Carlsbad, New Mexico


West Mine
Carlsbad, New Mexico

The West Mine consists of a mine and mill originally built in 1931. The main ore body at the West mine is located 800 to 1,100 feet below the surface. 

After extraction by mining equipment adapted from the coal industry, the ore, which contains primarily sylvite and salt, is moved to a shaft by conveyor belts and hoisted to the surface.  

The surface facility uses a flotation process to separate the sylvite from the salt. 

The refined sylvite is called Muriate of Potash or potash for short and is transported to the North Facility where it is compacted and processed into a granular form suitable for agricultural applications. 

The granular product is stored in warehouses until it is sold into the wholesale fertilizer market.


Product Muriate of Potash
Date Mine Opened 1931
Operations Conventional
Current Extraction Method Underground
Minimum Remaining Life 158 years