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The Salt Lake

At 150m below sea level, Lake Assal is located about 100 km west of Djibouti City, in a huge depression of 115 km2. Lake Assal is made up of 54 km2 of bittern (saturated in salt: 25% of NaC1) and of lots of gem salt.

The salt, key product of the lake is located in the middle of the new economic pole of the Assal Lake. The tanks to the infiltration of the goubet water and hot sources of water, more than 6 million tons of salt are brought there every year. This resource of salt would be inexhaustible, if the production equals to the annual renewable provision. This huge and worldwide known reserve of salt was estimated at more than one billion tons and the deposit is continually in reconstitution. The thickness of the crust vary between 20 and 80m and the volume of the bittern in the pore, the caverns and the cracks or fissures present inside and under the salt crust represent 1.9 billion of m3. Lake Assal produces natural sea salt.

The bittern comes from sea water which arrives to the lake through a network of faults. This in turn comes from Goubet El Karab, which itself is connected to the the Gulf of Tadjourah. Three distinct quality of salt are extracted:


  • Iodized salt, 50 kg to NaC1 = 99.7% and H20< 3% iodized
  • Grinned and humid salt (fine and humid salt), iodized with the same specificity than the latter
  • Fine, dried and riddled salt iodized with different packaging (bags and packet)




New investors in that field are welcomed by the government in order to undertake and realise projects with equity capital or financing from institutional backers.