China is the largest salt producer of salt in the world followed closely by the United States. Salt is generally produced one of three ways –
1. Deep-shaft mining is much like mining for any other mineral. The salt is taken from ancient underground seabeds. Most salt produced this way is used as rock salt.
2. In solution mining, wells are erected over salt beds and the fresh water is added to dissolve the salt. Then the ‘brine’, is pumped out and taken to a processing plant for evaporation. Most common table salt is produced this way.
3. Salt is harvested from seawater or salt lakes after the sun and wind evaporate the water. It is usually harvested once a year when the salt reaches a specific thickness. This only works in areas with low rainfall and a lot of sun – Mediterranean countries and Australia for example