University heads: phosphorite mining not a taboo ({{commentsTotal}})

Fosforiit Source: Postimees/Scanpix

University of Tartu and Tallinn University of Technology rectors said that Estonia has a long list of natural resources which can be harvested, besides oil shale rock.

The two rectors said at a debate on the nation's natural resources strategy that the mining of phosphorite should be weighed again.

Estonia has the largest single deposit of phosphorite in Europe. Plans were drawn up in the 80s to begin mining on a large scale, but mass protests followed, prompting a belief among Estonians that they could again stand up against the Soviet Union. The topic of phosphorite mining remains a politically sensitive issue.

“We think that phosphorite mining should under no circumstances be off limits. We should study the reserves we have and evaluate modern technology which could be used to produce phosphorite,” Tallinn University of Technology head Andres Keevallik said.

Volli Kalm, his counterpart at the University of Tartu, said that compared to the 80s and 90s, new technology is available, which would balance out environmental protection and natural resource mining.

Editor: J.M. Laats, S. Tambur