Salt deposits in thick beds and domes have been found near Titjikala, on Maryvale Station, 120 kilometers south of Alice Springs.
The deposit is believed to be one of Australia’s largest and and will provide its first underground salt mine, according to the managing director of Tellus Holdings, Duncan van der Merwe.
He says: “The project should also provide substantial research and business opportunities for Alice Springs business and research institutions, including community development, Indigenous employment and training, renewable energy and micro-business opportunities, such as bush foods.
“Tellus has used the results of historic oil and gas exploration to identify several extensive salt beds in Central Australia as salt and oil and gas beds tend to occur together.
“The results suggest the Chandler salt bed formation has very high grade halite that can be used for edible and industrial salt. It also contains minerals that can be used in fertilisers and industrial applications,” Mr van der Merwe said.
Tellus is completing a pre-feasibility study and plans to conduct drilling later this year to confirm the resource.
Should the mine go ahead, it would produce high quality rock salt, or halite, which would be processed on site, trucked to the nearby railway and mostly exported to Asia where edible and industrial salt are in demand for products such as chloralkali, soda ash, water treatment and livestock.
Tellus is also looking at a processing and packaging plant for edible gourmet salts and other specialty salt products that could be in Alice Springs.
Mr van der Merwe said salt mining is a low impact activity that would have a small surface footprint and little visual impact.
“Tellus is planning an initial mine life of 25 years, which is likely to be extended by another 25 years. However the underground deposit is so huge that the potential mine life is virtually limitless,” Mr van der Merwe said. (Media release)
PHOTOS: A salt mine project may breathe some life into the main street of Titjikala. Photo courtesy MacDonnell Shire. “Room mining” in a salt mine in Canada.