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J.F. Allen’s Sherrard addresses Rotary

April 2, 2010
By Wayne Sheets Contributing Business Writer

Members of the Elkins Rotary Club learned from fellow Rotarian and General Manager of J.F. Allen Co. Steve Sherrard how road and table salt is mined during their weekly luncheon on March 29.

Accompanied by his assistant manager, Rose Riggs, Sherrard took members of the Elkins club on a tour of the Cargill Salt Mines deep under Lake Erie near Cleveland, Ohio.

Beginning at the surface where the salt is processed and loaded for shipment on rail cars and ocean-going vessels, Sherrard said the salt is extracted from a half mile under and four miles from the shore of Lake Erie.

Article Photos

TALKING?TO?ROTARY — J.F. Allen Co. General Manager Steve Sherrard and Assistant Manager Rose Riggs take Elkins Rotarians on an above and below ground pictorial tour of the Cargill Salt Mining operations deep under Lake Erie near Cleveland at Rotary's weekly luncheon on March 29.

He explained how the mine face is drilled for blasting the salt loose, the underground grinding process and how it is lifted to the surface.

"There's a lot of mining equipment not too unlike that used in coal mines down there," Sherrard said. "The amazing thing about the equipment is that it doesn't rust as long as it is kept underground but the minute it is brought to the surface it falls to pieces. They never bring a piece of equipment used in the mine back to the surface - it is left down there forever."

Sherrard explained that West Virginia receives most of its salt from the Cargill mines, and the salt used in Randolph and surrounding counties is taken from the stock pile near Crystal Springs.

According to Sherrard, J.F. Allen is already receiving salt at the storage facility for next winter.

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