Where do rock salt suppliers get their supplies from?

By Cathryn Robson on 15/01/14 in: Seasonal

Where do rock salt suppliers get their supplies from?

Salt can be found all around us from deep underground to the vast expanse of oceans.

The salt used for road gritting is generally mined with the vast majority used in the UK being mined right here in the UK. The reason we can do this is that the UK was once littered with inland seas. Throughout the millions of years that followed, the seawater evaporated leaving valuable salt mines behind.

Of course there are many gradients of salt, after all, we don’t use the same salt that grits our roads on our chips! The rock salt used on roads is brown in colour and rather gravel like and is carved out of years old underground mines.

We have three such mines here in the UK, The Salt Mine in Cheshire, Cleveland Potash in Teeside and the Irish Salt Mining and Exploration Company in County Antrim, each supplying individual rock salt suppliers with the quantities they need.  It is the local councils that control and govern road gritting within our burrows, with the The Highways Agency controlling the amount of salt placed on our A roads and motorways.

When stocks do become low local councils and authorities and The Highways Agency work together to cope with the demand. For example any surplus left from The Highways Agency can be passed on to the local councils. Rations could be placed to reduce the amount used each day. Minor roads may be the first to be stopped from being gritted. Whilst this is of course not ideal, it does help keep major roads open and prevents the area from coming to a complete stand still.

Our main mines work around the clock to keep up with the demand although if they start to struggle, they can import salt. Rock salt suppliers are able to import stocks from countries such as Spain and Australia.

One factor that may play a very small part in why your local end of road salt bin lies empty, thieves. It has been known of people stealing supplies for use on their own property. This is in fact illegal as this salt is provided for use on public roads and paths only. If you see and believe anyone is taking the salt for any other reason, contact the police.

If you’re looking for a rock salt supplier to supply salt for personal, business or council use, come to Stones4Homes. We have brown rock salt and white de-icing salt in a variety of bag sizes available and ready for dispatch, just visit our website for more information. Whilst there, don’t forget to look at the decorative stones, bark chippings and other landscaping materials.