(Updated with response from Mosaic on the contested permit for the expansion of its Four Corners phosphate mine.)NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The future of the Florida phosphate industry could hang in the balance early next month when a federal appeals court in Atlanta convenes to hear a set of arguments that pits two ancient adversaries -- environmentalists vs. big business. At the center of the dispute sits Mosaic ( MOS). Based in Plymouth, Minn. -- 1,400 miles from its operations in the Sunshine State -- the global fertilizer giant takes more phosphate out of Florida's rich peninsular loam than any other company by far, accounting for about half of the nutrient produced in the U.S. in recent years. ( Potash ( POT), a distant No. 2, accounts for about 25%, though most of that comes from North Carolina, not Florida. CF Industries ( CF) is third, with 11% of U.S. production).