Specialty chemicals maker Israel Chemicals said on Monday it was looking to establish a phosphate operation in Namibia together with holding company Leviev Group.
The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to build together "a large-scale maritime mining and phosphate downstream manufacturing business," ICL said in a statement.
LLNP, a Namibian subsidiary of the Leviev Group, holds permits and exploration rights to mine phosphate deposits that are estimated to total about one billion tonnes.
Over the next several months, ICL said they would "finalize the technology development required to produce phosphate downstream products from marine deposits, including the establishment of a local industrial pilot plant."
Once complete, the partners will prepare a feasibility study to secure financing for the project.
They plan is to build the plant on Namibia's Atlantic shore, not far from the marine mining site, ICL said. A nearby port will be used to export goods to North and South America, and a railway line will help reach high-demand areas in Southern and West Africa.