22 Dec 2004

Nauru sells phosphate to South Korea

11:18 am on 22 December 2004

Nauru's state phosphate mining company is expected to make its first sale since the Scotty-led government came to power this year.

The firm says it's waiting for a ship this week to pick up the first part of a consignment of 10-thousand metric tonnes for South Korea.

Phosphate has been the source of Nauru's wealth over the last century but the Pacific Islands Forum representative there now says the island can only rely on the mineral for another two years.

The chairman of the Nauru Phosphate Corporation, Riddell Akua, says mineral sales can provide income for the island beyond that.

"At the moment there's about two or three years left, with slow mining, that's say, producing 10,000 metric tonnes a month, but there's a process, secondary mining, which is in the government's lap, which is under study, and already we've, as much as we expected, that the soil is A-grade also, which I believe customers overseas will be happily to accept."