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Independent Salt Company
Box 36
1126 20th Road
Kanopolis, KS 67454

785.472.5196 - FAX

Geologists tell us the salt may have been deposited in either of two ways: continued...

Salt. Few things in recorded history have been honored as highly or as consistently, for salt is as important to human life as air, water and food. continued...

The Independent Salt Company was established 1-1/2 miles east of Kanopolis, Kansas with the erection of the buildings and the sinking of the shaft on June 16, 1913.  Full operation started in May of 1914 with the first salt being shipped in April of 1915.

The production of salt at our mine is from what geologists call the Hutchinson Salt member of the Wellington formation. This formation was deposited during the Permian Age and is approximately 245,000,000 years old.  It was deposited in thin layers by the evaporation of inland seas in what was then the south-western part of the super continent known as Pangeia.

The mineralogical name for the product we produce is halite, which is made up primarily of sodium chloride with traces of other chlorides and sulfates.  Each sodium chloride molecule is made up of one sodium atom, a metal, and one atom of chlorine, a gas.  By themselves these two elements are very dangerous, toxic substances.  When combined into sodium chloride, or common salt, they form a substance that is vital to all forms of life and very important for modern industry.

The salt produced at Independent Salt is not used for direct human consumption, as is table salt, which is produced from brine pumped from wells or the ocean.  Instead, our product is used as an additive to animal and poultry feed, for processing raw hides into leather goods, industrial water treatment, and as an aid in drilling oil and gas wells.
The largest use, as well as the one most familiar to most people, is as a de-icing agent for roads, bridges, and other structures because of itís low cost and ability to lower the freezing point of water. Whether used alone, or mixed with sand or calcium chloride, road salt plays a vital role in keeping streets and highways safe for public and commercial traffic during the winter months in a large part of the country.

Kansas Rock Salt

The Kansas rock salt bed lies generally in a horizontal plane at varying depths depending largely on surface elevation. The limits of the bed are depicted in the picture. It is a Permian age deposit approximately 245 million years old.

Geologists tell us the salt may have been deposited in either of two ways:
(1) The sea flowed into the area and became trapped by an uplift in  land. The lake that was formed dried up leaving a layer of salt. This may have occurred several times until at this time the bed of salt mixed with varying amounts of shale is more than 200 ft. thick. Since 80 feet of the sea water is required to deposit 1 foot of salt, it is evident that more than 16,000 feet of sea water would have to have been evaporated from this area.

(2) Salt may have been deposited in this area in the same manner it is being deposited at the Great Salt Lake In Utah, and in the Dead Sea in Israel.  According to this theory, waters flowing eastward from the Rocky Mountains would have leached salt from the rocks and earth and deposited it in a land-locked lake in this area.

Salt was first reported in the area in 1806 when Lt. Zebuion Pike (for whom Pikes Peak is named) found evidence of salt water in the Saline River.  We are told that Indians and wild animals obtained salt from salt licks and salt springs some 50 miles southwest of Kanopolis long before recorded history.  Rock salt was discovered in 1887 by people who were drilling for gas and oil.

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