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Phosphate deposits of Ocean and Pleasant Islands


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Author F Danvers Power


Two small coral islands in the Pacific Ocean, situated close under the equator, and formerly classed among the Line Islands, have, during the last three or four years risen into prominence owing to the valuable deposits of phosphate of lime discovered on them. The deposits of Ocean and Pleasant Islands are under the control of the Pacific Phosphate Company Limited, of London and Sydney, and the high grade of the phosphate, together with the exceptionally favourable facilities for mining this mineral, of which there are several millions of tons on these islands, give this company advantages which enable them to command the Australian and New Zealand markets, and also to make large contracts with Europe, Japan and other countries. Both islands, as far as surface indications are concerned, are entirely constructed of coral, with phosphate on the top from the highest points to the present sea level, there being no sign of volcanic rocks, with the exception of a few pieces of drift pumice on the coast.