While agriculture is still big business in Florida, smaller farming operations like M Ranch are challenged with keeping their lands profitable.
Identifying a New and Needed Resource
In researching new agricultural opportunities for the land, soil tests revealed that high quality fill material (soil) and base rock were present in certain locations on the property. This material is a valuable resource needed by the local construction industry for new housing developments and commercial sites, parks, stormwater, utility, and roadway improvement projects throughout St. Lucie County.
Locally Sourced Materials
Part of the existing need for quality fill material and base rock is currently being sourced and fulfilled from mines far outside the local area. This intense demand from the construction industry results in truckloads of materials being shipped long distances, impacting miles and miles of St. Lucie County roadways and driving up costs of construction. It is our understanding that much of this material is already reserved and will not be locally available. However, the demand exists, and will grow as more infrastructure improvements are needed.
About the Mining Operation
Of the 2,300-acre property,
- M Ranch is only seeking approval for 80 acres to be excavated.
- The mining area would be limited to 80-acres, with an additional 51 acres for buffering and about 33 acres for staging activities, totaling 164 acres for the entire project site.
- The vast majority of M Ranch, about 93%, will remain in traditional agriculture.
About Wet Mining
Mining has come a long way.
M Ranch will be using the latest technology and state-of-the-art mining techniques and environmental best practices in its construction and operation, as well as during the reclamation phase once the mine’s life cycle is complete.
This new technology is a non-blasting method called wet mining. Wet mining involves using a dredge and a floating concentrator, which moves along behind the dredge in the pond and excavates underwater. This process minimizes noise and dust.