Salt: Rio Tinto announces Dampier Salt production up – aided by autonomous trucks

Dampier Salt’s salt production figures for Q4 2018 have been released at 1.496Mt, bringing its total output for the year up to 6.153Mt, a 21% increase on full year 2017 data. The company has increased output to fulfil rising demand for salt. Rio Tinto owns 68% of Dampier Salt. Overall 2018 production for Rio Tinto’s three solar salt operations totalled 9Mt, up from 7.5Mt in 2017.

In January 2019, it was reported that Rio Tinto is trialling autonomous Scania trucks in its Dampier Salt operations as part of its existing autonomous truck fleet.

The trial started in August 2018 using a Scania XT 8×4 self-driving tipper. Like trials of most autonomous vehicles around the world, a safety driver still has to be in the cab, just in case anything does not go according to plan.

Roskill view:

Dampier Salt is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (68%) and the Japanese companies Marubeni (22%) and Sojitz (10%). Most output is exported to Asia for use in chloralkali and synthetic soda ash production. World salt demand growth continues to be led by Asia.

Roskill’s Salt 2019 conference 27-29 March 2019 will include an update on growing Chinese chloralkali demand and the Indian and Pacific Ocean salt trade that derives from it.
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Roskill’s NEW Salt: Global Industry, Markets & Outlook report was published in November 2018. Click here to download the brochure and sample pages, or to access further information.

To discuss the salt market with Roskill, contact Kerry Satterthwaite: or David McNeill