Mosaic Fertilizers, the company that was recently given the go-ahead from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strip-mine thousands of acres of Florida wetlands, is suffering the effects of a lawsuit that would overturn their “dredge and fill” permit.
The company furnished an 8-K Form to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday, stating it had issued “warn” notices to 221 employees of their South Meade, Fla., mine. Much like an annual or quarterly report, 8-Ks are meant to be “current reports,’” announcing events of importance to shareholders.
Mosaic’s recent 8-K details notices that were meant to advise employees that the mine may close indefinitely in 60 days. On July 1, Florida’s Middle District Court issued a temporary restraining order that banned the Corps from “from conducting activities in the waters of the United States in reliance on the federal wetlands permit.” The restraining order will only be in effect through July 28, at which time it may be extended.
The plaintiffs in the suit, which was filed June 30, include the Sierra Club, People for Protecting Peace River, and Manasota-88. Their request for a permanent injunction against the strip-mining will be heard in court on July 22. According to Mosaic’s 8-K form, a ruling on the motion for preliminary injunction is expected “prior to the expiration of the TRO.”
The 8-K says the permit is necessary for the mine’s continued operation:
Without the federal wetlands permit for the Hardee County Extension, mining at the South Fort Meade mine cannot continue without adverse consequences. Three of the mine’s four draglines have been idled awaiting access to the new reserves in Hardee County, and output from the single remaining dragline cannot economically support the operating costs of the mine.
The form calls the layoff notices as “necessary” because of the 60-day notice required by federal law, but also details other possible outcomes, should Mosaic win in court:
Should a preliminary injunction not be entered by the court, work will continue on the Hardee County Extension and the WARN notices will be allowed to expire without any layoffs occurring. The Company believes that the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit and intends to vigorously defend the Corps issuance of the federal wetlands permit for the Hardee County Extension.