Intrepid Potash Inc. mines potash with a water dissolution and evaporation process at Cane Creek Facility, near Moab, Utah, USA. Snow dusts the La Sal Mountains.
Intrepid Potash Inc. mines potash with a water dissolution and evaporation process at Cane Creek Facility, near Moab, Utah, USA. (Photo taken from a viewpoint on Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA.) Water from the nearby Colorado River is pumped through injection wells into the underground mine. The water dissolves the potash from layers buried 3,000 feet underground. The mineral-laden water (brine) is piped to 400 acres of shallow ponds where the water evaporates, aided by 300 days of sunshine and very low humidity, leaving potash (potassium chloride) and salt (sodium chloride) crystals. A blue dye, similar to food coloring, is added to assist evaporation (saving the burning 400,000 tons of coal each year). The solar ponds are lined with heavy vinyl to prevent brine from leaking into the ground and the Colorado River. Holding ponds catch any spills and return potassium-rich brine to the ponds. The snow-dusted La Sal Mountains reach 12,780 feet in elevation.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download