The Mosaic Company has acquired the US Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit for its Ona phosphate project in Hardee County, Florida. This was the final remaining permit for the project and secures 160.2 million tons, or 145.33 Mt (metric), of phosphate rock for future mining, the company said.
The overall project covers 22,483 acres (9,099 ha) with 16,778 acres of land permitted for mining.
“The western extent of the project will extend the life of Mosaic’s Four Corners mine by 14 years, while the eastern extent will provide mining for future decades at the South Pasture mine once production resumes at that facility,” the company said.
Mosaic President and CEO, Joc O’Rourke, said: “This important project helps secure the continued operation of our Florida manufacturing facilities. It will deliver tremendous value to the local community, our employees and our investors well into the future.”
Permitting efforts for the Ona project began in 2011. Mining permits from the State of Florida were issued in 2015 and local government permits were secured in July 2018.
Fluor completed the front-end engineering and design scopes for the Ona project, which includes an expansion of the existing South Pasture beneficiation plant, an extension of the life of the existing Four Corners beneficiation plant, and installation of a 24 km mining access/pipeline corridor.
Late last month, Mosaic reached a major milestone in the development of its multi-year mine project at Esterhazy K3, in Saskatchewan, Canada, with the commissioning of the production hoist and sending of the first bucket of potash on the overland conveyor to the Esterhazy K2 mill.
The commissioning of the K3 production hoist, which will move 60-ton skips, takes the company one step closer to mitigating Esterhazy’s brine inflow costs and risk, it said. K3 is expected to reach full operational capacity by 2024.