Christmas Island Phosphates or known on Christmas Island as CIP, commenced its operations in 1990. It mines and processes rock phosphate on Christmas Island.
CIP is a significant success story for many reasons. Phosphate mining for 120 years has been the lifeblood of the economy and community of Christmas Island. However, in 1987, the Australian Government closed the Commonwealth operated mine with a devastating impact on the Island’s economy, community, and jobs prospects, leaving many with little choice but to leave their island home.
Leaders in the community and the Union of Christmas Island Workers (UCIW) raised money and ‘fought’ to reopen the mine to maintain jobs and an economic future for the island. After nearly 3 years, including a court case that went to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, Phosphate Resources was successful in gaining a 10-year mining lease to resume the mining operation.
Since we began, we have exported over 16 million tonnes of rock phosphate to markets in Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. This business has been the backbone of the Christmas Island economy. The PRL group employs directly and indirectly over 50% of the Island’s workforce and contributes more than 47% of the Island’s Gross Regional Product (GRP).