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Phase 1 – Evaporation

Every day we pump 31,000 tons (7 million gallons) of sea water into our evaporation pans.  Here the seawater will lie while the water is evaporated through the working of the sun and the wind.  Impurities such as Calcium Carbonate (chalk) and Calcium Sulphate (Gypsum) are deposited at the bottom of the dam. The dams are arranged so that the water can gravitate from the one to the other over controlling weirs. As the water evaporates, and we pump more water into the dams, the concentration of the salt increases, until it reaches 100% of saturation point.  The brine (now so called because of increased salinity), is then stored in reservoirs.  From the reservoir, the concentrated brine is led into crystallization pans.


Phase 2 – Crystallization

The crystallization pans are rectangular in shape and have flat clay bottoms.  In these pans the water will evaporate further, increasing the salt concentration of the brine, until salt crystals start precipitating at the bottom of the pan. The remaining fluid, called “bitterns” or “mother liquor” is drawn off before impurities e.g. Magnesium Sulphate, Epson Salt, Sodium Sulphate and Potassium Sulphate can crystallize out onto the pure salt.


Phase 3 - Harvesting and Washing

When an adequate layer of salt has built up on the pan floor, harvesting commences.  We harvest our salt mechanically with a machine specially designed for this purpose.  The machine digs up the salt, deposits it onto a conveyor belt, which carries it to our trucks.  Contracted workers also harvest by hand. 


The raw salt is then washed with a brine solution (to prevent it from dissolving again), where silt and other impurities are removed.  The clean washed salt is then stockpiled, ready to be processed.


Phase 4 – Drying and processing

The refining process consists of feeding the salt through a dryer where hot air at 360° C dries and sterilizes the salt.  The intense heat also kills any unwanted organisms in the salt.


From the dryer the salt is crushed and passed through screens to sort the salt into different densities. The salt is then packed in 500g and 1kg packets for household use and 50kg bags for large consumers.

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The making of SALT

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