I recently was sent an article from Arizona Mining Association that I found interesting and thought I would share!
It still remains a little known fact that there is a working salt mine here in Arizona. The Morton Salt, Glendale Facility is located outside of Phoenix at Glendale and Dysart Roads. In every direction of the facility lies a vast salt deposit known as the Luke Salt Body. The salt deposit is estimated to contain at least 15 cubic miles of salt. It might even be as thick as 10,000 feet, but no one has drilled to the bottom yet to confirm this number. When visiting the Glendale facility, do not expect to see a mine shaft protruding upwards from the ground. Solar Salt is produced using the solution mining method. Two active brine wells were drilled 3600 feet below ground level. Each well has a steel casing cemented from ground level into the salt. A second pipe or tube is inserted into the first to a depth of 1000 to 2000 feet below the first. Water is then pumped or injected from five water wells down the inner tubing of each well, where it dissolves the salt and returns it up the outer casing and back to the surface as saturated brine. This brine then gets pumped into solar ponds that are 4-5 feet deep. Arizona’s sun, wind and low humidity remove the water from the brine causing salt crystals to form and settle to the bottom of the pond.
Approximately two-thirds of the salt produced at Glendale is used for water softening products, with the remaining going to agricultural or industrial use.