ICL warns Israel phosphate reserves drying up, seeks new license
* New desert mine would secure reserves for 30 years
* Israel gov't take from ICL profits to reach 45 pct
* Company is target for Canada's Potash Corp
* Tel Aviv exchange CEO says ICL delisting would hurt Israel
By Tova Cohen
TEL AVIV, April 10 (Reuters) - Israel Chemicals' new chief executive Stefan Borgas warned Israel's phosphate reserves are drying up and called on the government to grant the company licenses to mine at a new site in the southern Negev desert.
Borgas, who took over as CEO of ICL last year, said the fertiliser producer's phosphate activities at Rotem, in the Negev, are among the highest-cost operations in the world.
"To become competitive we must reduce operating costs and increase volume significantly," Borgas said at a ceremony marking 20 years of trade in shares of ICL, a takeover target for Canada's Potash Corp.
The only new reserves that can be mined economically are in Sde Barir, near the town of Arad, whose residents are strongly opposed to new mining activities fearing health repercussions. Continued...