Wednesday, January 11, 2012 10:33 AM
Judge won’t delay phosphate mining halt
A federal judge has refused to postpone an order that has blocked extraction from a major U.S. phosphate mine.
The Mosaic Co.’s South Fort Meade mine, which represents 20 percent of U.S. phosphate production, was shut down earlier this year by a federal judge in Florida.
Environmentalists groups claim the federal government improperly approved an extension of the mine without a sufficiently thorough environmental analysis.
In July, U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams granted a preliminary injunction against rock extraction at the mine because environmentalists were likely to prevail in the lawsuit.
Mosaic challenged that decision in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and asked the judge to delay the injunction while the appellate process was underway.
Adams refused their request on Jan. 3, ruling the company had failed to demonstrate such a stay was warranted. The 11th Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on March 6.