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Klodawa Salt Mine, Klodawa, Aleja 1000-lecia 2, Poland.

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In the late 1930's a gravity survey was carried out by the Geological Institute and after just a few days of surveying it was felt that there was a large reserve of salt at a relatively shallow depth. The survey was halted during the Second World War and resumed during the German occupation where the salt deposits were found to be in the region of 63km long and 4km wide consisting of salt, rock salt, magnesium and potassium salts. Final surveying concluded that the economically viable deposit was 26km long and 2km wide.

The mine was established in 1949 and the first shaft 'Michael' was sunk in 1950, the workings from the shaft extended to 3km. In 1952 a second shaft 'Barbara' was sunk for the purpose of ventilation. In 1953 more in depth surveys were carried out and the exploration of the salt deposits were started at the 450m level. 1954 saw the first major excavations coming online, including extending the depth of excavation to the 600m level. Peak extraction occurred in the 1970's with production amounting to over a millions tonnes per annum. In the late 1960's a third ventilation shaft 'Brave' was sunk to a depth of 543m. The start of the 1980's saw the depth of excavation increasing to the 750m level.

The salt is mined using traditional methods, which help preserve its chemical characteristics. Most of the chambers excavated are 15m wide, 15m high and up to 200m long. Current mining takes place at 600m and 750m levels.

The salt from Klodawa has a high degree of purity and requires very little processing, which is only carried out by mechanical means eliminating the need for chemical treatments. Trace elements found in the salt are magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium and selenium. The salt is over 250 million year old and was formed when two tectonic plates collided causing the evaporation of a sea. The salt is deposited in beds of salts domes and is generally naturally white with shades of greys and pinks. Other colours also occur such as blue and green, but these are rare. Final salt purity is an average of 97% sodium chloride.

The salt products from the mine are sold and marketed directly for a number of applications including - cooking, fish processing, food industry, tanning processes, livestock farming, chemical industry, winter road treatments, agricultural fertilisers, water softening and as therapeutic salt baths.

Tourist Trip

A personnal one person guided trip around the tourist route of the mine.

(Mike), 20th May 2011.