The Cardona plant (Barcelona) is built on a long tradition of salt mining that can trace its origins back to the time of the Roman Empire. Several authors mentioned the Cardona Salt Mountain and salt mining in their writings. The earliest reference is from the 2nd century AD.
The mining of the salt deposits in Cardona was opencast until the early twentieth century when underground mining began. In 1912 potassium salts were discovered and were similarly mined. From the 20s, work on the Cardona deposits was significantly boosted when the potash mining rights were acquired by Sociedad General de la Industria y el Comercio which, before it had even started mining, became part of Unión Española de Explosivos S.A. (UEE) in 1924, the forerunner of Unión Explosivos Río Tinto S.A. (ERT) and of Ercros.
Potash mining continued from 1929 to 1990, when Ercros disposed of this business with the sale of its subsidiary Potasas del Llobregat to Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI). The same year it began mining the salt deposited in the slag heap that had built up as a result of the potash mining. The Company’s current activities in Cardona are focussed on obtaining sodium salt for industrial purposes from the salt in the slag heap. This activity is part of the Company’s Basic Chemicals Division.
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Basic Chemicals Division