Underground mining is the second oldest method of producing salt, next to the solar evaporation technique. Like most mines, salt mines employ large machines to travel through vast cave-like passageways performing various functions. Unlike most mines, however, salt mines are comfortable to work in (average temperature stays around 70° F all year round) and offer a safer work environment than usual.
Salt mine in Goderich, Ontario
Deep under Lake Huron lies the largest salt mine in the world. Some 500 miners work in the mine, often cited as a massive and almost pure deposit that experts predict will be able to supply 100 years of mining. Compass Minerals is the company in charge of the mine, and if predictions are on point, the company is set for profit for many years to come.
Almost all of the salt mined from this source will be used for highways and sidewalks in cities and towns around the Great Lakes. Many of these areas have endured two severe winters in a row, thus leading to a high demand for road salt. With municipalities starting to order more in preparation for the upcoming winter, the mine is currently nearing its peak production capacity to keep up with demand.
Great Lakes salt mining facts
The Great Lakes are a series of interconnected freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America. It consists of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. The lakes are divided among the jurisdictions of Ontario and the U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Ontario is one of the biggest salt producers for the entire North America, along with Michigan and Ohio.
The geology of the Great Lakes salt mining area consists of sedimentary deposits of anhydrite, dolomite, halite, limestone, sandstone, and shale. These deposits are relatively continuous and largely unaffected by faults or other forms of sharp ground movements. Some of the most prominent equipment used in salt mining include, huge earth-moving equipment, mining cars, skips, rail haulage, and loading systems.
Mining equipment manufacturer in Ontario
Mine car, cage, and skip manufacturers like Wabi Iron & Steel Corp. can supply various mining equipment for different applications. They can assess your mine conveyance needs and recommend the most practical and effective solutions.
Salt mine keeps Goderich alive, ‘youthful’, CBC News, Jul. 7, 2015
ROCK SALT MINING, Michigan State University