Fact Sheet

South Fort Meade Mine

The entire mine property encompasses 28,000 acres of contiguous land in Polk and Hardee Counties. Mining operations at South Fort Meade have been ongoing in Polk County since 1995.

Hardee County Extension

Not a new mine, but an extension located immediately south of current Polk County operations. Materials mined in Hardee County are processed through existing facilities in Polk County.


11,562 acres


Nearly all of the property, approximately 75%, has been used for agricultural production (citrus groves, row crops & pasture).


  • Approximately $25 million in taxes and fees will be paid to Hardee County.
  • In addition, a 2008 Development Agreement between Mosaic and Hardee County was created under the authority of Florida Statute Chapter 163 in which Mosaic will contribute $42 million to Hardee County over the 10 years following the commencement of mining operations. It encourages the development of infrastructure projects, alternative water supply solutions, alternative energy research, tourism/visitor development and other catalyst projects.


  • Approximately 28%, of which 17% is wetlands, will not be disturbed by mining activities, consisting of:
    • 1,877 acres of existing wetlands (1,422 acres under ACOE jurisdiction)
    • Peace River floodplain
    • Major tributaries to the Peace River
  • A perpetual conservation easement will also be placed on 83% of these lands.


  • Every acre mined will be reclaimed.
  • Pre-mining and post reclamation hydrology, land use, soils and vegetation are assessed and plans are approved long before mining begins.


  • CSAs will constitute approximately 13% of the total acreage.
  • CSA acreage in Hardee County is being minimized by using approved CSA structures in Polk County.
  • All CSAs will be reclaimed for agricultural use; this is increasingly important because of development pressures on adjacent lands.
  • CSAs are vital to the operation of the mine processing and water recirculation systems.
  • CSAs help reduce the amount of deep well water needed for the mining process.
  • CSAs are constructed to engineered standards in accordance with strict FDEP requirements.
  • CSAs are rigorously inspected and maintained, as required by State and Local regulations.
  • An additional diversion system will be built to ensure that in the highly unlikely event of a dam failure, any escaped water and/or clay materials will be diverted back into mine cuts.


  • No change to existing water quantities will be required.
  • 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 controlled and monitored discharge points.
  • Water released from the mine property must meet State water quality standards.
  • A regulated system of monitoring wells, berms and recharge ditches keeps adjacent property and undisturbed areas protected.


Mining will be set back at least 500 feet from residences or 50 feet from the Mine property line, in accordance with Hardee County’s mining ordinance.


  • 1995 – South Fort Meade Mine began operations in Polk County.
  • June 2003 – Water use permit from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) was approved.
  • October 2003 – DRI plan of study was submitted and reviewed by the Central Florida Regional Planning Council (CFRPC) and Hardee County.
  • March 2004 – work plans approved by the CFRPC.
  • May 2006 – Application for Development Approval (ADA) was filed.
  • October 2006 – Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) and Conceptual Reclamation Plan (CRP) permits applications were submitted to the FDEP.
  • October 2006 – Federal 404 Dredge & Fill permit application was submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE).
  • May 2007 – The ACOE published public notice and took public comments about the South Fort Meade Mine application.
  • February 2008 – The CFRPC approved the project.
  • June 2008 – The FDEP released its Notice of Intent to Issue the ERP / CRP permits.
  • August 2008 – The Hardee County Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners both unanimously approved the project.
  • February 2009 – FDEP ERP / CRP Permits were granted.
  • February 2010 – FDEP NPDES Permit Modification (water discharge) was approved.
  • June 2010 – The federal ACOE 404 permit was granted.

*Note – Additional infill parcel permitting of roughly 750 acres since the originally approved mine boundary. Approximately 100 acres have been approved by all agencies.


→ Beth Niec, Senior Manager – Mine Permitting

→ Allison Gordon, Permitting Engineer

→ Heather Nedley, Manager, Community Relations