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Mining Of Phosphates

Mining Of Phosphates image
Parent Issue
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OCR Text

The Florida phosphate deposits are of great importance, yet their existence was discovered so recently and their extent is stil] so uncertain that few persons not engaged in the sale of fertilizing materials have muih knowledge of the large industry which has sprnng up iu the Peninsular State. It has practically created a new city - Ocala - which had a population of bnt a few hundred in 1870, bnt is now a thriving business center with modern improvements. banking facilities and ampie railway and transportaron facilities. Engineering, the leading engineering journal of the world, niakes the following statements concerning the región, which are of considerable interest as coming from an unbiased sonrce : "There is no phosphate región in the world known today that possesses so many advantages for successful mining as the Florida deposits. The grade of material isthehighest average that is beingworked anywhere. The facilities for moving the producís to points for distribution are good. The average distance from mines to ports for shipments is abont 150 miles. "The distributing stations for the hard rock district are Port Tampa, Fernán - dina, Brunswick and Savannah, the largest tonnage being moved from Fernandina, where storage bins are located and loading facilities are good. Port Tampa, the terminus of the Plant system of railroads, is constantly adding facilities for prompt handling of cargoes of phosphate and at present very nearly equals Fernandina in the amount of its shipments. Eailroad are numerous and cheaply constructed when necessary to extend them into new sections. The machinery needed to mine and prepare the material is simple and inexpensive compared with that generally used in other mining operations, and the cost of a plant with sufficient land to work upon is within the reach of small investors. The working days at the mines are abont 280 during the year. The mate is healthful, laboréis readily obtained at a fair compensation, and skilled operatives are at hand who are becoming familiar with the business. ' ' The inining camps are generally well regnlated, and proprietors and employees can reside at the mines with safety and with little inconvenience, as supplies of all kinds can be readily obtained at the towns located in the near vicinity of all thq large mining fields. Telegraph and mail facilities are witbin easy access of nearly every mining camp in the state. Florida phosphates are mostly shipped to European ports and are manufactured into fertilizers in England, Ireland, Germany, France, and quite recently shipments have been made to the Sandwich Islands. Foreign agents of consnmers and dealers in phosphates have their offices near the center of production, and contracts for delivery and prices are commonly fixed at points of shipment, the material being sold at a price per unit of its contenta of phosphate of lime. The Florida phosphates are all used in the manufacture of commercial fertilizers and phate. "-


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News