Other methods of production

Saltworks are not the only places where salt is produced.  Salt pans, mines and quarries also ensure a large part of production.


Sea salt 

Marais salants

Sea salt is the most well-known.  It is obtained from seawater and harvested in open “salt pans” via evaporation caused by the sun and wind.

Salt pans are composed of a network of specially equipped basins in which the water circulates.  The first basins, 20 to 30 centimetres deep, serve to purify the water.  The water is left to decant and the any suspended matter it contains settles to the bottom.  The water is then transferred to other sections for crystallisation.  Much shallower (less than 1 centimetre), they cause the temperature to rise and the water to evaporate.  Once the salt has crystallised, the salt workers harvest it by means of long rakes, gathering it into piles to allow it to dry.


Rock salt

Mine de sel

Another manner of salt production is exploitation in mines or quarries. This is for salt found in solid form: rock salt (or fossilised salt).  It is extracted in underground chambers accessed through shafts. Inside the chambers, pillars are erected in the salt to ensure stability of the ground above; this is known as “room and pillar mining”.