|9/4/2015 by mdc|
|Cameron Perks reports that farming and mining as two complimentary activities, but what most people do not know is that farming is much more dependent on mining than intuition would have us believe. For example, key fertilizer minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen are all produced by mining (nitrogen is also sourced from the air).|
Archer Exploration released news that the company was pursuing alternative uses of carbon produced from their graphite Sugarloaf deposit. Samples were taken to the University of Adelaide, where they were found to contain a unique kind of carbon that contained soluble macro and micro nutrients. The solubility and the composition of these nutrient meant that the Sugarloaf deposit was in a unique position to become a fertilizer or be used to treat soil.
Fertilizers enhance the growth of plants are typically comprised of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in different ratios and in different combinations depending on the goal of fertilization. Secondarily, they include calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S) as macronutrients, and copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), zinc (Zn), and boron (B) as micronutrients.
Testing so far at the Sugarloaf graphite deposit has identified 9 out of the 13 nutrients required for plant growth, potassium (K), phosphorus (P) (two of three main macro nutrients) as well as magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca) (secondary macro nutrients), and iron (Fe), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), and boron (B) (micronutrients).
During the tests there were differences between pelletized or raw graphite nutrient release performance, suggesting that release of nutrients could be controlled or suppressed depending on treatment. However, the study suggests that it may not be necessary to mill and pelletize or coat the graphite because an even release of all available nutrients is considered advantageous.