Compass Minerals Announces Plans to Further Upgrade Its Rock Salt Supply Capabilities for the Great Lakes Region
Compass Minerals announced expanded plans to upgrade its salt mining operations in Goderich, Ontario, which will improve its operating processes and increase its annual production capacity to approximately nine million tons by 2012. The upgrade will position the company to efficiently increase production of highway deicing salt as demand requires.
“While the demand for highway deicing salt fluctuates from one winter season to the next depending on the weather, there is a steadily rising need for more supply in the Great Lakes regions of the United States and Canada,” said Angelo Brisimitzakis, Compass Minerals’ president and CEO. “This additional capability will give us the ability to increase production as our customers’ needs increase and to better serve our markets even during the most severe winters.”
The company began Phase I of its Goderich mine upgrade program in 2007 and expects to have an expanded production capacity of 7.25 million tons in 2009.
The broader Phase II program includes upgraded underground material-handling equipment, improved above-ground storage and loading capabilities, and increased product hoisting capacity. It is expected to cost a total of approximately $70 million, with most of the expenditures in 2009 and 2010. The first one million tons of annual capacity created by Phase II is expected to be available in 2010 with the remaining 750,000 tons available in 2012.
“This Phase II upgrade increases the mine’s total production capacity, improves our overall operating processes and lays the groundwork for future cost-effective expansions should the need arise,” Dr. Brisimitzakis continued. “Consistent with our long-range strategies for profitable growth, this expansion leverages the existing advantages of our Goderich mine asset, including thick, high-quality salt deposits that enable lower production cost, and access to low-cost transportation.”
Compass Minerals’ mine in Goderich, Ontario, is already the world’s largest underground rock salt mine. The company also operates rock salt mines in Cote Blanche, Louisiana, and Cheshire, U.K.