Salt pan near Onslow, Western Australia.

Frequently asked questions

Take a look below to find the answers to some frequently asked questions. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Is Ashburton Salt the same project that was proposed before?

No.  The Ashburton Salt Project is a completely new project that is very different to the last one proposed in the region.

Previously, a much larger project, called the Yannarie Project, was proposed by Straits Resources.  Yannarie would have spread across a much larger area, extending deep into the southern base of the Exmouth Gulf.  

Straits Resources did not proceed with the project in 2009 after it did not gain environmental approval.

Ashburton Salt is much smaller (at least 50% smaller), has a proposed smaller production capacity (4.5 Mtpa compared with 10 Mtpa.) and will be located much further North.  

Other significant differences between the Ashburton Salt Project and the proposed Yannarie Project include no long term storage of bitterns on site, use of transhippers to avoid or minimise dredging. 

How does solar salt production work?

Solar salt production is a technique that extracts salt from seawater through naturally occurring evaporation from the sun. It is one of the most energy efficient forms of industry.

Saltwater flows through a series of separate evaporation ponds. After several months of exposure to sunlight, the salt crystallises and can be harvested as a layer of salt several centimetres in thickness. Finally the salt is cleaned, dried and loaded onto ships for distribution.

Why does K+S want to invest in Western Australia?

We have been investigating opportunities to expand our market presence in Asia, and Western Australia has proven to be an ideal location to supply from to these markets.

Will the project create local employment?

Ashburton Salt should create some 75 long-term full time equivalent jobs.

Our preference is to employ local people and we will consult with the communities of Onslow and Exmouth to work out ways to make this happen where possible. The project is in its early design phase so it is difficult to state what the make-up of the workforce will be at this stage.

We will also, where possible, source goods and services locally.

We look forward to engaging with the local communities of Onslow and Exmouth and also the local Aboriginal communities to investigate employment options.

How will K+S consult with the community?

K+S is committed to keeping close contact with the communities of Onslow and Exmouth.  

This involves regular visits to both towns and providing information from the very start of the project to ensure local community members have a chance to provide feedback before the project is developed and throughout the approvals process.

See our Community section for more detail.

What will K+S do to ensure the environment is protected?

Ashburton Salt will be designed to use the highest environmental management practices, ensuring minimal environmental impact on the surrounding area.  

From the outset, we will be drawing on top-level local and global environmental expertise to design a project which will minimise impacts on the environment surrounding the site.

We will be drawing on this best practice experience to design a sustainable and efficient project that can co-exist with the surrounding environment and community.

How will you transport the salt?

We plan to build a small jetty as part of the project to load small low draft trans-shippers which will then load larger ships anchored further out at sea.

Use of trans-shippers can possibly eliminate the need for (at the very least, minimise) dredging in the mouth of the Exmouth Gulf.

Will Ashburton Salt damage the fishing industry?

We have begun to undertake extensive environmental modelling and will soon commence consultation with the fishing industry to ensure our project minimises potential impacts on this industry and any other industry that relies on sea life.

Will you be making your environmental impact studies public?

All environmental impacts studies will be made public as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process managed by Environmental Protection Authority of WA. There will be an advertised public comment period allowing any member of the public or organisation to make comments as part of the process.


Solar salt production at Morton Salt’s Inagua site on the Bahamas.


Print version  |  Return to Top
Follow us  LinkedInGlassdoorkununuXINGYouTubeInstagram