Khewra is the largest salt mine in the world (area wise) with 1290 RM of tunnels and is the second biggest producer of rock salt in the world, located at 160 kilometres from Islamabad and 260 kilometres from Lahore Pakistan.
Rock Salt was already in use of the local population, when in 326 BC, Alexander of Macedonia and his army camped along the Jehlum River near Khewra waiting to fight a battle with Raja Porus across the river. Alexander’s horses started lick the rocks and thus the Greeks came to know about the Rock Salt deposits in this area. Since then, mining was done by the local Janjua tribes till the arrival of British in 1849. But it was not done on a scientific manner. The Salt was taken from the outcrop of the salt seams exposed to the surface of the hill. Dr. Warth, a British Mining Engineer laid out the main tunnel at ground level in 1872 to have an easy and direct access to the salt deposits, using Pillar and Chamber Method. The method of mining introduced by Dr. Warth is still in practice.
The current production from the mine is 325,000 tons salt per annum.
The mine-head buildings have 17 stories, with 11 below ground. The salt-mine is 288 meters above sea level and extends around 730 meters inside the mountains from the mine-mouth. The cumulative length of all tunnels is more than 40 km.
Salt occurs in the form of an irregular dome like structure. There are seven thick salt seams with a cumulative thickness of about 150 meters. At places the rock salt is 99% pure. Salt is transparent, white, pink, reddish to beef-color red. There are beautiful alternate bands of red and white color salt.
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