Phosphate mining company eyes Belledune for potential phosphoric acid plant

The province is partnering with a development-stage phosphate mining company to conduct a feasibility study and product testing for a phosphoric acid plant in Belledune.

Government says early estimates suggest the proposed plant would cost about $330 million and could create 120 new jobs in the region.

Restigouche-Chaleur MLA Daniel Guitard says a study of this kind with Arianne Phosphate represents an important step forward for a potentially large opportunity.

As part of the agreement, Opportunities NB and the Regional Development Corporation will each provide $100,000 toward the cost of the study.

The provincial government says the company believes Belledune is well suited for the new plant due to the presence of a port that can handle the capacity of the operation.

If established, the plant would import phosphate rock from a mine in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec which Arianne Phosphate is working to develop.