Our History

350 Million Years Ago

Founded in January 1997, the American Rock Salt Company is the newest, most sophisticated, and the largest-producing salt mine in the United States. However, the history of our mine does not start with the founding of our company. Our story begins before the first dinosaur ever walked across the earth, around 350 million years ago! During that period, an ancient saltwater ocean had engulfed the entire region of what we know today as the New York Genesse Valley! Over time the water levels receded and dried up, but the salt from the sea remained, which formed layers upon layers of Halite, commonly known as rock salt. This rock salt is the salt that we mine here today!

1884 - 1997

Salt mining in the Western New York region began back in 1884, with the opening of the Retsof Salt Mine, located just 8 miles from our mine in Retsof, New York. For nearly 110 years, the Retsof Salt Mine provided thousands of job opportunities to the local region, proudly claimed four generations of miners, and produced over 134 million tons of salt throughout its history!

1997 - Present Day

The American Rock Salt Company was founded on January 31st, 1997, when Joseph Bucci Sr., Gunther Buerman, Neil Cohen, and Charles VanArsdale entered into an asset purchasing agreement with Akzo-Nobel to acquire the assets and the developmental rights to a new salt mine. Construction of the American Rock Salt Mine at Hampton Corners began in November 1998 and was completed three years later on December 14th, 2001. We are the first successful salt mine built in the United States in over 50 years. Daily production of the mine can reach 20,000 tons, making American Rock Salt the largest producing salt mine in the U.S.A!

Our Historical Timeline

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.
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.
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.
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.
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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