June 3, 2020

Florida Environment

Florida sinkhole to cost Mosaic up to $50 million to fix

Rod Nickel/Reuters | 9/21/2016

(Reuters) - A massive leak of contaminated water through a sinkhole at a Mosaic Co fertilizer facility in Florida will cost it $20 million to $50 million to fix, a company executive said on Tuesday.

The sinkhole at Mulberry, Florida, about 30 miles east of Tampa, damaged the liner system at the base of a stack of hazardous waste, called phosphogypsum, causing a retention pond on top to drain 215 million gallons of contaminated water into the ground.

Phosphogypsum is a radioactive byproduct from the production of phosphate.

"It's an unfortunate incident, but something that is going to be well contained ... in the months ahead," Mosaic Chief Financial Officer Rich Mack said at an investor conference in Toronto.

The sinkhole will not materially affect phosphate production at the New Wales facility, and is not unusual in Florida, Mack said.

The company has said it noticed a decline in water levels on Aug. 27, and notified authorities. But it did not otherwise alert residents until posting a notice on its website last Thursday.

BCMI Research analyst Chris Damas said he sold his Mosaic shares after the incident became public.

"I am very upset with Mosaic that it took media coverage rather than a Mosaic press release to disclose" it, he said in a note on Monday.

On Tuesday, Mosaic apologized to the local county board for the leak and said it could have done a better job of notifying neighbors, according to local reporters posting on social media.

The company has previously said it is offering free testing by a third party of residents' drinking water.

Mosaic shares rose 0.8 percent in New York to $25.48.


(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Tags: Environment, Manufacturing/Distribution

Digital Access

Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Giant toxic toads come out in South Florida as heavy rains set the perfect mood for breeding
Giant toxic toads come out in South Florida as heavy rains set the perfect mood for breeding

Dr. Steve Johnson, a wildlife ecologist and cane toad expert at the University of Florida, shows how to identify the cane or bufo toad, an invasive frog species that's toxic and can kill pets. 

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

How often do you wear a mask or face-covering when leaving your home and are out in public to prevent the spread of the coronavirus?

  • Half of the time
  • Most of the time
  • Always
  • Occasionally
  • Never
  • Other (Please share your comments in the comment section below)

See Results

Florida Trend Media Company
490 1st Ave S
St Petersburg, FL 33701

© Copyright 2020 Trend Magazines Inc. All rights reserved.