Deposit No. 1188

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Last Updated: March 1, 2011
Other Name: Khneifiss deposit; Kneifis deposit; Knifes deposit; Khneifess mines; Khunaifis mines
Location: Khneifiss; 50-75km southwest of Palmyra and approximately 160km southwest of Homs [1]
Subordinate To: General Company for Phosphate and Mines (GECOPHAM); Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources [2]
Size: Three phosphate mines [3]
Facility Status: Operational

Deposit No. 1188, or the Khneifiss mines, opened in 1971 with an initial output of 300,000 tons per year. [4] It is now Syria's largest phosphate mine, producing approximately 1.1 million tons of phosphate ore per year. [5] Phosphate rock from the Khneifiss mines is used to produce phosphoric acid at the Homs fertilizer plant.

Of proliferation concern, the Khneifiss phosphate rock contains approximately 60 to 140 parts per million of uranium. [6] At its micro-pilot Uranium Recovery Plant at Homs, Syria is attempting to separate the uranium from the phosphoric acid. [7]

[1] S. Atfeh, "The phosphoric resources of Syria," Phosphate Deposits of the World 2, eds. A.J.G. Nothold, R.P. Sheldon, and D.F. Davidson (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989); "Syria - The Fertilizer Sector," APS Review Downstream Trends, 13 March 2000,
[2] Jamal Asfahani, "Phosphate Prospecting Using Natural Gamma Ray Well Logging in the Khneifiss Mine, Syria," Exploration and Mining Geology 11, Nos. 1-4, 2002, p. 61; "Arab Republic of Syria," The Middle East Annual Review 1975-6 (Saffron Walden, Essex, England: The Middle East Review Company Limited, 1975-1976), p. 259.
[3] "The Syrian Refining Sector," The Free Library, 1998,
[4] "Syria: Economic Survey," The Middle East: A Political and Economic Survey, ed. Peter Mansfield (London: Oxford University Press, 1973), p. 486.
[5] "The Syrian Refining Sector," The Free Library, 1998,; S. Atfeh, "The phosphoric resources of Syria," Phosphate Deposits of the World 2, eds. A.J.G. Notholt, R.P. Sheldon, and D.F. Davidson, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989), p. 361.
[6] Carlotta B. Chernoff and G.J. Orris, "Data Set of World Phosphate Mines, Deposits, and Occurrences - Part A.: Geological Data," U.S. Geological Survey, 2002.
[7] Y. Koudsi, S. Khorfan, H. Shleweit, A. Dahdouh, and M. Sweid, "Effect of Oxidation-Reduction on the Extraction of Uranium from Wet Phosphoric Acid by DEHPA/TOPO," Aalam Al-Zarra, Mar-Apr 1998, 54, pp. 59-62; S. Khorfan, Y. Koudsi, A. Dahdouh, and H. Shleweit, "Preliminary investigation on the extraction of uranium from Syrian phosphoric acid," International Conference on Uranium Extraction, Chinese Nuclear Society, 1996.

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