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After sinkhole, Mosaic postpones hearing on mine expansion

MANATEE COUNTY – Mosaic Fertilizer LLC's request to begin mining nearly 3,600-acre Mosaic Wingate East mine in East Manatee will not be considered by the county commission until January.

On Friday afternoon, Hugh McGuire, attorney for Mosaic, sent an email to Manatee County requesting the hearing scheduled for Sept. 29 for the rezoning request and Mining Master Plan to be rescheduled to January.

“At the request of the applicant, the September 29, 2016, Mosaic application meeting has been canceled,” stated an email sent Monday morning from John Barnott, the county's building and development services director, to commissioners. “This application will need to be advertised for the new date of January 26, 2017, by the applicant.”

Mosaic spokeswoman Jackie Barron said the decision to change the hearing date has nothing to do with a sinkhole that opened up at the Mosaic Co.'s Mulberry, Fla., facility last week. The sinkhole at the Polk County phosphate mine dumped nearly 200 million gallons of slightly radioactive water into the ground.