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.

Site Facts

Braunschweig-Lüneburg at a glance

Founded in: 1910
Type of site:  Extration and processing of rock salt
Number of employees: approx. 180
Product  &
service portfolio:
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
Site Focus

The site at a glance

In 2011, the esco plant in Braunschweig-Lüneburg celebrated its 100th anniversary.

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.


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

Working at K+S

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!


International standards & norms

Our products are certified according to international standards and norms. Here you can find our current certificates.

A-Futter Certificate

Braunschweig-Lüneburg plant

EC-Eco Certificate

Bernburg, Borth, Braunschweig-Lüneburg plant

GMP+ FC Scheme 2020

Braunschweig-Lüneburg plant

ISO 50001 Certificate K+S Aktiengesellschaft

K+S Aktiengesellschaft Certificate with enclosure

ISO 50001 Certificate

K+S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH

ISO 9001 Certificate

K+S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH
Contact & Route

Your contact

If you have any questions about the Braunschweig-Lüneburg site, please use our contact options and we will take care of your request immediately!
Steffen Görges
Personalreferent Werke Bernburg und Braunschweig-Lüneburg
Catalina Tronaru
HR Recruiting for Langelsheim, Bad Hersfeld, Rheinberg, Staudt
K+S Minerals and Agriculture GmbH Salt mine Braunschweig-Lüneburg
Training site
Bahnhofstr. 15
38368 Grasleben
+49 5357 182 399