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Solution Mining

The process of solution mining for the production of edible salt, potash salt, trona and other water soluble minerals offers distinct advantages compared to conventional mining: not only is solution mining more cost effective, but also safer. No extensive mine structures are necessary and the required human resources are significantly reduced. The extracted crude martials are used for a variety of applications: brine is processed into table salt or road salt, is used in both chemical and pharmaceutical industries or utilized for the production of fertilizers. A brine production project is especially economical when the solution-mined cavern is used for underground storage afterwards.

Exploration wells, resource caculations and economic efficiency assessments are the tools used to decide if a brine production project is feasible. Technical designs  further refine the analysis. Armed with this information, companies looking to market a high-quality product can now make long-term plans.

Solution mining of salt caverns demands highly specialized knowledge. Salt will easily dissolve in the lab, but in natural environments one cannot expect ideal rock compositions or mineral concentrations. The geological conditions provide the framework, while chemical, physical and thermodynamic factors influence to what degree the resource can be used, what waste materials occur and in which quantities. Appropriate solution mining processes, as well as thorough planning of the leaching operation, are the deciding factors for the economic feasibility of a project and the quality of the product.

As with all our areas of expertise, DEEP Underground Engineering relies on a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach for solution mining projects. Geoscientists and engineers, aided by laboratory investigations and 3D computer simulations, jointly develop the most ideally suited solution mining process for each individual salt deposit.

For questions please contact:

Wilke, Fritz_52Dr. Fritz H. Wilke, EurGeol
f.wilke@deep.de
Tel. +49 (0) 4403 9322-15