Salt Mines

The Khewara Salt Mines are positioned in Khewra 32.6553276,73.0088711 , some 200 kilometres south of Islamabad and 245 kilometres north of Lahore, a bit East of motorway M2 at 288 meters above sea stage, i.e. 300 km decrease than Islamabad. That is fairly noticeable on the drive from Islamabad, because the highway M2 is kind of horizontal for an extended distance, however ultimately leads in lots of turns down a mineral-rich mountain variant known as Salt Vary. As one reaches the underside, one turns off M2 to the east in direction of Khewara. The whole size of the Salt Vary is 300 kilometres.

The Khewra Salt Mines are the second largest salt mines on this planet, second solely to the salt mines in Goderich, Ontario, Canada. The salt mining business in Goderich is likely one of the oldest in Ontario. In 1866, petroleum exploration crews discovered an enormous historic salt deposit about 300 metres below the floor. Thus far, 150 million tons of salt have been produced from the mine. The mine is now in a position to produce greater than 9 million tons a yr. Harvesting started round 1975. The mine itself is 530 metres beneath the floor, extending 7 km2 below Lake Huron. The mine is the most important underground salt mine on this planet. It runs greater than 500 km deep below Lake Huron and goes into the lake for 7.5 km!

The Khewra Salt Mine compared is turning out 325.000 tons of salt per yr, and an estimated 220 million tons over its lifetime. That is barely even a dent within the huge salt shops right here that are mentioned to be near 7 billion tons. Protecting an space of 110 km2, the large mine has over 40 kilometers of tunnels operating some 730 meters into the mountain below which the salt deposits are discovered.

Salt is often mined within the type of bricks of rock salt in rectangularly formed caverns that have a tendency to gather water on the backside in “brine ponds”
Use of salt
The rock salt, often mined within the measurement and type of typical clay brick, retains a bit of its color when floor. It’s typically offered as “Himalayan salt” and the impurities are mentioned to enhance the style.
To maintain the large area from collapsing, solely fifty p.c of the salt discovered is mined; the opposite half serves as help columns to carry up the mine. With such an enormous space, a big workforce, and the convenience of carving and constructing with salt bricks,it isn’t suprising that some fascinating sights have been constructed throughout the salt mine.
Among the many earliest construction constructed throughout the mine is the small Shahi Mosque, full with a small salt minaret. Constructed extra just lately, particularly to draw vacationers, are small salt variations of the Nick Wall of China, the Mall highway of Murree, Lahore’s Shimla hill, and the Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore. Each the mosque and the miniatures are constructed from salt bricks, which differ in shade from purple to pink to white, and which are actually lighted electrically and radiate a fantastic heat glow.
At occasions, the various colours and bricks of sunshine give the mine a type of disco-Yellow-Brick-Highway look. Different sights — and there are a lot of — embrace a 75-meter-tall “meeting corridor” chamber with stairs spiraling up the partitions, a 25-foot-long Salt Bridge known as the Pul-saraat (an allusion to the Islamic “Pul-e-Saraat,” a bridge you need to cross on Judgment Day which is described as “thinner than a strand of hair and sharper than a sword”), brine ponds, and delightful salt-crystal formations equivalent to stalactites, just like the few proven above.

Historical past of mine

Formally, salt mining wasn’t recorded till the 1200s below the Janjua-Raja’ tribe, however salt has most likely been mined and traded right here since Alexander’s time. Certainly it’s reported {that a} horse of Alexander the Nice found the salt: In 326 BC, Alexander the Nice, conquering an empire starting from Europe into Africa and Asia, was making his means throughout Pakistan. Stopping his military for a relaxation within the space now often known as Khewra, Alexander’s horse started licking the stones on the bottom. Seeing that each one the horses have been doing so, a soldier himself tried one and located that the rocks have been fairly salty. The Khewra salt deposits had been found.
Rocksalt. Even right here nature is “enhanced” by altering colors, primarily for the good thing about youngsters visiting with their college lessons.

silver spoon with Pantone 691 text overlay

Salt manufacturing usually
Earlier than the arrival of the inner combustion engine and earth shifting gear, mining salt was a costly and harmful operation, resulting from speedy dehydration attributable to the fixed contact with the salt (each within the mine passages and scattered within the air as salt mud). Amongst different issues, the extreme sodium consumption causes severe issues.

Whereas salt is now plentiful, till the Industrial Revolution it was tough to come back by, and salt mining was typically performed by slave or jail labor. Life expectancy amongst these sentenced was low. In historic Rome, salt on the desk was a mark of a wealthy patron; those that sat nearer the host have been “above the salt,” and people much less favored have been “beneath the salt”.

Observe that the Latin phrase for salt is ‘sal’, from which phrases in different languages are derived, like ‘Salz’ in German, ‘wage’ in Englisch, much like ‘Salär’ in previous German.

The salt mine in Hallstatt, Austria Hallstatt deserves particular mentioning, because it has been in operation for some 4.000 years! In spite of everything, even a historic cultural interval known as “Hallstatt interval”. Not too long ago, the picket stair proven to the left was discovered throughout the mining course of. It was carbon dated to 1341 BC!

Lest this contribution provides the improper impression, it must be clearly said that salt does in fact not solely come from salt mines, however can be produced in massive quantities from the evaporation of seawater, somewhat more than by being extracted from sedimentary deposits. Such sea salt is talked about within the Vinaya Pitaka, a Buddhist scripture compiled within the mid-Fifth century BC. The precept of manufacturing is evaporation of the water from the ocean brine. In heat and dry climates this can be achieved fully by exposing the brine ponds to the solar, however in different climates gas sources have been used. Trendy sea salt manufacturing is nearly fully present in Mediterranean areas and different heat, dry climates.

China (25%), United States (14.5%), India (8%), Germany (6%) and Canada (4%) are- with collectively about 58% of the world production- the main salt suppliers on this planet. Regardless of the dimensions of the Khewra salt mines, Pakistan contributes lower than 1%, and among the many central European international locations with salt mines, solely Germany produces way over 1%.

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