Rock salt is created when the water in salty water evaporates, leaving behind large granules of just the salt or the mineral form of sodium chloride. It usually forms in lakes and bays/estuaries in arid areas of the world. Rock salts can also be formed from large bodies of inland water that fully evaporate. In fact, at one point or another in the history of oceans, the Mediterranean Sea and a body of water that used to sit where the Atlantic Ocean sits now completely evaporated leaving enormous chunks of rock salt.
Rock salt production is a fairly simply process. It begins with the extraction of salt from underground deposits. This is usually done by utilizing the room-and-pillar method of mining in which dynamite is used to blast out large areas of the salt deposit, leaving pillars of salt to support the ceiling of the mine, much like they do in coal mines. From there, the salt is transported to an underground crusher and crushed down to chunks of about 20 cm or smaller. Then the salt is taken out of the mine and brought to a secondary crushing facility, where it is first crushed into smaller particles and then sorted, both by hand and by machine, to remove any non-salt items. It is then transported to yet another crushing facility where it is finally crushed to the desired coarseness, purified if necessary, sorted and packaged for the consumer.
It forms naturally, usually through the evaporation process and is then mined.
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