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The giant fertilizer company Mosaic is asking Manatee County to re-zone a 3,500-acre parcel of land in the east part of the county to allow phosphate mining; the land near the border of Hardee County is currently zoned for agriculture, but during an all-day meeting that is spilling over from Thursday until next Monday, Mosaic asked the county to change the zoning to mining / extraction.
Bart Arrington, Mosaic’s mine permitting manager, described the mining process during Thursday’s Special Land Use Meeting.
More than a dozen members of the public asked commissioners to reject Mosaic’s mining request. Two spoke in favor of the mining.
Mosaic says no new jobs are expected to be created.
A Mosaic expert told the Manatee Commissioners that phosphate mining will not increase risk of sinkholes.
The waste phosphogypsum will not be processed or stored in Manatee County, which has no gyp stacks. “It’s going to Bartow and New Wales” in Polk County, according to Mosaic.
A Mosaic ecologist told commissioners that endangered scrub jays have historically been found on the site of the proposed mine, but they’ve been “translocated.”
Mosaic says all mining in Manatee County uses 4.1 million gallons per day of water, about a tenth of the county’s overall use.