Himalayan Pink Salt is mined from a salt mine in Pakistan, in the foothills of the Himalayas, which is approximately 1136 km away from the actual Himalayan Range and about 2 hours from Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. It is extracted from the world’s 2nd largest salt mine, Khewra Salt Mine, which is spread over an area of 186 miles.
Around 320 BC, one day, Alexander, the Great Conqueror, and his army were marching across the Jhelum area, and they stopped for some rest near Khewra. Alexander’s men observed their horses licking stones on the ground, which they found strange. When they licked the rocks, they found them salty and reported it to Alexander.
In the 16th Century, Mughals came to power and built their Empire, they took over the salt mining from the local tribes and flourished the business.Later in 1809, the Sikhs of Punjab came into power in their area and kicked out the Mughals. The salt mining process was again transferred to local Punjabis. Khewra salt mines got their name from Sikhs.
British came to the Indo-Pak subcontinent with the purpose of business, & among other businesses, they took over salt mining, too, and without causing any delay, they named salt mines Mayo Salt Mines. British realized the value of Himalayan Pink Salt and chalked out a plan for tunnel excavation, and took the process of rock salt mining to the commercial level.
Room & Pillar Concept
Dr H.Wrath, proposed a new concept for mining. This concept is known as “Room and Pillar” because the idea was to mine the tunnels in a way that only 50% of salt should be mined and much salt is left behind in its place. The left-behind salt worked as pillars and supported my structure of mine. Due to this, salt is still mined from the Khewra salt mines, and it is still in its place without collapsing.
Currently, salt production reaches 400,000 tons per annum, making Khewra the most productive salt mine in the world. People think Himalayan salt is extinct and wonder that reserves of Himalayan salt may come to an end but stats show that 600 million tons of salt are still stored in mines which makes it enough to be mined for more than 350 years.