The World's Longest Conveyor Belt is 61 Miles Long

(Photo: jbdodane)

Western Sahara, a territory currently ruled by Morocco, looks like a desolate place. There's little vegetation, but there are substantial phosphate resources. Bou Craa, a mining town in the interior, extracts phosphate ore and ships it to the coast.

Phosphate is one of Morocco's largest exports and Bou Craa is the crown jewel of that country's phosphate industry. Spanish colonial officials discovered it in the late 1940s and began exploiting what geologists estimate is 146 million tons of extractable ore.

Rather than trucking the ore to the coast, the mining company found an inventive way to convey the ore a great distance. It built a conveyor belt to do the job. It caries the ore 61-62 miles across the desert to the port of El-Aaiun. This conveyor belt is the longest in the world. The wind blows some of the phosphate off of it, creating a white streak across the desert that is easily visible from space.

(Photo: jbdodane)

-via Amusing Planet

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