IFFCO signs agreement with Australia's LEGEND for rock phosphate

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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) has entered into a long term offtake and supply agreement with Australia's Legend International Holdings, Inc (LEGEND) for about 3 million tonnes annually of concentrated rock phosphate from Lady Annie project in Queensland, Australia.

IFFCO and LEGEND have decided to pursue the project in joint venture with an investment of about 800 million dollars.

Describing it as a landmark agreement for the benefit of Indian farmers, Dr U S Awasthi, Managing Director, IFFCO said, ''India is currently facing shortage of Phosphate fertilisers which is causing anxiety among the Indian farmers. The prices of Phosphate fertilizers including the raw material have also gone up many folds in last one year due to supply constraints and other factors like increased use of biofuels in different countries.'' Dr Awasthi further added that ''considering its strong commitment to the farming community and its farmers members, IFFCO continues to look for opportunities to enhance fertiliser availability and has inked the agreement with legend with this objective.'' IFFCO stated that supplies coming from Legend within next 2-3 years will not affect the present suppliers and will ensure that its Paradeep Unit will operate at its full capacity and if possible even at higher capacity without facing any constraints on account of raw materials.

Financing and JV options for the capital cost of Legend's phosphate project are currently under discussion between the parties as is the price of the phosphate rock.

The price of the rock will be negotiated on a fair and equitable basis for both companies based on international market prices applicable for the Indian market with an appropriate discount.

Negotiations in regards to finance options will be concluded in coming months.

UNI BBS SR HT1632

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