Compass Minerals


Compass Minerals
Compass Minerals International, Inc.
Type Public
Traded as NYSECMP
Industry Mining
Founded 2001 in present form, some parts go back to 1844
Headquarters Overland Park, Kansas, USA
Key people Angelo C. Brisimitzakis (CEO), Rodney L. Underdown (CFO)
Products salt, sulfate of potash
Revenue > $US 49,8 million annually (2004)
Employees 1,541 (at the end of 2004)
Website compassminerals.com

Compass Minerals is a leading producer of minerals, including salt, sulfate of potash specialty fertilizer, and magnesium chloride. Based in the Kansas City metropolitan area, the company provides bulk treated and untreated highway deicing salt to customers in North America and the United Kingdom and specialty fertilizer to growers worldwide. Compass Minerals also produces consumer deicing and water conditioning products, consumer and commercial culinary salt, and other mineral-based products for consumer, agricultural and industrial applications. In addition, Compass Minerals provides records management services to businesses throughout the United Kingdom. (Source: Company website)

Compass Minerals is the:

  1. 1 Salt producer in North America and the United Kingdom
  2. 1 Deicing minerals producer in North America and the United Kingdom
  3. 1 Sulfate of potash specialty fertilizer producer in the Western Hemisphere
  4. 1 Magnesium chloride deicing/de-dusting producer in North America

(Source: Compass Minerals presentation to BMO 2011 Global Metals & Mining Conference, February 28, 2011 – slide 3)

In 2010, Compass Minerals had total sales of $1.1 billion and ended the year with market capitalization of just under $3 billion. The company is part of the S&P MidCap 400 Index, the Russell 1000 Index and was included in Fortune magazine’s 2010 listing of the “100 Fastest-Growing Companies.” (Sources: Compass Minerals 2010 10-K; 12/7/10 company press release; 8/19/10 company press release)

Though the company’s history stretches back as far as 1844, Compass Minerals became a public company following its initial public offering in December 2003. (Source: Company website)


Production methods and facilities

Underground Salt Mining produces rock salt using both drill-and-blast and continuous mining techniques in deep deposits. Compass Minerals is the largest rock salt producer in North America and the U.K. It operates underground salt mines at Goderich, Ontario, the largest salt mine in the world with an annual capacity of 9 million tons; Cote Blanche, Louisiana, with annual capacity of 3.4 million tons; and Winsford, Cheshire, United Kingdom, with annual capacity of 1.5 million tons.

Mechanical Evaporation uses high-efficiency vacuum processes to produce high-purity, fine- and coarse-grained salt products for commercial, agricultural, and industrial applications. Compass Minerals is a leading producer of mechanically evaporated salt in North America. It operates mechanical evaporation salt facilities in Lyons, Kansas (annual capacity 450,000 tons), Unity, Saskatchewan (175,000 tons); Goderich, Ontario (175,000 tons); and Amherst, Nova Scotia (120,000 tons). Compass Minerals also operates an SOP evaporation facility at Wynyard, Saskatchewan, with annual capacity of 40,000 tons.

Solar Evaporation is the oldest and most energy-efficient method of mineral production. At the Great Salt Lake near Ogden, Utah, Compass Minerals draws naturally occurring brine out of the lake into shallow ponds and allows solar evaporation to produce salt, sulfate of potash (SOP) and magnesium chloride. Its SOP plant at the Great Salt Lake is the largest in North America and one of only three SOP brine solar evaporation operations in the world. Annual capacity is 350,000 tons of SOP, 1.5 million tons of salt, and 550,000 tons of magnesium chloride.


Subsidiaries

Compass Minerals operates through seven wholly owned subsidiaries:

North American Salt Company ([1]), a United States-based producer of mined rock salt for highway and consumer deicing, and high-grade branded and private label mineral products for consumer and industrial markets. North American Salt operates production and packaging facilities in Louisiana, Kansas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Sifto Canada ([2]), a Canada-based producer of mined rock salt for highway and consumer deicing, and high-grade branded and private label mineral products for consumer and industrial markets. Sifto Canada operates production facilities in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Great Salt Lake Minerals Corporation ([3]), the leading North American producer of sulfate of potash (SOP) specialty fertilizer. It operates evaporation ponds and processing facilities at the Great Salt Lake in Utah

Salt Union Ltd. ([4]), the United Kingdom’s largest salt producer, supplies rock salt used for highway deicing. The company’s Cheshire mine began production in 1844.

Big Quill Resources ([5]), Canada’s largest manufacturer of sulfate of potash (SOP). Big Quill operates a plant located on the south shore of Big Quill Lake near Wynyard, Saskatchewan, where it produces high purity sulfate of potash for specialty applications through the ion exchange and glaserite processes.

DeepStore ([6]), a United Kingdom-based records management business with facilities in excavated areas of Salt Union’s rock salt mine in Cheshire and two above-ground locations in London. DeepStore provides full records management services and offers both long-term and active storage.

Pristiva, Inc. ([7]), a U.S.-based company solely focused on the rapidly growing salt water pool industry and offering the only water treatment products specifically designed to meet the unique needs of salt water pools. Its products are available only through pool professionals.


Business segments

Compass Minerals operates two business segments, Salt and Specialty Fertilizer.

Compass Minerals’ Salt Segment mines, produces, processes and distributes sodium chloride and magnesium chloride in North America and the U.K. The segment’s largest business is highway deicing, which primarily sells bulk rock salt to states, provinces, counties, municipalities and road maintenance contractors for ice control on public roadways. The highway deicing product line also includes flake and liquid magnesium chloride used for deicing and dust control; treated rock salt treated for deicing in very low temperatures; and rock salt for the chlor-alkali industry.

The salt segment also includes consumer and industrial product lines, which includes pure sodium chloride and blended products containing magnesium chloride, calcium chloride and potassium chloride for applications such as consumer and professional deicing, water conditioning, culinary salt, animal nutrition, swimming pool minerals, and thousands of industrial applications.

Compass Minerals’ Specialty Fertilizer Segment produces sulfate of potash fertilizer that provides essential potassium and sulfate crop nutrients and increases the quality and yield of high-value specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts. SOP also improves the durability of turf grass used in public areas and golf courses.

Compass Minerals’ domestic sales of SOP are concentrated in the Western and Southeastern U.S. and exports to Latin America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

See also

  • Sifto Canada - Canadian subsidiary of Compass Minerals
  • Winsford – home of Britain's largest rock salt mine, owned by Compass Minerals

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