Team members from Tunisian SEArcularMINE partner National Engineering School of Gabes (ENIG), travelled south along the coast last week for a very successful visit to the Mare Alb Zarzis Saltworks to collect samples for analysis.  They were kindly welcomed and enjoyed a tour of the salt production site.


Zarzis saltworks, operated by the Mare Alb Company, is the largest sea salt plant in Tunisia and produces more than 700 000 tons of Sodium Chloride each year used by a variety of industries across Europe and beyond.  The Zarzis saltworks use a traditional, and environmentally sustainable, evaporation method of sea salt production which dates back to ancient times. Working in harmony with nature, sea water is fed into shallow ponds where the sun and wind evaporate the water, allowing the sea salt to crystalise and be harvested.  In common with other Mediterranean saltworks these important wetlands, shaped and protected by salt farming, provide a sanctuary for fauna and flora.


The samples will be analysed as part of the wider SEArcularMINE Sampling Campaign, assessing the mineral recovery potential across the meditteranean basin.  SEArcularMINE is developing innovative processes to recover valuable minerals from the concentrated brines (bittern) remaining after the production of the Sodium Chloride.