DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Mosaic Co. (MOS) has settled a dispute with the Sierra Club that will allow mining at a key Florida phosphate mine, the company announced Tuesday.
The fertilizer company said the settlement will resolve the pending federal court proceedings "in their entirety." Some investors had expected the dispute could take years to resolve.
The Sierra Club and local environmental groups had sued to stop an expansion of the South Fort Meade mine, southwest of Orlando, which represents about a third of the company's phosphate mining capacity. The company had secured permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but the environmental groups successfully sought an injunction to halt expansion pending further review.
The issue has loomed over the company for the past year and a half.
"This settlement provides certainty around our South Fort Meade mine and we look forward to bringing it back to full production," said Richard Mack, Mosaic executive vice president and general counsel.
As part of the agreement, which still requires court approval, the Sierra Club will drop its challenge to the permit. In exchange, the company will take several steps to conserve certain land tracts in the area, including a horse range.
Mosaic shares climbed 2.3% Tuesday and were up 3.2% to $58.75 in after-hours trading.
-By Ian Berry, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-750-4072; firstname.lastname@example.org