Just the Facts

NOTE: Information represented here is characteristic of the area of the property which is not legally restricted from mining (otherwise referred to as eligible under the application).


  • Total Parcel Size = 22,483
    • Area Eligible for Mining = 16,842 acres (Note: A total of 18,776 acres will be disturbed, but only 16,842 acres will be mined.)


  • 41% Agriculture and Other Land Uses
  • 13% Rangeland
  • 28% Upland Forests
  • 18% Wetlands


  • $280,000,000 estimated Ad Valorem taxes to be paid to Hardee County over the life of the project.
  • $160,000,000 estimated severance tax to be paid to Hardee County over the life of the project (based on area eligible for mining, amount will decrease upon establishment of a final mine boundary as areas are excluded from mining).
  • Hourly and salaried jobs will be extended at Mosaic’s existing Four Corners and South Pasture mines. Approximately 100 additional hourly and salaried jobs will be created.
  • Post-reclamation land uses will create value and economic opportunities for agriculture, recreation, residential, and commercial development.


  • Undisturbed areas total 3,707 acres. (Note: Approximately 1,484 acres of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jurisdictional area will be avoided).
  • The forested riparian 100-year floodplain habitat of Horse Creek, a significant tributary to the Peace River, will not be mined based on the setbacks required by Hardee County land development code Policy L1.12. The floodplain consists of forested wetlands, forested uplands, pasture and woodland pastures. Proposed as mitigation, several of the existing pastures will be restored to native cover/communities for enhanced wildlife habitat corridors and to improve the physical, biological, and chemical conditions of Horse Creek.
  • The forested riparian 100-year floodplain habitat adjacent to the West Fork of Horse Creek will not be mined.
  • The northern portion of Brushy Creek as well as the southernmost portions will be avoided. The middle portion of Brushy Creek has been impacted by historical activities.  Mitigation for the proposed disturbance of the middle section will include in-kind re-establishment of wetlands and streams.
  • A key wetland ecosystem corridor east of Horse Creek and west of Brushy Creek is preserved, including large contiguous system of headwater and intermittent streams, forested wetlands (including bay swamps), high quality herbaceous wetlands, and native upland habitat.  No other contiguous parcel within the Horse Creek watershed contains such diversity of native communities, which in this area include xeric sand live oak, pine flatwoods and palmetto prairies, bay swamps and mixed wetland hardwood forests, freshwater and shrub marshes and wet prairies.  This area supports future connectivity between the Horse Creek corridor and the Brushy Creek corridor.
  • The headwaters of Oak Creek is preserved, including large forested wetlands, and high quality herbaceous wetlands interspersed within contiguous palmetto prairie and pine flatwoods habitat.


  • Nearly three miles of Payne Creek and associated riparian wetlands in Polk County.
  • Creation of a 583 acre conservation node along the riparian Peace River/Bowlegs Creek corridors.
  • Restoration of nearly three miles of Payne Creek and associated riparian wetlands within an 897 acre parcel located in Polk County.


  • Every acre mined will be reclaimed.
  • Pre-mining and post reclamation hydrology, land use, soils and vegetation is addressed.
  • Bonding requirements to cover reclamation costs will be met as required by The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and Ona mined acreage will be reclaimed as herbaceous wetlands, forested wetlands, wet prairie, upland forests, pasture, and “land and lakes.”
  • Enhancement activities will take place within preserved areas that have been historically impacted in order to return these areas to a native habitat more similar to pre-development conditions.


  • Wildlife surveys and monitoring have been conducted since the early 1990s.
  • Wildlife species onsite to be managed include Gopher Tortoise, Gopher Frog, Florida Burrowing Owl, Florida Sandhill Crane, Audubon’s Crested Caracara, Indigo Snake, Wood Stork and Sherman’s Fox Squirrel.
  • Protected species will be managed according to Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines, or approved management plans.


  • SWFWMD Water Use Permit, approved in 2012, includes the Ona Mine.
  • Over the last 20 years, groundwater has been reduced by more than 50 percent and we reuse or recycle approximately 90 percent of all water used at our Florida phosphate manufacturing facilities.
  • Stormwater is managed on-site, with excess water released through regulated discharge points that are controlled and monitored to meet state water quality standards.
  • A regulated system of monitoring wells, vegetated berms and recharge systems will protect water resources on adjacent property and in undisturbed areas.


  • Hardee County Mining Ordinances requires a minimum setback of 500 feet from permanent buildings including mobile homes used for residential, commercial, church or public use. Setbacks of 100 feet are required from public right-of-ways and 50 feet from the property line if not already affected by the prior listed setbacks.


Mosaic must obtain the following approvals or authorizations from federal, state or local governments to mine and reclaim the Ona Mine site:

US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) – Clean Water Act Section 404 DA permit – Submitted June 2011; Revisions submitted in September 2013, June 2014 and November 2016 (Issuance of this permit will also include Threatened and Endangered Species Authorization from USFWS.)

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) – Environmental Resource Permit and Conceptual Reclamation Plan approval – Obtained August 2015

  • This permit constitutes a finding of consistency with Florida’s Coastal Zone Management Program, as required by Section 307 of the Coastal Manager Act.
  • This permit also constitutes certification of compliance with water quality standards under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1334.

Hardee County Commission – Mining Major Special Exception (MMSE) and Master Mining and Reclamation Plan (MMRP) approval – Submitted January 2016

Mosaic also intends to submit an application to FDEP for and Industrial Wastewater Facility Permit to obtain additional NPDES outfall locations.

  • USFWS – Threatened and Endangered Species Authorization
  • FDEP – Section 401 Clean Water Act Certification
  • FDEP – Section 307 Coastal Zone Management
  • FDEP – Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) obtained from FDEP
  • FDEP – Industrial Wastewater Facility Permit (NPDES)
  • FDEP – Conceptual Reclamation Plan
  • Hardee County Commission – Major Special Exception
  • Hardee County Commission – Master Mining & Reclamation Plan/Unit


→   Beth Niec, Senior Manager – Mine Permitting and Ona Project Lead Engineer

→   Scott Mears, Senior Permitting Engineer

→   Michelle Tickles, Senior Permitting Specialist

→   Allison Gordon, Permitting Engineer

→   Bill Brammell, Lead Ecologist

→   Heather Nedley, Manager, Community Relations