Phosphate nodules dredged from the Chatham Rise and tested on New Zealand farmland have proved suitable for use as a slow-release fertiliser. However, the economics of mining in 400 metres of water for such low-grade deposits make exploitation currently unfeasible. Any proposed deep-sea mining operations on large areas of the sea floor would also need to consider the environmental impacts.
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Agflight Central South Island
Photograph by Darren Smith
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