The World's Longest Conveyor Belt System is 61 miles long

The World's Longest Conveyor Belt System is 61 miles long ...

On December 14, 2022, NASA's Terra satellite captured the western edge of the Sahara Desert.

A conveyor belt allows for the delivery of a vital agricultural fertilizer from Western Sahara's remote areas to farms across the world.

A 61-mile-long white line cuts across the desert's western edge, connecting the Bou Craa phosphate mine to the coastal town of El Marsa near Laayoune. This world-class conveyor belt system connects remote areas of northern Africa to agricultural areas around the globe.

Phosphorous is a fundamental element in all living organisms and is the basis for our DNA. It is also one of three key nutrients used in commercial fertilizers. The majority of the phosphorous in these fertilizers is extracted in China, Western Sahara and Morocco, as well as the United States.

Morocco and Western Sahara produce about 38 million tonnes of phosphate rock a year, according to the USGS, which made up 17 percent of global production in 2021. This region is home to 70 percent of all known phosphate rock deposits on the planet.

In the above photo, which was acquired by the NASA's Terra satellite on December 14, 2022, white dust from chalky phosphate rock can be seen blowing from the belt structure.

On June 16, 2018, an astronaut photographed an open pit mine in the Sahara Desert at the International Space Station.

The open pit mine and its conveyor belt, which processes 2,000 tons of phosphate rock an hour, are so visible in the Sahara Desert that it has enticed astronauts on the International Space Station.

Lauren Dauphin's NASA Earth Observatory image is based on NASA EOSDIS LANCE and GIBS/Worldview. The image was captured on June 16, 2018, by a member of the Expedition 56 crew. The ISS National Lab is managed by the International Space Station Program and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center.

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