Phosphate Giant Cuts Deal With Enviros: Wetlands for Mining

"The world's largest phosphate miner has cut a deal with the environmental groups that sued it two years ago to block its plans to dig up thousands of acres of wetlands. In exchange for allowing mining to proceed near Fort Meade in Hardee County, Mosaic Fertilizer will buy a 4,400-acre ranch and donate it for use as a new state park."

"In addition, the company has agreed to pull back its mining from the Peace River, which supplies water to people in Sarasota and Charlotte counties. The company will preserve 400 acres of land between the southwest mine border and the river, and also preserve about 70 acres of a type of wetlands known as bayheads that are difficult to re-create or restore. ...

For Mosaic, this means a green light for a long-sought expansion of a mine on the border of Hardee and Polk counties that employs 225 people and would produce 30 percent of the rock that its Florida plants process into diammonium phosphate fertilizer, known as DAP. Without the new mine, Mosaic might have to import rock from Morocco or Peru at a higher cost to keep its fertilizer plants running at full capacity.

Environmental groups hailed the settlement as a major victory."

Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times February 22, 2012.


Source: Tampa Bay Times, 02/22/2012