Compass Minerals

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Compass Minerals International, Inc.
Traded as
Founded2001 in present form, some parts go back to 1844
HeadquartersOverland Park, Kansas, United States
Key people
Fran Malecha (CEO)
Productssalt, sulfate of potash
Revenue> $US 942 million annually (2012)
Number of employees
1,778 (at the end of 2012)

Compass Minerals International, Inc is a United States listed public company that, through its subsidiaries, is a leading producer of minerals, including salt, magnesium chloride, sulfate of potash and other plant nutrition products. Based in Kansas City, the company provides bulk treated and untreated highway deicing salt to customers in North America and the United Kingdom and plant nutrition products to growers worldwide. Compass Minerals also produces consumer de-icing and water conditioning products, consumer and commercial culinary salt, and other mineral-based products for consumer, agricultural, and industrial applications. In addition, Compass Minerals provides records management services to businesses throughout the United Kingdom.


Compass Minerals is the biggest:

  • Salt producer in North America and the United Kingdom
  • Sulfate of potash specialty fertilizer producer in the Western Hemisphere
  • Magnesium chloride deicing/de-dusting producer in North America[1]

In 2012, Compass Minerals had total sales of $942 million and ended the year with market capitalization of just $2.5 billion. The company is part of the S&P MidCap 400 Index, the Russell 1000 Index and was included in Fortune magazine’s 2010 listing of the “100 Fastest-Growing Companies.”[2] Though the company’s history stretches back as far as 1844, Compass Minerals became a public company following its initial public offering in December 2003.[3]

Production methods and facilities[edit]

Underground salt mining[edit]

Underground salt mining produces rock salt using both drill-and-blast and continuous mining techniques in deep deposits. Compass Minerals is the largest rock salt producer in North America and the U.K. It operates underground salt mines at Goderich, Ontario, the largest salt mine in the world with an annual capacity of 9 million tons; Cote Blanche, Louisiana, with annual capacity of 3.4 million tons; and Winsford, Cheshire, United Kingdom, with annual capacity of 1.5 million tons.[citation needed]

Mechanical evaporation[edit]

Mechanical evaporation uses high-efficiency vacuum processes to produce high-purity, fine- and coarse-grained salt products for commercial, agricultural, and industrial applications. Compass Minerals is a leading producer of mechanically evaporated salt in North America. It operates mechanical evaporation salt facilities in Lyons, Kansas (annual capacity 450,000 tons), Unity, Saskatchewan (160,000 tons); Goderich, Ontario (130,000 tons); and Amherst, Nova Scotia (130,000 tons). Compass Minerals also operates an SOP evaporation facility at Wynyard, Saskatchewan, with annual capacity of 40,000 tons. (Source: Compass Minerals 2012 Annual Report)

Solar evaporation[edit]

Solar evaporation is the oldest and most energy-efficient method of mineral production. At the Great Salt Lake near Ogden, Utah, Compass Minerals draws naturally occurring brine out of the lake into shallow ponds and allows solar evaporation to produce salt, sulfate of potash (SOP) and magnesium chloride. Its SOP plant at the Great Salt Lake is the largest in North America and one of only three SOP brine solar evaporation operations in the world. Annual capacity is 350,000 tons of SOP, 1.5 million tons of salt, and 750,000 tons of magnesium chloride. (Source: Compass Minerals 2012 Annual Report)

Business segments[edit]

Compass Minerals operates two business segments, Salt and Plant Nutrition.

Compass Minerals’ Salt Segment mines, produces, processes and distributes sodium chloride and magnesium chloride in North America and the U.K. The segment’s largest business is highway deicing, which primarily sells bulk rock salt to states, provinces, counties, municipalities and road maintenance contractors for ice control on public roadways. The highway deicing product line also includes flake and liquid magnesium chloride used for deicing and dust control; treated rock salt treated for deicing in very low temperatures; and rock salt for the chlor-alkali industry.

The salt segment also includes consumer and industrial product lines, which includes pure sodium chloride and blended products containing magnesium chloride, calcium chloride and potassium chloride for applications such as consumer and professional deicing, water conditioning, culinary salt, animal nutrition, swimming pool minerals, and industrial applications.

Compass Minerals’ Plant Nutrition Segment produces sulfate of potash fertilizer.

Compass Minerals also manufactures micronutrient and secondary plant nutrition products under the Wolf Trax brand. Wolf Trax products include DDP Nutrients and PROTINUS Seed Nutrition.

Compass Minerals’ domestic sales of SOP are concentrated in the Western and Southeastern U.S. and exports to Latin America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Compass Minerals presentation to BMO 2011 Global Metals & Mining Conference, February 28, 2011 – slide 3
  2. ^ Compass Minerals 2012 10-K; 12/7/10 company press release; 8/19/10 company press release
  3. ^ Company website