The future of Switzerland’s salt supply

Swiss Saltworks is mandated by the 26 cantons and the Principality of Liechtenstein to ensure independent and reliable supplies of salt for Switzerland on a basis of solidarity, and to do so from domestic production. In order to carry out this mandate in the long term, the salt map of Switzerland is constantly being developed and expanded as geological data such as the depth, thickness, position and purity of salt deposits in this country are collected. For this purpose, exploratory boreholes are sunk and surface-level sonar measurements are carried out at regular intervals in suitable regions.

Switzerland’s salt deposits
Switzerland’s salt was gifted to us by the primordial ocean that evaporated 200 million years ago, leaving behind layers of salt up to 50 metres thick in north-western Switzerland, the Jura and the Swiss Midlands. These deposits will suffice for centuries to come. However, the 50 or so active boreholes in Möhlin and Pratteln will only supply salt until 2025.

New drilling fields
By 2025, if not before, salt will therefore have to be obtained from new boreholes. Investigations are currently being conducted at both the Riburg and Schweizerhalle saltworks with the aim of developing new drilling fields. At the Riburg saltworks, efforts are focused on the Möhlin area; the Schweizerhalle saltworks is investigating areas to the south of Muttenz. These new drilling fields will ensure that evaporated salt can be extracted over the coming decades.