached by rock imported from overseas.

“The tests we have conducted show our rock phosphate has among the lowest cadmium levels known. This will be good news for farmers who choose to use our product (either as superphosphate or as direct application rock) when we start production in 2015 and ultimately it will be good for New Zealand food consumers.”

Cadmium is a naturally occurring heavy metal found in New Zealand soils. Excessive levels of cadmium in food can have implications for human health and excessive levels of cadmium in soils can restrict land-use.

The Ministry for Primary Industries is managing the gradual build up of cadmium in New Zealand soils through the cadmium contained in imported phosphate. The cadmium control programme follows research that shows cadmium levels have gradually increased over decades.

The programme recommends farmers and growers work closely with their advisers to determine the most cost effective, efficient and appropriate fertiliser application and land management options. Since the mid-1990s New Zealand fertiliser manufacturers have blended their high-cadmium phosphate rock with sources lower in cadmium.

Mr Castle said low cadmium levels are one of the environmental benefits of developing a local phosphate resource. Providing CRP rock phosphate for New Zealand would also reduce New Zealand’s carbon footprint through lower transport costs, and benefit the country’s balance of payments and foreign exchange exposure. When used as a direct application source of fertiliser, rock phosphate also dramatically reduces soil leaching into waterways.

Cadmium can cause kidney failure and has been statistically associated with an increased risk of cancer and can also cause bone damage. Food is the dominant source of human exposure in the non-smoking population.

A Stuff website report says the build-up of cadmium levels in sheep made MPI ban the export of some offal from animals older than 2-1/2 years. Testing showed up to 28 percent of sheep kidneys and 20 percent of cattle kidneys sampled between 1989 and 1991 exceeded the maximum residue levels allowed in New Zealand meat of 1 mg per kg.

Health guidelines for soil contamination at the time had a maximum level of 3mg/kg of soil. The natural average level of cadmium in NZ soils is 0.16mg/kg, but when farmland is taken into account, the average is more than double that, 0.35mg/kg, and soils on farms which have had a lot of super phosphate, such as dairy farms, can have as much as 2.52mg/kg.

Dairying areas with high fertiliser use tend to have the highest average contamination, including Taranaki (0.66mg/kg), Waikato (0.60mg/kg) and the Bay of Plenty (0.52mg/kg).

www.rockphosphate.co.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news