By Joel Scanlon
Mosaic Fertilizer will now be allowed to mine at a key Florida site as it has managed to settle a dispute with the Sierra Club. The announcement made on Tuesday saw the fertilizer company’s shares immediately rise by 2.3% and in afterhours trading it went up by 3.7%.
The 11,000 acre expansion of the South Fort Meade mine will now proceed. The Sierra Club and other environmentalists had protested the expansion of the mine located south west of Orlando. However as the company has made promised to change its mining plan and will provide protection to the Peace River watershed, they have relented.
The extension of the mine will give it an extra 10 years life. The mine in Hardee County currently employs 220 local employees from Florida. It has been operating at low capacity for the past year and half while this issue was unsettled. Richard Mack, Mosaic executive vice president and general counsel, said that the settlement provided certainty around their South Fort Meade mine and they looked forward to bringing it back to full production
As part of the agreement with the environmental firms the company will donate the Peaceful Horse Ranch for a state park. This is a 4,000 acre property that Mosaic Fertilizer acquired in December in a $10 million auction. The Plymouth based company will contribute an additional $2 million for the starting up expenses to operate the property as a state park.