How Are Salt Mines Formed?
Salt or Sodium Chloride is a natural mineral found in the earth’s crust and used by people daily. Humans learned the importance of salt in their food and started the cultivation of salt in their farms. The importance of salt leads to the exploitation of many rulers in history, more than any other mineral or metal. Salt is found as a rock format or halite mineral and is usually found in salt springs, lakes, or the ocean. Salt is also found in domes and deposits formed by slow evaporation and eventual drying of enclosed bodies of saltwater. In Canada, it is estimated that there are about over one million billion tones of halite in these formations. The three major salt formations are located in western Canada below the prairies, in Ontario, and to a lesser extent in eastern Canada. Read on to know more about how salt mines are formed in various parts of the earth.
What Is Salt?
Sodium chloride, or the common salt, is a naturally occurring mineral and important in food items. There are many uses of salt in daily life based on the granular size of salt particles. Typical table salt and even finer popcorn salt or Kosher salt are used as pickling salt. Small compressed pellets are used as water softeners, and large granules or blocks are used as salt licks for livestock.
What Is Salt Mining?
In the world, China is the largest producer of salt with over 48 million tons, with the USA as the second leading producer. Salt is produced by mining or solar evaporation, or solution mining.
- Deep Shaft Mining: Salt exists as deposits in mines or underground seabeds formed over thousands of years of age. Shafts are sunk to the mine floor, and rooms are carefully constructed by drilling, cutting, and blasting between the shafts. The salt is removed and crushed and sent to the surface using a conveyor belt.
- Solution Mining: Wells are erected over salt beds, and water is injected to dissolve the salt. After salt dissolves, the solution called brine is pumped out for evaporation. Depending on the type of salt produced, other minerals like iodine are mixed with some anti-clumping agents.
- Solar Evaporation: Natural resources like wind and sun are used to evaporation the sea’s water to harvest pure salt. After the harvesting salt is washed, dried, cleaned, and refined, Solar evaporated salt is the purest salt form with nearly 100 percent sodium chloride.
What Is Salt Mines?
Over some millions of years ago, a vast expansion of salt deposits was formed under the ground. The deposits are formed as horizontal salt beds as the ancient water bodies begin to evaporate. The basin was an arid area of Michigan’s lower peninsula separated from the ocean by a natural bar of land. As the basin continued to sink lower into the earth, salt-laden ocean water repeatedly poured into the depression, where it gradually evaporated, forming miles of salt beds.
How Is Salt Mines Formed?
Salt mines are enormous deposits of salt discovered by humans when large bodies of salt dry up. There is no way for the water in lakes or ponds to go after collecting from the rivers and springs, and water flowing into these bodies has no way out other than evaporation. Over time, water gets evaporating, making the concentration of minerals rise. Over some thousands or more years, all the water gets evaporated, making the area dry salt flats.
Some Of The Important Salt Mines
Here is the list of some of the significant salt mines where large amounts of salt are mined
- Detroit Mine discovered in 1895
- The Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland
- Khewra Salt Mine
- Tundra Mine
- Schacht Asse II
- Windsor Salt Mine
There are various mines available around the world that are used to mine tons of salt every month. Canda Salt Group Ltd is the supplier of pure bulk road salt that is mined from the best mines in North America. Contact us for more details.