Rock Phosphate or Phosphate rock is a non-detrital sedimentary rock which contains high amounts of phosphate bearing minerals. The phosphate content of phosphorite is at least 15 to 20%, which is a large enrichment over the typical sedimentary rock content of less than 0.2%. The phosphate is present as fluorapatite Ca5(PO4)3F (CFA) typically in cryptocrystalline masses (grain sizes < 1 μm) referred to as collophane. It is also present as hydroxyapatite Ca5(PO4)3OH, which is often dissolved from vertebrate bones and teeth, whereas fluorapatite can originate from hydrothermal veins. Other sources also include chemically dissolved phosphate minerals from igneous and metamorphic rocks. Phosphorite deposits often occur in extensive layers, which cumulatively cover tens of thousands of square kilometres of the Earth’s crust.
Limestones and mudstones are common phosphate bearing rocks. Phosphate rich sedimentary rocks can occur in dark brown to black beds, ranging from centimeter sized laminae to beds that are several meters in thickness. Although these thick beds can exist they are rarely only composed of phosphatic sedimentary rocks. Phosphatic sedimentary rocks are commonly accompanied by or interbedded with shales, charts, limestone, dolomites and sometimes sandstone. These layers contain the same textures and structures as fine-grained limestones and may represent diagenesis replacements of carbonate minerals by phosphates. They also can be composed of peloids, ooids, fossils, and clasts that are made up of apatite. There are some phosphorites that are very small and have no distinctive granular textures. This means that their textures are similar to that of collophane, or fine micrite-like texture. Phosphatic grains may be accompanied by organic matter, clay minerals, silt sized detrial grains, and pyrite. Peloidal or pelletal phosphorites occur normally; whereas oolitic phosphorites are not common.
Technical specifications report for Phosphate rock
Phosphate rock ( 30% – 28% – 27% – 26% P2O5)
Heavy Metal Analysis
* Grades available from 18% up to +31% .