In Utah there is a well-known area of speed racing that has been the location of some land speed records and certainly been the site of many high profile racing records. This location is called the Bonneville Salt Flats and many have come from miles around to race their cars at events in this remote location for many years. The Salt Flats don’t just serve as a place to race, but as a location that provides salt to the Intrepid salt mines in the area where they have been mining potash and salt for nearly a century.
For the past two years the races at the Bonneville Salt Flats has been cancelled because of the massive amount of rain in the area and the salt loss. The salty surface of this area offers the driving surface that is perfect for achieving high speeds and has encouraged us to dream and desire to go faster than ever with the knowledge we can go to Bonneville and have an amazing performance on a surface made to hold grip and make driving exciting.
With this mining and the increased amount of rain in the area, much of the salt in the flats has either been lost to mining or runoff from these effects. Recently the first meeting of groups to save and replenish the salt called Save the Salt Coalition and the Intrepid mining company have come together to work toward a solution to this problem. The positive news is the fact the mining company wants to be part of the solution which certainly can help replenish the salt in the area and help to heal the Bonneville Salt Flats which can make it suitable for racing once again.
The mining rights for the area belonging to Intrepid continue legally through 2023 but the company has been integral in helping to replenish some of the salt into the area. By using their pumping stations during the winter to work in reverse, Intrepid has been pumping potash-laced salt brine back to the flats to put the salt back as much as they can. This is their Salt Laydown Project that so far has actually had a good effect on the Bonneville Salt Flats. With has been a fantastic result but much more will be needed in order to completely replenish the salt and allow the flats to heal more will need to be done.
Not only will the mining company need to replenish salt in the area, which it seems they are willing to do with nearly one hundred million tons of salt, but the runoff will need to be under control along with the drainage that takes water to the mines from the flats carrying salt with it. With some action from these two groups there is a distinct possibility the salt flats can be healed and become the site it once was for racing and achieving amazing speeds. This will certainly take some time but is more than possible to help save the salt and continue the preservation of this historic and precious natural formation.