Historic Avery Island salt mine shutting down in wake of deadly collapse
AVERY ISLAND - The operator of a south Louisiana salt mine where two workers died in a collapse last month announced it will expedite the shutdown of the site.
On Thursday, Cargill announced its salt mine in Avery Island will permanently end production this year. The company originally planned to halt production at that site Dec. 31 whenever its lease with the landowner ended.
It wasn't immediately clear whether the shutdown would be effective immediately, but Cargill said the announcement "accelerates" the plan to end production at the mine.
“For over 24 years, we have been proud to be part of the Avery Island and New Iberia communities,” said Sonya Roberts, president of Cargill’s salt business. “This was a difficult business decision, but ultimately the right one as we considered the future economics of the mine’s operation and our production capacity until the end of the year. We’d like to thank Avery Island Inc. for their partnership over those years and thank our hard-working employees who have made the mine successful.”
The mine on Avery Island has been operating since the mid-1800s and was the first rock salt mine in North America. The mine is owned by Avery Island Inc. and has been managed by Cargill since 1997 when it acquired the lease from Azko-Nobel.