K+S Industrial Saltworks

Giant saltworks proposal threatens remarkable eastern Exmouth Gulf environment.

International industrial corporation K+S wants to build a major salt production facility on the eastern side of Exmouth Gulf, over an undeveloped, nationally listed wetland. The industrial saltworks would cover a massive area – the size of nearly 12,000 MCG footy ovals – in a high conservation value and intact environment.

Protect Ningaloo is campaigning against the K+S saltworks in Australia and Germany.
Our ‘Greetings from Australia’ campaign in Kassel, Germany where K+S have their headquarters is the latest action we’ve taken to bring attention to this project. 

We’re making our concerns about the project clear in English and in German on this AMCS hosted webpage.

The massive saltworks project would involve:

  • construction of vast, artificial salt ponds the size of a city over natural wetland areas
  • levee (ridge) walls dozens of kilometres long that risk interrupting important natural processes
  • seepage from the salt ponds, causing mobilisation of toxic hypersaline water, risking significant impacts to the fragile, highly biodiverse environment
  • permanent damage to the biodiverse Urala Creek South – an undisturbed, beautiful tidal creek – from the construction of major seawater intake infrastructure, including a large pumping station
  • heavy machinery and infrastructure including conveyors, a desalination plant, fuel storage, sewerage treatment and roads
  • six-storey high salt stockpiles, blighting this natural landscape
    barge-loading facilities with a 660m jetty and dredging in this completely undeveloped coastal area.

The nationally listed wetland is one of the last undisturbed tidal wetland systems along the Pilbara coast, which has seen decades of industrial use, to the north of Exmouth Gulf. The wetland ecosystem provides important habitat and nutrients that underpin the marine food web in Exmouth Gulf, supporting its renowned wildlife.

An industrial development of this massive scale poses unacceptable risks to the sensitive environment here, which supports many threatened species including critically endangered sawfish and shovelnose rays, as well as turtles, dugongs, important fish species and migratory shorebirds.

The proposed development is completely at odds with the WA Government’s plans to protect the globally significant environment of Exmouth Gulf, including with a marine park to protect important features of the Gulf, such as those adjacent to the proposed saltworks. 

The project risks vital components of the Exmouth Gulf-Ningaloo environment that the WA Government is seeking to protect. There are already large saltworks further up the coast from Exmouth Gulf, with more proposed, and strong concerns about the combined impact of this rapidly expanding industry along this coastline.

We shouldn’t risk Exmouth Gulf’s globally significant environment through industrial development like this salt project.  

There is an alternative, positive future for Exmouth with many new opportunities to protect its important natural and cultural heritage and the jobs it supports, and to enhance economic resilience through sustainable, nature-based activity.

Say No to the Saltworks

Tell WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby you are opposed to the K+S saltworks in Exmouth Gulf