Western NY Salt Mining Success

By the late 1800’s, many companies were drilling for salt throughout the world. Between 1878 and 1895, over 35 mining companies were formed in New York’s Wyoming and Livingston Counties alone. In 1884, the first shaft salt mine was constructed in Livingston County at a cost of $600,000. Previously, all other facilities in the area were wells that extracted brine, which was then evaporated to obtain the salt. The shaft salt mine increased production capacity and efficiency

 

The extraction of salt in Western New York covers a vast geographic region. Mine shafts that were formerly operating in the hamlets of Retsof, Greigsville, and Cuylerville were eventually all connected underground, comprising an area even larger than the island of Manhattan. In 1994, due to a flooding of this network, the Retsof mine was closed and salt mining was no longer an industry in the region.

 

That changed in 1997, when the American Rock Salt Company was established with the vision of creating a new mine and tapping into the underground salt reserves that had been left undisturbed. After securing the required permits and purchasing 10,000 acres of mineral rights and 200 acres of surface property, American Rock Salt broke ground in 1998 for a new mine, ten miles away from all previous mining sites. Construction of the mine at Hampton Corners took more than three years. American Rock Salt built the mine using traditional techniques that have proven over time to be the best approach for safety and success.

 

The American Rock Salt mine is the first successful salt mine to be built in the United States in over forty years.

Undercutting
The extraction process begins with undercutting the mine walls level with the floor. A self-propelled undercutter carves a massive channel at the base of the deposit and across the entire room. This channel allows for a more efficient explosive blast and also helps create a smooth mine floor.
Drilling
Once the mine wall is undercut a special drilling machine bores small holes into the face of the salt. Then miners will prime these holes with explosive materials and prepare to start blasting.
Blasting
Miners ignite the explosives, creating a blast that dislodges 800 to 900 tons of rock salt in less than three seconds. The depth of the mine and cushion of the overburden absorbs the blast vibrations, preventing any surface damage to immediate and surrounding areas.
Loading
Huge front-end loaders transport the blasted rock salt to the primary crusher. Loaders dump their loads of salt into a powerful spinning crusher, where large pieces are quickly crushed and screened down to small pieces. The salt is then transported to the hoisting shaft where skip hoists bring the loads to the surface in a matter of seconds.
Transportation
Upon reaching the surface, the salt is stored here at the mine in our huge stockpile where it is loaded and sent out to customers by rail car or by truck.
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Joseph Bucci is the CEO and co-founder of American Rock Salt. Joe has been in and around the salt mining business his whole life, as his father and grandfather both worked in the mining industry at the Retsof Salt Mine.