In the unique nature created Iletsk deposit mining of edible common rock salt is conducted.
The first scientific exploration of the Iletsk salt was conducted by M.V. Lomonosov. He wrote: “The Iletsk natural salt is harder than other ones and if ground up gets a very white colour and does not absorb the air humidity. For these reasons one should prefer this salt to other ones”. The Iletsk salt is the natural crystal mineral, ecologically pure product of the early stage of drying up of ancient seas. A long time ago on the territory of the Orenburg region there was an enormous sea which after thousands of years dried out. As a result there occurred a very valuable and useful product “the Iletsk salt” which consists of ecologically pure 270 million-year-old crystal minerals. The salt consists of biologically active macro- and microelements in balanced ratio.The Iletsk salt was recognized as the best in the world and was awarded with the European gold prize at the exhibition in Paris in 1996.
The Iletsk rock salt mine represents a salt cupola with a salt core brought out to the surface. In horizontal section the salt body has the shape similar to ellipse, the size of which according to the geological surveys is on the horizon 160 m. long axis 1850 m., short axis 825 m., on the horizon 215 m. long axis 1920 m., short axis 840 m. Up to 600 m. deep the size of the major deposit extends to 2150 m.* 880 m.
Until 1889 in the Iletsk rock salt field an open-cut mining was practised. From 1889 till 1926 salt was mined underground in the “Old Chamber” 140 meters deep below the surface. Since that time 60 million poods (960 thousand tons) of salt was mined. Since 1924 deposit extraction of the mine №1 had been conducted until the flooding in 1979. During the exploitation period 12 million tons of salt was mined.
Since 1964 alongside with the active mine №1 deposit extraction of the mine №2 280 meters deep had been started. Since 2004 mining works 330 meters deep had been started with extracted deposits estimated at 20 million tons.
In the postwar years building of a new highly mechanized mine was launched in the field. In December 1964 it was brought into operation and it has been operating up to the present day.
At present mine №2 is operating in the field, the annual capacity of which is equal to 1 250 000 tons a year. Explored balance deposits – 568 406 000 tons of salt.