REFILE-UPDATE 1-Mosaic shares plunge after mine closure warning

(Refiles to clarify company separates and cleans minerals
before shipping

* Sierra Club sues over permit for Fla. phosphate mine

* Mosaic warns employees may have to close mine

* Sierra Club claims open-pit mine harms environment

* Shares drop 7.9 percent

By Ernest Scheyder

NEW YORK, July 12 (BestGrowthStock) – Mosaic Co (MOS.N: ) said on
Monday it may close a Florida phosphate mine if the Sierra Club
is successful in a lawsuit to negate operational permits, news
that sent the company’s shares down nearly 8 percent.

Mosaic, majority owned by Cargill Inc [CARG.UL], said in a
regulatory filing that it has told 221 workers at an open-pit
mine in Fort Meade, Florida, they may lose their jobs due to
the suit, filed by the Sierra Club and other environmental
groups in the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Florida.

The Plymouth, Minnesota-based company’s shares fell $3.65
to close at $42.48. The stock has traded between $37.68 and
$68.28 in the past 52 weeks.

Runoff from the mine flows into the Peace River, a major
water source for southeastern Florida. The river flows into
Charlotte Harbor, where its waters support numerous species of

The mine, located near the river, uses water extensively to
transport and clean phosphate rock after it is extracted from
the earth.

Mosaic has numerous safeguards in place to clean the water
before it is discharged into the watershed, including retaining

The Sierra Club claims the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’
issuance of permits to Mosaic to operate the mine was
“arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise
not in accordance with law.”

Mosaic said in a statement: “We believe the plaintiffs’
claims are without merit, and we intend to vigorously support
the Corps’ defense of its permit.”

A Sierra Club representative was not immediately available
for further comment.


Phosphorous, which is found in phosphate, is used by the
human body to build and repair cell walls. It is typically
considered the second-most important nutrient — after nitrogen
— that farmers need to apply to crops.

Most phosphate deposits are found near the surface, making
them much easier to process than potash, which typically is
buried deep underground.

At the Fort Meade mine, Mosaic operates four draglines — a
type of leviathan crane with a boom longer than a football
field — that dig about 100 feet into the earth, extracting
clay, sand and phosphate. Three of the draglines are idled
currently, the company said.

After separating and cleaning the mineral, Mosaic ships the
phosphate to a plant where it eventually is turned into pellets
that are sold to farmers all over the world.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; editing by Andre Grenon)

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Mosaic shares plunge after mine closure warning