SQM’s white potash: a purer choice
Brines, present in concentrated form in the cracks beneath the surface of the Atacama Salt Flats, are extracted from pumping wells that are strategically situated in various parts of the Atacama Salt Flats. After being extracted, the brines, which contain no clay or any other solids, are pumped to huge evaporation ponds. There, they rest under the desert sun, to increase their concentration through a natural and environmentally friendly way. The evaporation rate is very high, around 10 litres per square metre per day. Over time the remaining brines are pumped away and the salt is harvested.
The salts precipitated in the evaporation ponds are appropriately harvested and transported. Then, after crushing, froth flotation, drying and compacting processes, white potassium chloride is obtained, among other derivative products.