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Salt delivery announces coming of winter

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Canadian Great Lakes bulk carrier freighter, Algomah Mariner, of Ontario, delivered 20,000 pounds of road salt to the Mattila Rock and Dock facility on Jasberg Street in Hancock Wednesday morning. It is the first of two such deliveries that will be made before winter arrives.

HANCOCK — While facial coverings and frequent handwashing will not mitigate winter, 20,000 tons of salt will go a long way toward mitigating icy roads and car crashes during the winter. The Canadian vessel Algomah Mariner delivered 400,000 pounds of road salt to the Mattila Rock and Dock facility on Jasberg Street Wednesday morning.

David Mattila, facility owner, said the 20,000-ton delivery is the first of two to be delivered, the second delivery is expected in about four days, he said.

The salt, he said, is for distribution among the five western counties of the Upper Peninsula, to be used throughout the winter.

“We go all the way to Ironwood, Marinesco, Covington,” said Mattila. “This year we’re also going to Republic and Ishpeming.”

The salt, he said, is purchased by the state of Michigan, deposited at his facility, and from there, his company trucks to the mineral to its various destinations.

Mattila said the vessel hails from Goderich, Ontario, and first stopped at Sault Ste. Marie to offload a portion of its cargo before going on to Hancock to dump the remainder of the load at his facility, where it has been delivered since the late 1960s.

Goderich is the location where the salt is mined, operated by Sifto Salt, a subsidiary of Compass Minerals of Kansas, supplies much of the salt applied to slippery streets each winter throughout Toronto and other cities in the Great Lakes area of U.S. and Canada. According to Compress Minerals, the Goderich salt mine is located 1,800 feet under Lake Huron, and is the largest underground salt mine in the world. It has operated since 1959 and was acquired by Compass Minerals in 1990.

The rock salt produced at the mine is is shipped to hundreds of communities around the Great Lakes and along the St. Lawrence Seaway. Some of the salt is trucked to the Compass Minerals plant less than four kilometers away, to be packaged for distribution and sale at retailers in North America. The salt is also sold in bulk to manufacturers that make plastics, detergents, disinfectants and other important products. It is also sold through distributors.

While some may question the state of Michigan purchasing road salt from a Canadian company, Sifto Salt, which operates the Goderich Mine, is a subsidiary of Compass Minerals, which is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. Compass Minerals’ mines and facilities are located throughout the U.K., North America and South America. The state also has contracts with Morton Salt Co., Detroit Salt, and Cargill Salt Co.

Anyone wishing to purchase 20 or more tons of salt can contact Draglam Salt. Their website welcomes customers to “Contact us to order your bulk rock salt, road salt, or deicing salt – or if you have any questions about our services. Don’t forget to call our 24-HOUR Salt Hotline at 1-888-907-SALT for any emergency orders or special requests!”

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