Producing Fertilizer


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    Doing Our Work Responsibly

    Helping the world grow the food it needs is no easy task. Mining, producing and delivering millions of tonnes of fertilizer each year to customers around the globe is complex. It requires teams of dedicated professionals working to make responsible decisions each day and at every step in the production and supply chains.

    Safety at Mosaic

    At Mosaic, we believe our first responsibility is to ensure every employee returns home safely at the end of every work day. Our safety performance has improved steadily and significantly since our company was formed in 2004, and we remain committed to maintaining a safe, healthy and respectful work environment for an engaged workforce.

    Committed to Sustainability

    The work of mining and processing potash and phosphate minerals is an energy- and water-intensive endeavor. We work carefully to maximize efficiencies and minimize our use of energy and natural resources, and have made significant progress in reducing Mosaic’s environmental footprint.

    We take an “every drop counts” approach to water management, and we aim to recycle or reuse water at every opportunity. We set measurable goals and hold ourselves accountable for the reduction of waste, water use and greenhouse gas emissions while increasing electrical cogeneration and our use of alternative energy sources. We continually seek to prevent, minimize and mitigate environmental impacts where we operate.

    Phosphate Mining & Manufacturing

    Phosphate nutrients play an essential role in meeting the needs of a growing world. Mosaic mines phosphate rock in Central Florida's "Bone Valley," which stretches from Polk County southward through portions of Hillsborough, Manatee, Hardee, and DeSoto counties.

    Before any phosphate mining begins, exhaustive planning and approval processes are in place to protect air, water, ecology, transportation, safety and other environmental, health and public welfare considerations. All potential impacts must be reviewed and permitted by the local, state and federal agencies and safeguards implemented to minimize or mitigate risk.

    How Phosphate is Recovered

    Phosphate rock is usually found 15-50 feet beneath the ground in a mixture of phosphate pebbles, sand and clay known as phosphate "matrix." The sandy layer above the matrix, called the overburden, is removed using electrically operated draglines.

    Equipped with large buckets, these draglines remove the overburden, placing it in the previously mined voids, and excavate the matrix, depositing it into a shallow containment area or slurry pit. There, high-pressure water guns turn the material into a watery mixture called slurry, which is sent through pipelines to a processing facility, referred to as a beneficiation plant, where phosphate rock is physically separated from the sand and clay in the matrix. Learn more about the Florida phosphate mining process.

    Land Reclamation

    In our Florida phosphate operations, we work to implement effective, acre-for-acre methods of returning mined lands to productive uses for both wildlife and people.

    Our teams of professional biologists, ecologists, hydrologists and other specialists take great pride in the exceptional quality of our reclamation work, and we focus on creating successful, sustainable wildlife habitats and land suitable for agriculture and other diverse uses. Learn more about our land reclamation process.

    Potash Mining & Manufacturing

    Saskatchewan is home to the world's largest known reserve of potash. Potash is found in large deposits nearly a mile underground. Mosaic mines and produces high-quality potash products in Saskatchewan, Canada and Carlsbad, New Mexico.

    Mosaic's potash mining history in Saskatchewan stretches back more than 50 years, when our legacy companies recovered the first potash in the province.

    How Potash is Recovered

    In conventional underground mining, shafts transport people and products to the areas being mined and back up to the surface. Large machinery breaks up the potash ore, and conveyers transport the ore to be hoisted to the surface using elevators called "skips". From there, the ore consist of potash, salt and clay, and must be milled in order to separate the potash.

    Mosaic pioneered an alternate technology called solution mining at its Belle Plaine facility in Saskatchewan. This process uses heated salt water, which is injected into, and pumped from, the ground in order to remove potash.

    Expanding Potash Production Capacity to Feed a Growing World

    In 2008, Mosaic embarked on a multi-billion dollar potash expansion program in Saskatchewan. Consisting of several distinct, multi-year projects at each of our three Canadian mine sites—Belle Plaine, Colonsay and Esterhazy—the expansion program was designed to leverage existing facilities and infrastructure at our mines, which possess a century’s worth of potash reserves.

    The Esterhazy K3 Mine Project

    Mosaic’s K3 mine site at Esterhazy is the remaining project in Mosaic’s potash expansion. Standing 374 feet above the prairie landscape, the K3 production headframe is the tallest structure in Saskatchewan, and will house and operate the massive hoist and skips that bring potash to the surface from nearly a kilometer underground.

    In 2015, we announced we will accelerate the production ramp-up of our K3 mine project at Esterhazy. Our plan is to develop the mine to its full design capability by 2024.

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