Leasable, Salt

The U.S halite (salt) production was about 42 million short tons worth about $2.3 billion in 2019. The salt is used primarily for highway deicing (43%) and in the chemical industry (37%), the latter in which salt is used primarily to manufacture chlorine (e.g., PVC plastic) and caustic soda (e.g., paper pulping chemicals). (https://pubs.usgs.gov/periodicals/mcs2020/mcs2020-salt.pdf)

Washed salt stockpile from United Salt Corporation in New Mexico.
Salt stockpiles at United Salt Corporation’s Carlsbad Operations.

Two mines produce about 400,000 short tons per year of by-product salt from Federal potassium lease areas. The mines supported about 110 jobs in rural New Mexico in 2020, and a net of $1.5 million of the Federal revenue from the salt production was shared with the State of New Mexico in 2019. In addition, the BLM sometimes authorizes the primary production of salt from brine wells, but no such operations are currently authorized in the BLM New Mexico jurisdiction.