New phosphate mine approved in southeastern Idaho

Jan 18th, 2017 | By | Category: Manufacturing/Industry

By Keith Ridler/Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Two federal agencies have approved a 2.4-mile-long open pit phosphate mine proposed by a Canadian company in southeastern Idaho.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service late last week issued separate records of decisions approving the plan by Calgary-based Agrium.

The BLM manages the area where the mining will occur, while the Forest Service manages land that will receive some waste materials.

Agrium turns phosphate ore into fertilizer needed by farmers to grow food.

Southeastern Idaho contains one the nation’s most abundant deposits of phosphate, and agribusinesses Simplot and Monsanto also have mines in the area.

But the area also contains 17 superfund sites due to pollution from past phosphate mining.

Federal officials say the latest mine has requirements to avoid those problems.

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