ESSAY: Florida’s phosphate mineral rock, an economic geological resource

Florida’s phosphate mineral rock, an economic geological resource

When you go to Ace Hardware or Home Depot or Lowes or to any other garden supply center to purchase garden fertilizer the phosphorous inside the bag probably originated in Florida near
Bartow (which is near Lakeland); the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research is
an independent research group that deals with Florida phosphate mineral (Links to an external site.)

Typically when one buys 6-6-6 for garden each number on the bag represents the percent, by weight, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, respectively. Thus a 40 lb bag of 6-6-6 contains 0.06×40 lbs = 2.4 lbs of phosphorous Discuss the following:
1. What is the mineral form of the Florida phosphate rock and what is the percentage of phosphorous in the mined mineral?
2. What is the origin of the phosphate rock; for example is it biological in origin, or does it come from mineralological processes?
3. How is the Florida phosphate rock mined?
4. What are some of the waste products from the mining and processing processes and how is the waste from these processes managed or disposed of.
5. What is approximate annual revenue generated from Florida phosphate rock.
6. What steps are being taken to sustain Florida’s phosphate mineral resource?.

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The mineral form of Florida Phosphate and the Percentage of Phosphorus in the Mineral

As a mineral resource, phosphate rock can be defined as an unprocessed ore. The chemical form of Florida Phosphate rock is P2O5. This implies that the relative atomic mass of Phosphorus is 62 and that of Oxygen is 80. The percentage abundance of Phosphorus is thus (62/142) * 100% = 44%

The Origin of the Phosphate Rock

The phosphate rock is believed to have come in several ways. One is through the solidification of dissolved phosphorus in a process called precipitation. In the process of settling on the sea bed, the material formed sediments that are mined today (Florida Polytechnic University). It is also believed that excrement, as well as sea life, resulted in the formation of the deposits.

How the Florida Phosphate is mined Before the phosphate rock is mined, several activities are undertaken. They include undertaking wildlife surveys as well as relocating endangered species as well as clearing lands. Other measures are also taken to protect areas that will not be mined….

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