The proposal is for the establishment of a solar salt facility, to produce and ship salt from the port of Onslow. The proposal seeks to establish condenser and crystalliser ponds on coastal flats near Onslow, and associated processing facilities to produce up to 1.5 million tonnes of salt a year.
The salt would be loaded by conveyor onto ships which would berth at the end of a one kilometre long trestleway proposed for the vicinity of Beadon Point, immediately west of Onslow. The proposal involves the pumping of seawater from Beadon Creek sequentially into eight condenser ponds, each progressively more saline as evaporation continues, with the water finally entering the crystallisers, where salt is precipitated and the residual liquor (known as bitterns) is discharged via a channel into Middle Creek. The salt is then mechanically harvested and transported in trucks to the washing facilities and stockpiled, ready for transport via a conveyor onto a trestleway or jetty wtth berthing facilities for ships of up to 28000 tonnes.
At the proposed production rate ships are expected to visit about once a week on average. Construction of the ponds would take four months but the process plant and trestleway would not be commenced until the second year, as the salt-making process requires 18 months for the first batch to be produced.