TAIYUAN, July 31 -- A traditional salt production process has returned to Yuncheng Salt Lake, known as "China's Dead Sea," some 30 years after it was abandoned.
Salt production in Yuncheng in north China's Shanxi Province was halted in the 1980s as the city turned to glauber's salt and magnesium sulphate production, which was more profitable.
Salt production resumed in June due to ecological concerns and to preserve an ancient method of salt production, which was listed as an intangible cultural heritage by Shanxi Province in 2007.
"Resuming the process can help to balance the composition of the lake water," said Xu Tao, an engineer with the salt producer, Nanfeng Chemical Industrial Corporation in Yuncheng.
According to Xu, years of extracting glauber's salt and magnesium sulphate have left too much chloride in the lake.
"Salt production will definitely help consume the excess chloride," he said.
Salt produced in Yuncheng is called "Lu salt" after "Lucun Village," the ancient name for the region. The salt is said to have high medicinal value.
The famous inland salt lake is located in south Shanxi. Visitors can float on its surface due to its high salinity, earning it the name "China's Dead Sea."
People having been extracting salt crystals from the lake for over 4,000 years, said Zheng Mianping, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering who studies salt lakes.
More than 1,300 years ago, residents developed the traditional salt production technique, which uses specially excavated beds to dry the brine, said Zheng.