Our competence & passion for 125 years
We extract crude salt from deep within the earth to make high-quality products with a wide range of applications.
Our potash from deep underground
The potash deposits in the Werratal were formed more than 200 million years ago by evaporation of the Zechstein Sea. Flat potash deposits, so-called seams, with a thickness of 2.5 - 3.5 meters contain the valuable crude salt. The seams are located at a depth of 800 - 1,000 meters.
For more than 100 years the potash salts have been mined in the potash district, nowadays with impressive large-scale equipment and modern technology. In the course of time, a mine has been built, the size of which corresponds to that of the city of Munich with its suburbs. From today's perspective, potash can still be mined in the region for the next fifty years under economic conditions.
Mining is carried out using the so-called Room and Pillar process, which gives the mine a kind of checkerboard pattern. Pillars remain standing, which are sized in such a way that they can hold three times the weight of the rock overburden. Because: Safety has top priority in mining!
The Werra plant has two producing mines: the Hattorf-Wintershall mine and the Unterbreizbach mine. These are connected by a so-called roller blind (vertical, shaft-like connection from an upper to a lower section). No crude salt has been mined in the Merkers mine since 1993.
Here you will find an impression of the large-scale equipment used underground and the individual steps in the mining process.
Crude salt is turned into high-quality products
The crude salt is transported from the mine to the surface in conveyor bins at a speed of 15 meters per second. Depending on the type of crude salt, it is prepared by hot dissolving, flotation or electrostatic separation (ESTA). The choice of separation process depends on the crude salt composition and the desired end product. The processes are also used in combination. The result is an exceptionally wide range of products that meets the highest quality requirements worldwide.