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 decisions approving the plan by Calgary-based Agrium Inc.
The BLM manages the area where the mining will occur, while the Forest Service manages land that will receive waste materials. [...]
Virginia Gillerman, an associate research geologist with the Idaho Geological Survey, said the area is rich in phosphate because it was once an 116,000-square-mile inland sea where organic material from fish, plants and small animals was deposited over a 5-million-year span about 265 million years ago.