K+S Windsor Salt Ltd. is beginning an expansion of its Ojibway salt mine in Windsor, Ont. According to a press release from the company, this expansion is part of its commitment to enhance its salt production footprint and capabilities in Canada.
Over the next five years, the company plans to invest more than $60 million to expand to the next mining level, approximately 400 feet below the current level. The company is also converting its mining method and equipment to upgrade to the latest mining technology. This investment will help boost production and extend the life of the mine nearly 50 years, enabling the mine to operate until 2063, according to the press release.
“This is one of the most significant developments in the mine’s history,” says Mike Soave, manager of the Ojibway salt mine. “As a long-time employer and member of the Windsor community, we are very pleased to have the support of our company and the local union to drive this important expansion forward.”
The expansion project is in the final stages of engineering and design. The infrastructure changes needed to expand to the next level will start in 2017, with production slated to ramp up in 2018.
The Ojibway salt mine mainly produces rock salt used for commercial and consumer deicing purposes to keep Canadian roads, streets and sidewalks clear and safe during the winter season. The mine also produces salt used for various applications including water softening, and on an annual basis, the Ojibway salt mine is capable of producing up to 3 million metric tons of salt.
K+S Windsor Salt employs more than 225 people at its Ojibway salt mine, which originally opened in 1959 as part of The Canadian Salt Company Limited. The company was renamed K+S Windsor Salt Ltd. in 2014, and it is an affiliate of Morton Salt, Inc. Both are part of the K+S Group, the world’s largest salt producer.