Utah, Moab - Potash Mining

State: Utah
Region: West of Moab, Utah
Description: The Moab or Cane Creek Potash mine is located 20 miles west of Moab and in very close proximity to Dead Horse Point State Park. The mine began underground excavation in 1964 and was converted in 1970 to a solar evaporation system. This mine produces between 700 and 1,000 tons of potash per day.  Potash refers to potassium compounds which are found naturally occurring on areas where ancient oceans once covered the landscape. The main use for potash is for agricultural fertilizer.

 

Water is used from the nearby Colorado River in the production of potash.This water is pumped through injection wells into the underground mine which dissolves layers of potash more than 3,000 feet below the surface. The resulting "brine" is then brought to the surface and piped to 400 acres of shallow evaporation ponds. A blue dye is added to the ponds to assist in the evaporation process. These ponds are lined with vinyl to keep the brine from spilling back into the Colorado River. A major by-product of this process is salt. The salt is used for water softening, animal feed and oil drilling fluids as well as many other applications.

 


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