How salt is mined in Siberia. Director of Russalt Sergey Cherny spoke about production in the Irkutsk region


The owner of Russalt, Sergey Cherny, rarely gives interviews. Recently, his name is most often associated with important socially oriented projects. Multimillion-dollar tranches for the purchase of MEDICAL EQUIPMENT FOR HOSPITALS and assistance to CHILDREN’S SPORTS TEAMS, CONSTRUCTION OF AN INFECTION HOSPITAL in Orenburg and a KINDERGARTEN IN THE ASTRAKHAN REGION, the creation of a charitable foundation NAMED AFTER ELENA CHERNYA and the opening of a center of martial arts, where from September 80 200 free under the municipal program. We are talking about both personal savings sent as targeted assistance, and the implementation of social support programs for people in all regions of presence by the company.

It is worth noting that today RUSSALT IS THE LARGEST SALT PRODUCER IN THE COUNTRY: the company extracts and produces salt in the Orenburg, Irkutsk, Astrakhan and Tula regions. Moreover, it is increasing the turnover of salt supplies not only in Russia, but also for export. Therefore, it was doubly interesting to get a first-person opinion about the production of one of the most popular products.

How did the pandemic affect the production of salt in Usolye-Sibirsky and, in general, the development of the company’s resources in Russia? Why are residents of small towns so reluctant to go to work in the manufacturing sector? How often does Sergei Vasilyevich Cherny visit Siberia and what changes does he notice in the life of the city and the region? The head of the Russalt company spoke about this in an interview with the local Usolsk TV channel 11.


“Salt is a type of commodity that is not very subject to change: people eat as they eat.”

“Now the profession of a locksmith is an unpromising profession, an electrician is an unpromising profession. Because they destroyed everything that was, and did not create anything new. Usolye-Sibirskoye is the capital of mining. I have never seen such a quantity of mining, built and set up everywhere, in any city.”

“Here in Siberia, we still have not reached the full production capacity of the constructed plant. And now we are working to increase sales and sales. To this end, since last year, additional deliveries from Usolye-Sibirsky to China have been started.”

“We are almost 90 percent all vaccinated – everyone understands their responsibility for what they do. This year we entered more or less normally.

“Power — it is on its own, I am on my own. I don’t consider myself a philanthropist, I don’t consider myself an elite, I just do my job. If our state is not always willing and able to help people who live here, then those people who have earnings should help. To create a slightly better life in this city and in this society.”

“Today, at least, some kind of system has been built: people understand what they want, the city has become cleaner. Over the years that I have been here, there have been changes. Well, there is something that does not change. Broken roads for no reason. A large outflow of people is leaving Usolye. The trend is the same everywhere: something is still missing for people to stay.”

“I don’t have time to rest. I always work. I don’t even go anywhere else in my native Orenburg except at home and work.”

In an interview with Channel 11 in Usolye-Sibirsky, the director of the Company, Sergey Cherny, said that today Russalt products account for over 50% of the Russian market. Salt production at the Usolskoye deposit is one of the oldest in Russia. With the advent of the Orenburg company, production was modernized and, for the most part, automated. In addition to the fact that Usolye-Sibirskoye remains the “Siberian salt shaker” for the country, supplying many regions with salt. In 2020, the export of Usol salt under the Russalt brand to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Mongolia also increased by 80%.

The course for modernization has also been taken in other regions of the company’s presence. So in the city of Novomoskovsk, Tula region, the most modern technological plant Russalt was built, focused only on the production of products from salt. Raw materials come from the Sol-Iletsk and Nizhniy Baskunchak deposits, and production volumes allow supplying all of central Russia with high-quality edible salt.

Despite the large-scale automation of production, people remain the main resource of the company. In an interview, Sergey Cherny emphasized how important it is today for everyone to be ready to receive an education, quickly adapt to new trends of the times and master other professions. He also talked about the shortage of workers.

“There is a need for locksmiths, engineering staff, power engineers. Because here it is necessary to work, to be aware of responsibility. For some, this is life, because he worries about the fact that he lives and works here. Someone doesn’t like it – why would I get up at night and run to sort out some engine. Therefore, anything can happen, but I can say one thing: in Usolye, our team is practically established. And 70-80 percent are specialists who have been working for 20 years. But there are quite a lot of young people – I would not say that they are all old-timers. These are people who live in production. For them it is life, as for me it is life.

Based on materials:,