Development of the Largest Sodium Sulphate Deposit in Canada

CIM Bulletin, 1968

P. G. RUEFFEL, Manager, Research and Development, Sodium Sulphate Division, Saskatchewan Minerals, Chaplin, Saskatchewan

Natural deposits of sodium sulphate are the result of normal geological processes. They are world-wide in occurrence and are found in depressions in arid and semiarid regions. Primarily, the sodium sulphate deposits of the prairies are post-glacial and differ from rock salt deposits, which originated from connate water (fossil seawater). Sodium sulphate on the Canadian prairies occurs as brine or in beds of intermittent and/or permanent crystals. Most beds are contaminated with various amounts of silt, sand and decayed organic matter. Soluble impurities such as chlorides, carbonates and bicarbonates of sodium and sulphates of magnesium and calcium are leached out from the soil of the surrounding run-off area of the deposits. In this paper, the origin of sodium sulphate, and the physical and chemical aspects related to the development of the Ingebrigt Lake deposit are dealt with. The problems of garnering raw material, and of refining and dehydration are discussed, with emphasis on the Ingebrigt Lake plant. The utilization of the "Total Power Concept" in a sodium sulphate plant is described. The principal uses of sodium sulphate are also discussed.
Keywords: brine, brine, Ingebrigt Lake area, Salt, sodium sulphate, South Saskatchewan, Deposits, Dryers, Plants, Salt, Salts, Sodium sulphate, Water, Waters