Geography of North America’s Current Underground Salt Mines


Map of salt mines in North America – Source: Salt Institute via reddit.com

Below is a listing of the currently operating underground salt mines of North America. Underground mines are primarily used for excavating rock salt. As is evident from the details provided, the majority of these underground mines are enormous in size, occupying multiple square miles far beneath the Earth’s surface. It is also fascinating to note that many, if not most of these mines, extend beneath a large body of water (many of which are freshwater).  This is because those sites were once part of an ancient sea which receded or was altered by geological forces over time.

Source: seekingalpha.com

A number of these salt mines were discovered unexpectedly while drilling for oil, including the world’s largest underground salt mine in Goodrich, Ontario, Canada.

Cross-section of a salt dome – Source: geology.com

Lastly, as can be seen by the locations on the map at the top of this post and in the listing, salt mines appear to occur in clusters based on where the remaining salt deposits are situated. Clusters include the Detroit-Windsor area, Upstate New York near Syracuse, the Cleveland area, central Kansas near Hutchinson, and along the Louisiana coastline. Two of these communities, Syracuse and Hutchinson have both been known by the nickname of “Salt City” in their history and many places in Hutchinson still proudly boast this title. Examples include:

Source: timerguys.com

Source: saltcitybowl.com

List of Currently Operating Underground Rock Salt Mines in North America

  • Avery Island (Cargill Salt Mine), Louisiana: (1862) 1,300 feet deep – operated by Cargill.
  • Bani, Dominican Republic: – operated through a cooperative – more details needed.
  • Cleveland (Cargill Salt Mine), Ohio: (1958) 1,800 feet deep and cover almost four (4) square miles under Lake Erie near downtown Cleveland – operated by Cargill.

Map of Cargill Salt Mine in Cleveland – Source: cleveland.com

  • Detroit (Detroit Salt Mine), Michigan: (1906) 1,160 feet deep and covers 1,400 acres with 100 miles of roads/tunnels underground – currently operated by the Kisser Group, who is being bought out by Stone Canyon Holdings in March, 2020.

Map of the Detroit Salt Mine – Source: pinterest.com

  • Fairport (Morton Salt Mine), Ohio: (1959) 2,000 feet deep – extends beneath Lake Erie – operated by the Morton Salt division of K+S Group.

Source: geosurvey.ohiodnr.gov/portals/geosurvey/PDFs/Mineral_Industries_Reports/01minind.pdf

  • Franklin (Cote Blanche Mine), Louisiana: (1961) 1,500 feet deep – operated by Compass Minerals.
  • Goderich (Sifto Mine), Ontario: (1959) 1,800 feet deep and extends over five (5) square miles under Lake Huron – operated by Compass Minerals. World’s largest underground salt mine.

Source: slideshare.net

  • Grand Saline (Morton Salt Mine), Texas: (1929) – 750 feet deep – operated by the Morton Salt division of K+S Group.

Inside the Grand Saline Mine – Source: houstonchronicle.com

  • Gross Ile (Mines Seleine), Quebec: (1982) – approximately 1,600 feet below the surface – operated by the Morton Salt division of K+S Group.
  • Hockley, Texas: (1932) – approximately 1,525 feet deep – operated by United Salt Corporation and mines salt from the Hockley Salt Dome.
  • Hutchinson, Kansas: (1923) – 650 feet below the surface – operated by Hutchinson Salt Company.
  • Kanopolis, Kansas: (1913) – 840 feet deep – operated by Independent Salt Company.
  • Lansing (Cayuga Salt Mine), New York: (1916) – operated by Cargill – extends under Cayuga Lake. The deepest underground salt mine in North America at 2,300 feet.

Map of the Cayuga Salt Mine – Source: waterfrontonline.blog

Inside the Cayuga Salt Mine in Lansing, NY – source: pinterest.ca

  • Lyons, Kansas: (1890) – approximately 1,000 feet deep – currently operated by the Kissner Group, who is being bought out by Stone Canyon Holdings in March, 2020.
  • Mt. Morris (Hampton Corners Salt Mine), New York: (1997) – more than 1,200 feet deep and with a recent expansion, now occupies more than 16 square miles underground (see map below) – operated by the American Rock Salt Company.

Source: americanrocksalt.com

  • Pugwash (K+S/Windsor Salt Mine), Nova Scotia: (1953) – approximately 1,000 feet deep – operated by the Morton Salt division of K+S Group. As the map below clearly show, this is a very complex mining network underneath the town and nearby waters.

Map of the Pugwash Mine – Source: novascotia.ca/natr/meb/data/mg/map/pdf/map_1990-001_200_cln.pdf

  • Rocanville, Saskatchewan: (1970) – operated by Nutrien for salt recovery from potash tailings.
  • Vanscoy, Saskatchewan: operated by Nutrien for salt recovery from potash tailings.
  • Weeks Island, Louisiana: (1902) – approximately 1,440 feet below the surface – operated by the Morton Salt division of K+S Group.
  • Windsor (Ojibway Salt Mine), Ontario: (1893) – approximately 950 feet deep – operated by the Morton Salt division of K+S Group.

Inside the Ojibway Salt Mine in Windsor – Source: canadianmanufacturing.com

SOURCES:

This entry was posted in business, Canada, cities, commerce, economic development, environment, geography, Geology, history, infrastructure, land use, Maps, Mexico, Mining, nature, North America, pictures, planning, rivers/watersheds, shipping, spatial design, States, Statistics, topography, Trade, transportation, tunnels and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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