SAO PAULO, April 11 (Reuters) – The Mosaic Company, a Brazilian fertilizer maker, said on Thursday it will suspend production at its phosphate mines of Tapira and Catalão after failing to obtain a deadline extension in order to provide stability certification for three of its tailings dams.
Phosphate is a crucial fertilizer ingredient and Mosaic’s operation is the largest in Brazil, which is a global leader in agriculture, producing more than 220 million tonnes of grains and 570 million tonnes of cane per year, among other products such as coffee, tobacco, cotton and fruits.
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 finalize additional recommended studies and geotechnical analysis”.