Sedimentary and igneous phosphate rock deposits contain uranium in varying concentrations, generally between 30 and 300 parts per million (ppm) U3O8. It is estimated that in the world’s 300 billion tonnes (Bt) of reasonably assured phosphate resources, there may be as much as 25Mt of recoverable uranium. At the current worldwide phosphate rock production rate of well in excess of 140Mt per annum (or 50Mt as P2O5: see Table 1) there is an opportunity to recover up to 20 million pounds (Mlb) of uranium per annum from phosphate fertiliser facilities.
The uranium contained in the phosphoric acid ultimately reports either to the phosphate fertilizer products, which include MAP, DAP and Superphosphate, or to the gypsum by-product, depending on the reactor design. Consequently this valuable secondary source of uranium is wasted; approximately US$1 billion in lost revenue.
 25Mt U3O8 assumes 100ppm U3O8 in phosphate ore and 80 per cent uranium recovery.