There are currently three salt mines Realmonte in the province of Agrigento and Racalmuto and Petralia, in the province of Palermo, managed by the company Italkali . The Realmonte field, overlooking the southern coast of Sicily, about four kilometers from Agrigento and a kilometer from Porto Empedocle, Italy.
It consists of a vast saline lens, aligned according to the coast, which runs between Porto Empedocle and Siculiana. The layers of rock salt and kainite dive on a regular basis from the mountain to the sea, with rock salt stratificamente roof of kainite and with an output of up to 40 meters and a title in sodium chloride between 97 and 98%. reserves have been established for about 100 million tonnes of rock salt and confirmed the presence of significant amounts of potassium minerals that have been developed programs for industrial exploitation.
Realmonte is able to produce about 500 thousand tons per year of salt. Racalmuto, in the last century became an important mining center and had some increase also the salt industry. Important role in the local economy is provided by the salt mines. The mine is located about 2 km from Racalmuto, located almost at the limit between the provinces of Agrigento and Caltanissetta.
The mine is accessible through camionabili tunnels and ramps and reaches approximately 100 m deep. A well, placed in a central position with respect to the cultivation area, ensures the exchange of air in the subsoil at a rate of 1140 m³ / second. The mineral production lines are two: – the salt intended for direct food and the food industry and animal consumption; – The industrial salt destined mainly to tanneries and dyeing. The food is grown rock salt with a continuous miner, which automatically transfers it to the edge of Perlini trucks (big trucks) and transfer it to a place silos outside of the mine.
The industrial rock salt is shot down with sprints of mines. Crushing plants, comminution and screening, packaging of cartons containing 1 kg bags of 25 kg and 50 are located outside of the mine. The production of salt is carried out in three shifts: from 7:00 to 3:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m. to 23:00 – 7:00 pm. Today, compared to the past, the salt mines are safer, as in the galleries “at risk” is introduced a remotely controlled electric shovel.