Apr. 16, 2019
Reuters is reporting that The Mosaic Company, a Brazilian fertilizer maker, has said that it will suspend production at its phosphate mines of Tapira and Catalão after failing to obtain a deadline extension that would provide stability certification for three of its tailings dams.
Mining regulations in Brazil have been affected by a dam disaster in January, involving miner Vale SA, that killed hundreds, prompting new rules to try to avoid more accidents. Brazil has dozens of tailings dams, which hold back byproducts created during the extraction of mineral resources.
To meet demand, Mosaic said it will import products from its phosphate site in Tampa, Florida, and also product from its operations in Peru to meet demand from Brazilian clients.
Mosaic said it filed a request for an extension of a deadline to present a stability report for three of its dams, "to allow expert consultants to finalise additional recommended studies and geotechnical analysis".
Brazil's National Mining Agency did not approve the extension, said Mosaic, which led the company to stop using the dams that were part of the Tapira and Catalão production complexes.
How long the dams' suspension will last is still unclear.
One industry source told Reuters he does not see a large impact from the mines idling on the flow of fertilizers in Brazil or to agricultural costs, since there is enough phosphate production in Tampa and in other sites abroad.
He also said that current demand for fertilizers in Brazil is low, since the summer crop has just been harvested and the cane and coffee crops are close to harvest time.