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Although the United States is the world's largest producer and exporter of phosphates, serious doubts have arisen in recent years that U. S. deposits could sustain this important role. The development of borehole mining; i. e. , extracting the phosphate matrix as a slurry through a drill hole, however, is cause for optimism. Commercial borehole mining is still years away, but the potential advantages are numerous and important. Recent surveys also suggest that offshore deposits and deeply buried onshore deposits much exceed previous estimates. On the basis of the new technology and revised resource estimates, one can easily see the potential for increased production from U. S. deposits.
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U. S. PHOSPHATE INDUSTRY: REVISED PROSPECTS AND POTENTIAL.