Shark Bay Salt Pty Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. Ltd, which is one of the world’s most diversified trading, investment and services enterprises. It owns and operates two saltfields in Western Australia — Shark Bay Resources and Onslow Salt.
The Shark Bay operation — Shark Bay Resources
The Shark Bay saltfield was built in the mid-1960s and began shipment of salt in 1967.
It is located in the middle of the Shark Bay World Heritage Property encompassing about 130 square kilometres, of which 70 square kilometres are operational ponds, and is close to the south end of Shark Bay. The sea water salinity here is about 50% more than the open sea.
The saltfield was built by enclosing natural inlets. Seawater is fed into the first evaporation pond in the Useless Inlet area which contains about 64 square kilometres of operational ponds (evaporators) using the movement of the tides.
The concentrated brine in the Useless Inlet area is transferred to the Useless Loop area through a 20 km long flume.
The Useless Loop area has 37 crystalliser ponds in various sizes and shapes, a salt-washing plant, a stockpile area and its own loading port. The Company operates a residential village within close proximity to the operation which provides employees and their families housing, recreational facilities and schooling.