Rio Tinto is the world's largest seaborne salt exporter through our 68.4 per cent owned subsidiary, Dampier Salt Limited.
Our share of salt production by Dampier Salt is more than six million tonnes a year, produced from three locations in Western Australia: Dampier, Port Hedland and Lake MacLeod.
The most abundant source of salt is the ocean, but it can also be produced from underground brines or from solid salt geological formations.
At our Dampier and Port Hedland operations, salt is produced by evaporation of seawater by means of energy from the sun and assisted by the wind. It takes about 65 million tonnes of seawater to produce one million tonnes of salt.
At Lake MacLeod we produce salt from underground brines that are 10 times more concentrated than seawater, for more information click here.
The total area under evaporation at our salt operations is 19,500 hectares with the three sites evaporating an average of 1.1 billion litres of water a day - enough to fill 18,000 domestic swimming pools.
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Salt making process at Lake MacLeod
- The saturated brine contained in Lake MacLeod is approximately 10 times saltier than seawater, eliminating the need for the concentration ponds normally required to evaporate water to reach "salting" point (sodium chloride saturation).