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Production of Phosphate Rock in Florida During 1910

The Florida Review


The production of phosphate rock in Florida during 1910 exceeds that of any preceding year, the output having for the first time reached and passed the landmark of 2,000,000 tons. The total production for 1909 was 1,862,151 tons while for 1910 the production was approximately 2,029,797 tons. This large output is more remarkable in view of the depressed prices for phosphate which prevailed throughout the year. The increase is due, however, entirely to the pebble section, the output of hard rock having actually decreased.

A notable feature is the fact that shipments of phosphate during 1910 exceeded the amount mined. While the output as already stated slightly exceeded 2,000,000 tons the amount shipped to domestic and foreign consignments as reported by several companies is little, if any, short of 2,081,936 tons. This excess of shipment over production occurred in the hard rock section where the shipments exceeded the amount mined by nearly 100,000 tons, thus materially reducing the stock on hand at the beginning of the New Year.

The amount of phosphate consigned for use in the United States during 1909 from Florida was 837,217 tons, while during 1910 the consignments to points within the United States was according to the reports of the producers slightly in excess of 1,000,000 tons. This is as it should be and is an encouraging sign of the increased home demand for phosphate.

The price of phosphate rock during the year was nominal. The hard rock is said to have sold at $5 to $6 f. o. b. at mines, and the pebble at $2.75 to $3 f. o. b. at mines.


The total number of plants operating at the beginning of the year in the hard rock section was thirty-seven. Some of these worked out deposits or for other reasons closed down during the year, but a number of new mines opened up. The number operating at the close of the year was forty-five. Twenty companies in all were operating in the hard rock section during all or a part of the year.

The production of hard rock during 1910 as in the preceding year records a decided falling off. The amount mined during 1909 was 527,582 tones, while during 1910 the output fell to about 392,088 tons. The production for 1908, 768,011 tons, is the maximum output for the hard rock fields, and unless the phosphate market materially improves is likely to remain the maximum.

As in former years the hard rock is consigned largely to foreign markets, although the amount of hard rock used within the United States is gradually increasing. The hard rock consigned for use in the United States during 1910 was 18,745 as against 17,456 during 1909. The amount exported during 1910 was about 461,353 tons.


While the production of hard rock was further reduced during 1910, the production of pebble phosphate was materially increased. The amount of pebble mined during 1909 was 1,224,569 long tons. For the year 1910 the production of pebble rock amounted to 1,637,709 long tons, an increase of 303,140 tons. A proportionate increase during 1911, which is probable, will carry the production of pebble rock above 2,000,000 tons. Fifteen companies operated in the land pebble section during the year, and at least one new company is preparing to operate during 1911.

The shipments of pebble phosphate to points within the United States materially increased during 1910 over 1909. The consignments within the United States for 1909 amounted to 819,761. Consignments to points within the United States during 1910 amounted to about 995,728 tons. Foreign shipments for 1909 were 509,341 tons, while during 1910 foreign shipments amounted to 606,110 tons.

The statistics given above are based upon reports of production kindly supplied by the phosphate operators and are essentially complete although the output of two of the smaller hard rock mines on which reports are lacking are estimated. The amount exported is that shown by the export shipments from the several ports, the totals of which have been complied by The American Fertilizer. With these returns the consignments during the year reported to the Survey by operators substantially agree.

Excerpt from Sellards, E. H."Production of Phosphate Rock in Florida During 1910" The Florida Review, Vol. V, No. 4. April, 1911, pp. 328–330.


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