Braunschweig-Lüneburg – the last rock salt plant in Lower Saxony
The smallest K+S salt mine is located in Grasleben in eastern Lower Saxony near Helmstedt. Here, rock salt is extracted from a high-quality deposit that stretches over two federal states and processed into a wide range of products, such as de-icing salt for winter road services, table salts and lickstones for livestock and domestic animals.
As a partner of the region, the plant regularly awards contracts for supplies and services to companies in the surrounding area, providing the economic basis for a large number of regional jobs. It was also here that potash salt was initially extracted for fertilizers.
How is rock salt extracted today at the Braunschweig-Lüneburg plant?
Today, rock salt is extracted by drilling and blasting in the so-called "Strossenbau". In this process, three mining chambers, each up to 40 meters high, are built one above the other, in which the salt is blown off in vertical mining discs. The chambers, which are up to 100 meters long and 20 meters wide, are supported horizontally and vertically by layers of salt rock, so-called pillars, so that they are permanently stable.
The Braunschweig-Lüneburg I to III shafts provide the connection between the mine and the production and supply facilities above ground. They extend to a depth of up to 560 meters and are used to drive the miners in and out, to extract salt and to supply fresh air and operating materials. All the necessary facilities are available underground to ensure smooth operation: Workshops, spare parts stores, transformer stations and other supply facilities. With an approximately 60-kilometer network of underground routes, the plant has the road network of a medium-sized small town.
After an initial underground processing stage, the coarsely crushed rock salt is mined above ground and passes through further grinding and sieving stages. The result is high-quality, pure rock salt products in various grain sizes, which are ideal for the respective application.
Braunschweig-Lüneburg at a glance
|Type of site:||Extration and processing of rock salt|
Number of employees:
Industrial salt, electrolysis salt, livestock salt, lickstones, food grade salt and table salt (e.g. SALDORO®), rock salt
|Production capacities:||approx. 1,000k tonnes/year rock salt|
One employer – many opportunities
With approx. 180 employees, the Braunschweig-Lüneburg plant is one of the most important regional employers. Discover attractive and varied job offers at K+S and get to know us as an employer. In motivated teams, you will have the opportunity to contribute your knowledge, strengths, and ideas in a targeted way. In addition, we offer attractive social benefits, extensive development opportunities, company health management, and much more.
We are looking forward to getting to know you!
Our certificates at the Braunschweig-Lüneburg plant
Our products are certified according to international standards and norms. Here you can find our current certificates.
ISO 9001 Certificate
GMP+ B1 Certificate
ISO 50001 Certificate
The history of the rock salt mine
After deep drilling in the communities of Grasleben and Querenhorst in 1907 had revealed a rich potash and salt deposit, the Braunschweig-Lüneburg trade union was founded in 1910, which drilled the Grasleben and Heidwinkel shafts from 1911 to 1913.
In 1913, the plant began producing and mining potash and rock salt, but stopped producing potash again in 1922. Since then, the site has exclusively mined rock salt and has remained the only one of the numerous rock salt plants in Lower Saxony to this day.
The ownership structure of the plant changed frequently throughout history: initially founded by companies as purely private companies, in 1912 the Braunschweig State took over one third of the shares. One year later, the majority changed to Vereinigte Kaliwerke Salzdetfurth, which also took over the state shares in 1935. The plant has belonged to the K+S Group since 1970.
In 2011, the esco plant in Braunschweig-Lüneburg celebrated its 100th anniversary.
1911 - 1913 - Drilling of the Grasleben shaft (Braunschweig-Lüneburg I)
1912 - 1913 - Drilling of the shaft Heidwinkel (Braunschweig-Lüneburg II)
November 1, 1913 - Start of potash and rock salt production
1922 - Potash production discontinued
1936 - Establishment of an ammunition depot
1937 - 1939 - Drilling of Heidwinkel II shaft (Braunschweig-Lüneburg III)
1957 - Excavation of an underground link between the Braunschweig-Lüneburg and Heidwinkel mines
April 17, 1959 - A major fire destroys the rock salt factory
1962 - Completion of the reconstruction of the factory and loading facilities.
1963 - Introduction of trackless underground operation
1967 - 1971 - Construction of manufacturing plants and loading facilities for de-icing salt
1972 - Commissioning of the main conveyor system in the mine operation
1977 - Expansion of the plant by a warehouse for packaged goods
1981 - 1984 - Conversion of the Braunschweig-Lüneburg I conveyor system
1985 - Conversion Braunschweig-Lüneburg III and installation of a new main pit fan
1993 - Certification of a quality management according to ISO 9002
1995 - Start of lickstone production
1996 - Underpassing the border to Saxony-Anhalt
2001 - Construction of an opto-electronic underground sorting plant for normal salt
2010 - Installation of an additional loading station for de-icing salt
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