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The Port Alma - Bajool salt pans are located along the Port Alma Road, 60 kilometres from Rockhampton, south of the Fitzroy River delta. Most of the evaporative salt pans, that are spread out over many kilometres, are owned by Cheetham Salt Limited, Australia's largest salt manufacturer that supplies salt to both the industrial and the food markets.

Port Alma Road Salt Pans Often Referred to as Solar Salt Pans

The evaporative salt pans along the Port Alma Road at Bajool are often referred to as solar salt pans. There are two companies harvesting salt from this source at Port Alma; Cheetham Salt Limited and Olsson's Pacific Salt. Cheetham Salt Limited is the owner of the salt pans as well as being a processor of the product. Cheetham Salt Limited operates 10 solar salt fields in australia with a total production in excess of 600,000 tonnes a year. Olsson Pacific is primarily involved in the production of various salt based products from the raw salt derived from the pans. Salt products produced by Olsson Pacific Limited includes; sea salt, rock salt, refined salt, iodised salt that includes course, medium and fine sizes, dairy salt, flossy salt, cooking salt, table salt, pool salt and water softener salt. There are five salt refineries in Australia that produce a wide range of salt products.

Cheetham Salt Limited now Owned by CK Life Sciences (Holdings) Inc.

Cheetham Salt Limited is a fully owned subsidiary company of China based salt producer, CK Life Sciences (Holdings) Inc. CK Life Sciences, a member of the Chinese Cheung Kong Group, acquired Cheetham Salt Limited from Ridley Corporation Limited in 2013. Ridley Corporation Limited had acquired Cheetham Salt Limited in 1992.

Cheetham Salt Limited was founded by Richard Cheetham in 1888 in Victoria, at Geelong. After clearing sufficient land for the fledgling salt project the first salt was produced on the site in 1894. The company initially traded under the name of Richard Cheetham and Company.

Port Alma Evaporative Salt Pans to Share Area with Coal Producers

The Port Alma salt pans may soon have to share their pristine environment with coal movements through the same area if the proposed, Fitzroy Terminal Project Pty Ltd, development receives approval to build a coal export facility at Port Alma. This major construction will involve the building of a rail loop, a stockpiling and set-down area for coal, a covered conveyor system, berths and barges.

It is proposed to load coal onto barges that will transfer their loads onto trans-shippers moored in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The transhippers will take the coal to waiting ships. It is planned to commence the project with shipments of 10 million tonnes of coal a year building up to 22 million tonnes a year.

There is currently only one road into Port Alma from the Bruce Highway, a road that is surrounded by salt pans. However, there is a range of options available as to where the coal bearing rail loop will be best situated, to minimise contamination from coal dust. On the other hand the salt producers recognise benefits that could come with sharing Port Alma facilities, such as a badly needed rebuilding of the current shiploading infrastructure that is inneficient for the loading of bulk salt.

Guidelines for the preparation of the final environmental impact statement regarding the Fitzroy Terminal Project at Port Alma were approved in July 2013.

Cheetham Salt Limited


Cheetham Salt Limited
Level 6, 565 Bourke Street,
Melbourne, VIC 3000

PO Box 16126, Collins Street West,
Melbourne, VIC 8007



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