In our region since the beginning of the 18th century salt was extracted exclusively by evaporating it from the salt water of lakes and wells and later-pores. The Cossacks were involved to this occupation and later-the industrialists. Subsequently salt began to be extracted in a more progressive mining method. Since 1881 when the first salt mine of Donbass-“Bryantsevskaya mine” was put into operation–modern salt mines of state enterprise Artyomsol originate from it. This event is also considered to be the start of industrial salt production in the region.
In those times the extraction of salt in the mine was carried out by drilling and blasting methods. For this, holes were drilled in the salt layer, gunpowder cartridges with oppression were placed in them and then detonations were made. The salt that was formed as a result of the explosion was sorted, loaded into the trolleys, horses hauled salt to the mine shaft. Then the trolleys were lifted to the surface by a cage which operated from a steam engine. On the surface the salt was crushed in special mills. At the last stage it was shipped to the railway cars and sent to the consumers by the rail.
In the 80-s of the XIX century the source of lighting in the mine was lamps without glass, which burned from oil. And only in the early 30-s of the latest century the mine infrastructure was completely electrified. At this moment scraping of salt was introduced, the underground haulage was mechanized, mounted roller machines for milling salt.
As for the drilling and blasting method it was used in mines until the 1970s. But it was quite dangerous and, besides, during the explosions the salt was heavily polluted. Subsequently it was replaced by a combine harvesting of salt, which is still used nowadays.
Now SE Artyomsol is one of the largest salt-producing enterprises in Eastern Europe. It includes four operating production units-mines 1,3 (the former Bryantsevska mine, breaking-in–in 1881 and mine #3, breaking-in–1947); #4 (breaking-in–1979), #7 (former Tereshchenko mine, breaking-in–1912) and Volodarskyy mine (former Kuzmynovska mine, breaking-in–1910 or 1911).
During its 138-year history the mines of Artyomsol extracted, processed and sold more than 287 millions tons of salt, which is necessary for the successful development of many important industries.
The birth of Artemivsk rock salt deposit
The deposit of rock salt that has being mining for many years by state enterprise Artyomsol arose 240-250 million years ago at the location of the ancient sea in the tropical climatic zone. The process of formation of the deposit was associated with the flow of sea water into the gulf (nowadays at this place salt is produced) and its evaporation under the influence of solar energy.
At that time the process of the life birth was just beginning on the Earth. And it was in the sea creating favorable conditions for the functioning of living organisms. Along with the sea water, various sea products also entered the bay and were deposited in layers during the evaporation process. Silt particles, trapped in a layer of salt (sodium chloride), can now be visually distinguished as blotches of “gray” color. They contain all substances and microelements that are necessary for the life of the human body.
During the glacial period, owing to a shift in the earth’s crust, the salt deposits shifted, and for millions of years were conserved in the subsoil of the earth. Nowadays salt production is carried out at a depth of 250-285 meters removing only the central part of the salt layer and its height reaches more than 47 meters.