Central Catalonia mines become the first producer of thaw salt in Southern Europe

During the last few winters, snow and ice have paralysed Central Europe for days and sometimes weeks. Lorries from all over Europe transport up to 60,000 tons of salt a month from Súria (Bages County) to spread on roads throughout the continent. The mines have tripled production in the last 2 years and are the largest of Southern Europe.


January 13, 2011 06:06 PM

Cardona (CNA).- Lorries from all across Europe transport 60,000 tons of thaw salt a month from salt mines in Súria (Bages County). The head of sales at Iberpotash Ramon Vilaseca told CNA that the cold winters of the past have made local councils more prudent. They are no longer buying salt at the last minute. Vilaseca explains how the mines in Súria have become the first producer of de-icing salt in Southern Europe. Their production boomed from 200,000 tons per year to 700,000 in just two years. So this year the company has had to expand facilities. They now have more blades and more space as well as a greater amount of cargo trucks to ensure that salt reaches its destination without delays.

With the expansion of facilities, Iberpotash expected to face another winter selling 'extraordinary' quantities of salt. According to Vilaseca, 'record numbers' with of de-iceing salt was sold. According to Vilaseca, there are two reasons for this- 'a particularly harsh winter and the opening of new markets.

Vilaseca explains that the main destinations for salt coming from Bages are countries with cold climates and large densities of traffic like England, Germany, France and the Netherlands. But in the last few years, salt has even been sent to the east coast of the United States. They have shipped cargo boats to the East Coast of the US. A railway directly linking the salt mines with Barcelona’s harbour facilitates the job.