Minbos demonstrates ‘outstanding’ plant growth responses  

Minbos Resources (ASX:MNB) has demonstrated ‘outstanding’ plant growth responses from its phosphate fertiliser Prosper Primeiro amid ongoing field trial programs in Huambo, Angola. 

The $65.67 million market capitalisation company says the field trials, undertaken alongside key industry partners including Group Carrinho and Biocom. They compared sources of phosphorus and different rates of applied phosphorus against the control treatment which contains nil phosphorus (and which represents local farmer practice in Angola).  

According to Minbos, especially ‘impressive’ for field trial partners has been the observed ‘repeated effect’ with crops planted in plots now in the second year after the initial application of Minbos fertiliser performing well above expectations. 

Led by Minbos Chief Marketing Officer Rob Newbold, the company is now fully engaged in customer acquisition, with a sales and marketing strategy targeting fertiliser sales in Angola. 

Based on the agronomic results so far the company’s vision is that smallholder farmers (Grow to Eat) will use only the Cabinda Phosphate Rock (PR) as a source of P, leading to a material increase to crop yields and nutritional value of their crops. 

Simultaneously, more technical farmers of the Grow to Sell and potentially the Grow to Export regions will be using the Cabinda PR plus additional rates of WSP.

Meanwhile, the company has reduced costs for the construction of its Cabinda Phosphate Project in Argentina after taking over management of EPC contracts, as reported by Mining.com.au yesterday (29 January 2024).

Completion of construction is scheduled for late August 2024.  

Minbos is a mining company developing the Angolan Cabinda Phosphate Rock (PR) resource and will soon start producing its Prosper Primeiro, a natural rock phosphate and the first fertiliser to be produced in the country. 

The company says its Cabinda PR is an effective source of phosphorus to improve yields in Angola and surrounding countries in Africa.

Since 2017, the company has funded agronomic research at various levels through the International Fertilizer Development Center, Plant Nutrition Science and Technology, and the Agronomic Institute of Angola. 

To date, the project has 28 field trials completed with beans, maize, potatoes, and soybean. Currently, there are 18 trials presently in the field for the 2023-2024 season.

Trial programs were scientifically designed to compare sources of P and different rates of applied P against the Control treatment which contains nil P (and which represents local farmer practice in Angola). 

The sources tested are a standard water-soluble P (WSP) source, such as imported MAP or TSP, the company’s Cabinda PR and the Cabinda PR with additional rates of WSP (25% and 50% of the regular rate of WSP). 

This season is the first trial of the residual effect. Good quality PR can, over time, present higher residual effects than WSP sources of P, Minbos notes. 

The residual effect means that PR unused in the first season is utilised by crops in subsequent seasons. The PR was applied last season in the field trials photos and is relying entirely on the residual effect, whereas the WSP products have been reapplied again this season. 

On average, the results of last year’s trials show that the PR increased the yields of all crops by at least 80% versus the control, and closer to 200% versus local practice. 

Minbos says the Relative Agronomic Effectiveness (RAE) of PR compared to standard WSP was on average 85% (65% to 100%). When applied in conjunction with low rates of WSP, the yields were the same as the WSP source by itself. 

The effectiveness of a PR varies with several factors, the most important being PR reactivity, soil pH less than 6, crops with greater than 2 months duration and rainfall > 500 mm/year. The Cabinda PR has medium to high reactivity and the soil and climatic conditions in most of Angola are suitable for its use. 

Angola currently uses very low amounts of fertiliser (estimated at 120.000 tonnes per annum). Currently, all fertilisers are imported, costs are prohibitively expensive, and the average crop yields are very low. The start of production and commercialisation of the Cabinda PR is keenly anticipated by farmers and the agriculture supply chain as a means to improve yields.

As of December 2023, Minbos had $9 million cash at hand, according to its latest investor presentation.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Minbos Resources 
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.