The mining of phosphate on the island of Nauru, located in a remote corner of the Pacific Ocean, has devastated the island environmentally and has created financial, legal, and cultural problems for the islanders. The phosphate is used as a fertilizer around the world and the majority of it has been exported to Australia. The mineral is located among the ancient coral reefs found underground. Mining the phosphate, however, destroys the vegetation and soil of the island. Phosphate is the primary basis for the economy, and with the depletion of the mineral, Nauru is left with nothing to trade. Thus, the island faces virtual economic collapse. Today, Nauru's problems are becoming increasingly acute, as the phosphate on the island has been exhausted, and mining has virtually ceased. As such, the government of Nauru is looking into the question of responsibility for the ecological disaster raging on the island, and is looking into ways to rehabilitate the island.
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