A joint venture between Rio Tinto (68%), Marubeni Corporation (22%) and Sojitz (10%), Dampier Salt (DSL) is located in the hot, dry climate of northern Western Australia.
Dampier Salt has three salt operations located at Dampier, Port Hedland and Lake MacLeod and is headquartered in Perth, Western Australia. The sales, marketing and logistics activities are performed in Singapore.
The Dampier operation was the first DSL site and was established in 1967. This site is currently the largest producer of the three sites with a capacity of 4.2 million tonnes per annum. The first shipment was to Japan in 1972.
The Lake MacLeod site was acquired in 1978 and has the greatest potential for expansion of the three sites with a current production capacity of 2.9 million tonnes per annum.
The Port Hedland operation was acquired in 2001 and has a current production capacity of 3.2 million tonnes per annum.
Rio Tinto's The way we work outlines the values that govern our business including our approach to sustainable development. A safe workplace is essential to the continued success of our business and our goal is to ensure every employee, contractor and visitor returns home healthy and injury free each day.
Our approach to salt production involves extracting seawater (our primary resource for Dampier and Port Hedland) or naturally occurring underground brines (at Lake MacLeod) and then using the evaporative power of the sun and the wind to crystallise pure sodium chloride salt in a series of ponds called crystallisers.
Sun and wind energy comprise around 99 per cent of the total energy required to grow, process and ship our salt. Our sustainability strategy is founded on long-term operational viability and maximising the use of renewable energy sources.
Our Lake MacLeod and Port Hedland operations have been harvesting salt for over 40 years. The demonstrated sustainability of our approach indicates that our operations will continue well beyond the next 40 years.