GEOG 000

Lesson 7.5: Case Study - Phosphate Surface Mine


Lesson 7.5: Case Study - Phosphate Surface Mine

We’re going to take a close look at one mine in this lesson – a surface mine in Florida, from which phosphate is obtained. This mine utilizes an open cast method to expose and extract the phosphate ore, or phosphate matrix as it is known; and then they use hydraulicking to breakdown the matrix. The resulting slurry is then transported several miles in a slurry pipeline to a mineral processing plant.

I’ve got some good pictures and videos that will help you to better understand the material that we’ve been covering in this module on surface mining. I don’t intend to ask you a lot of specific questions about this phosphate mine, but, hopefully, this case study will help you to better answer questions about mine planning and the mining methods in general.

We’ll start out by learning a few facts about the phosphate industry, and then we’ll quickly move into the details of this mine’s operation. I also want to acknowledge Mosiac for allowing me to tour their mines and work with their staff, and for providing many of the photos and videos in this lesson. Mosaic is a world leader, not only in the mining of Phosphate, but in their approach to sustainable mining. They hire a high proportion of engineers to work at their mines and processing facilities, and they run a first-class internship program for mining and other engineers.