2021-07-02

Monte Kali: Mountains of Salt

Monte Kali: The 250-meter heigh man-made mountain, which emerged from the table salt produced in the world's largest potash mine, is so harmful to the environment, although it attracts a lot of attention from the public. This unusual mountain in the town of Heringer, Germany, Monte Kali is made up of sodium chloride, or table salt, a byproduct of potash.

This mining has been an industry in this region for over 100 years. It started with the opening of the potash business in 1903, and today it has become the world's largest Kali mine with its field of operation. Potash mineral is mixed with potash and sodium chloride between 20 and 35 percent potassium. For every ton of potash excavated, several tons of sodium chloride "salt" are produced.

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Mount Potash


The spoil heap or spoil tip towering over Heringen in Hesse, Germany, is Monte Kali or Kilimanjaro. This is just one of many sites where K+S chemical dumps sodium chloride "common salt" or "table salt" as a byproduct from potash mining and processing.

These names are shorthand for Kalisalz, German meaning "potash" and were created on "Monte Carlo", "Kilimanjaro". It is located right next to Thuringia's border and therefore close to the former inner-German border to East Germany.

The summit of the heap is 530m high above sea level. It rises more than 250 meters above surrounding land. According to Heringen's Werra Potash Mining Museum, Monte Kali was in operation since 1976. It covered 98 hectares, contained approximately 201,000,000 tonnes of salt, and was adding 900 tonnes per hour. An annual average of 7.2 million tonnes is added.

Mountains of Table Salt

It is a huge amount of salt that gets into the soils and rivers in the area. The Werra river is so salty that it can support only a few freshwater organisms. It has a chloride ion concentration of 2.5 g/L. Groundwater is also becoming salty. K+S is licensed to continue dumping salt at this facility until 2030.

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mountain of salt, monte kali, mountains of salt, mount potash,
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mountain of salt, monte kali, mountains of salt, mount potash,
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mountain of salt, monte kali, mountains of salt, mount potash,
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Monte Kali Map

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