Compass Minerals International Inc. has paid $6.5 million for mining rights to 100 million tons of salt reserves in the Chilean Atacama Desert.
“We have been evaluating strategic salt deposits for many years, and this is one of the highest-quality reserves we have located,” retiring president and CEOAngelo Brisimitzakis said in a Wednesday release. “It nicely complements our existing salt businesses.”
If the Overland Park-based company can establish extraction capabilities, it will pay a small per-ton production royalty to the private seller. In 15 years, Compass can purchase the royalties obligation and maintain permanent rights.
The move is in line with the company’s recent diversification efforts, including the expansion of a large rock salt mine in Ontario and of sulfate of potash specialty fertilizer production. capabilities at Utah’s Great Salt Lake.