|Mosaic Comments on Florida Department of Environmental Protection Final Order Approving Ona-Ft. Green Mine Permit|
MULBERRY, FL, August 1, 2006 – The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS) announced today that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued a Final Order directing that permits and plan approval be granted to Mosaic's subsidiary, Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC, authorizing mining and reclamation of the Ona-Ft. Green mine property in Hardee County, Florida.
The order culminates more than six years of permit proceedings that included multiple hearings, extensive expert testimony and scientific evidence pertaining to the Ona-Ft. Green mining and reclamation plan, as well as financial assurances and thorough analyses of potential impacts on water quantity and quality.
“We are obviously pleased that the DEP upheld the findings and conclusions of the Administrative Law Judge and has determined that we have satisfied all of the criteria for issuance of the permits and approval of the reclamation plan for this property,” said Steven L. Pinney, Senior Vice President, Phosphate Operations for Mosaic. “Both the judge's ruling and the DEP's Final Order were based on the strength and weight of objective evidence and expert testimony presented during the Ona-Ft. Green permit proceedings.
“It is particularly gratifying that the DEP's Final Order specifically acknowledges that three administrative law judges in three separate cases have found that phosphate mining in the region will not adversely impact water quantity or quality in the Peace River or Charlotte Harbor,” Pinney added. “We have demonstrated our commitment to responsible stewardship of Florida's environment and protection of local water resources, and we trust that this Order will not be subject to further appeal.”
The DEP Order also notes that, in addition to safe mining practices that are protective of water quality and quantity, Mosaic has agreed to leave more existing wetlands (in excess of 375 acres) undisturbed than will be disturbed during mining activity. Mosaic has also agreed to create more new wetlands (approximately 276 acres) than will be disturbed. After mining and reclamation, the Ona-Ft. Green site will consist of herbaceous and forested wetlands, rangelands, upland forests and habitats that maintain the diversity of community types that existed prior to mining in order to support a wide range of wildlife species including birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Additionally, the Ona-Ft. Green permit places Horse Creek and its floodplain at the site into a “no-mine” area and grants the State of Florida a Conservation Easement over this water body and its floodplain.
The Ona-Ft. Green permit application was first filed in April 2000 by IMC Global, Inc. Mosaic was created in October 2004 through the combination of IMC Global and Cargill, Incorporated's crop nutrition business unit to form the world's leading producer of phosphate fertilizer.
About The Mosaic Company
The Mosaic Company is one of the world's leading producers and marketers of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients. Its Florida-based subsidiary, Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC, is the global leader in the production of phosphate fertilizer products. Mosaic is a single source of phosphates, potash, nitrogen fertilizers and feed ingredients. More information on the company is available at www.mosaicco.com.