Solution Mining

The rock salt mine at Winsford is not the only way that salt is removed from underneath Cheshire. The nearby town of Middlewich has a salt factory, but they get their supply of salt in a very different way.

Salt dissolves in water. If the salty water is collected and the water evaporated, then the salt crystals reform.

Quite a pile there.

Hot water is pumped into the ground to dissolve the salt. It is then pumped out again bringing the dissolved salt with it. The water is separated from the salt by evaporation. There is a nice animation here that shows the process.

Sounds like a good idea doesn’t it. The salt is brought to the surface without the need to send any people underground. But this method needs to be controlled and monitored carefully. Find out why next week.