Mosaic Co. officials have reported that damage from Hurricane Irma at some of its Florida operations will affect its third-quarter production volumes.
The Plymouth-based company is one of the world’s largest fertilizer companies, with several large phosphate mines and processing facilities in south-central Florida.
Mosaic President and CEO Joc O’Rourke said in a statement that all employees seem to be safe and accounted for after the hurricane passed through, but many are coping with personal property damage and loss of power.
The company isn’t done assessing its own facilities.
“Given the extraordinary power and scope of this storm, we are pleased that damage at our facilities appears to be limited,” O’Rourke said. “Full assessment will take some time, but we are confident that our phosphates business will be able to resume production soon.”
The company has stopped making phosphate price offers to customers until it has a better understanding of product availability and its ability to ship the product, O’Rourke said. Top managers are working closely with supply chain and logistics partners, and intend to provide an estimate for lost production once damage assessments are complete, he said.
One warehouse with finished fertilizer was damaged near Bartow, Fla., but officials said that preliminary assessments show no other serious damage.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is working with Mosaic to evaluate any possible environmental damage from the storms. Regulators are “actively monitoring the New Wales Mosaic operating phosphorus mining facility in Hillsborough County” and all of the facilities that maintain stacks of gypsum, the agency said in a statement.
Gypsum is a waste by-product of phosphate processing that contains small amounts of radium and uranium. Last year millions of gallons of contaminated water drained into an aquifer after a sinkhole opened beneath one of Mosaic’s gypsum stacks, and the company has spent months trying to correct the problem.