ABOUT THE HPS II PHOSPHATE MINING PROJECT

HPS Enterprises initiated research and planning in order to provide accurate site-specific data and information. The company assigned highly experienced and creative professionals with extensive knowledge in the phophate industry to oversee the project. The goal is to complete all studies and research within two years. Information developed from this work will immediately be disseminated to the local community and major stakeholders.

 

Bradford and Union Counties are part of Florida’s Northern Phosphate District. The HPS II phosphate mining project will play a crucial role in meeting the demand for this essential nutrient, used across the United States to increase farming production. 

 

HPS Enterprises proposes to mine in southeastern Union County and in western Bradford County. In relation to the size of each county, the range of work per acre is quite minor. Union County stretches 244 square miles which is equivalent to 156,160 acres, and we aim to mine only 3,600 acres. Bradford County spans 293 square miles equating to 187,520 acres, while we propose to utilize 3,800 acres for mining. In total, we plan to mine 2.3% of the land in Union and 1.75% of the land in Bradford.

HOW IT WORKS

The process for mining and extracting phosphate has been developed, altered, and improved for over a century. The intial strategy is to remove the top two to three feet of soil and store it for reuse during the reclamation process. The next step integrates large, electric draglines to remove the soil or overburden, which is 20 to 25 feet thick. This material will be relocated to the side of the mine pits. The layer of earth beneath the overburden contains phosphate. This is the matrix and is excavated using the draglines. This is where our mining process diverges from traditional methods. Instead of using billions of gallons of water to move the matrix, we will incorporate a high-solids transportation system to send the matrix to the beneficiation plant. This transportation system will move the hard matrix on a track, like a train, to the beneficiation plant. The beneficiation process separates the phosphate from the clay and sand by washing and screening. The fine phosphate is seperated and recovered from the sand by flotation. The residual sand and clay are used as reclamation material.

RECLAMATION

HPS Enterprises will oversee a comprehensive reclamation plan that meets or exceeds all state requirements. It is our goal to return our land to its original state as each phase of mining is completed, allowing future generations to live and farm on the land.

  

Our unique reclamation process will improve and advance the current method.  It builds on work sponsored by the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Institute (FIPR), a part of Florida Polytechnic University.  Sand and clay will be recombined and dewatered to make a paste, overburden will then be added to increase the solids content – and to improve the soil characteristics.  The resulting sand-clay-overburden mixture will be returned to the mine cuts promptly after mining.  As proof of concept, the construction and operation of pilot plant has been supported and co-sponsored by FIPR, and is on-going.

 

Reclamation became a Florida state requirement on any lands mined on July 1, 1975. To learn more about local, state, and national phosphate mining regulations, please visit The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Website.

 

Cattle pasture on reclaimed land

PERMITTING PROCESS AND AGENCIES INVOLVED

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act enables the Army Corps of Engineers to grant permits for certain activities within waterways and wetlands. Construction projects affecting wetlands in any state cannot proceed until a 404 permit has been issued. Below are the Federal, State, and Local agencies that HPS Enterprises will be working with throughout the entire project.

 

Federal

 

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    • Reviews individual and general permits

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

    • Corps must consult with this Federal agency to address federally threatened and endangered species

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    • Corps must consult with this Federal agency to address federally threatened and endangered species

 

State

 

  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)

  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

  • Water Use

    • Southwest Florida Water Management District

  • Water Discharge

    • Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)

  • Air Permits

    • Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) under the U.S. Clean Air Act

  • Wildlife Management

    • Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

      • Requires management plans to be filed and approved for any protected species found on mine properties

 

Local

 

  • Board of County Commissioners

 

PROJECT HELPLINE (813) 887- 3800 x 2001