Product Information

Botswana Ash nameplate production capacity of soda ash is 300 000 tonnes per annum and for salt  is about 650 000 tonnes per annum. Currently, our salt production is around 420 000 tonnes per annum and it is limited by the market rather than production constraints.

Glass production is the largest application for dense soda ash. In this application, soda ash is used as a fluxing agent in that it lowers the melting temperature of the raw material pure silica, thus reducing energy requirements for glass production.
Botswana Ash sells around 20% of its Soda Ash to the chemical industry sector. In this sector, both dense and light soda ash are used in a large number of chemical reactions to produce inorganic or organic compounds that are in turn used to in a range of different applications. It can be used to produce sodium silicates that have a wide range of uses in the production of chemicals such as silica. It also has application in pulp and paper manufacture.
In this sector, light soda ash is used in powdered, paste and soap detergents where it acts as a builder and can be used alone or in conjunction with Sodium Tripoly Phosphate (STPP) or zeolites. Additionally, it acts as a water softener and also has a cleaning function. Botswana Ash sells less than 2 % of its production into this sector.

The builders that are used in detergents perform several functions namely the removal of magnesium and calcium ions that are prevalent in “hard water”, provide alkalinity to water, assist in dispersing soil in washing solution and prevent soil re-deposition on laundry.

Soda Ash can further be used for;

  • In the textile industry throughout the production process – as a cleaning agent, in refining and bleaching and adjust the pH during the drying process
  • Non-ferrous metallurgy for the recycling of lead from spent batteries and in the recycling of zinc and aluminium
  • In water treatment as a source of sodium and to adjust pH
  • In the mining sector in the beneficiation and processing of a wide range of mineral ores and metals such as vanadium ore beneficiation, the production of cobalt and in the production of steel as a flux or de-sulphuriser (removal of iron ore in blast furnaces), among other uses.
  • In the production of dyes, corn syrups, and as a food additive and in the manufacture of ethanol.


The salt produced at Botash contains between 98.0 % – 99.0 % sodium chloride. It is denoted by the symbol NaCI. The word salt is derived from the roman word for salt crystals sal is derived from Salus, the goddess of health. Salt has over 14 000 domestic and industrial applications.

At Botswana Ash, salt is a complementary product resulting from the production of soda ash. There are three types of salt that are produced and sold at Botswana Ash namely chemical grade coarse salt, food grade coarse salt and fine salt. The salt produced at our plant is amongst the purest found anywhere in the world.


The chemical grade salt contains 98.75 % sodium chloride. This grade of salt accounts for about 50 % of the total coarse sales volume. It is sold to Sasol Polymers in South Africa, which is part of the Sasol Group of Companies. It is used primarily for the manufacture of Poly Vinyl Chloride, which is an input in the production of chlorine and caustic soda.
The coarse salt produced contains 98.5 % sodium chloride.  Coarse salt is sold in the regional markets of Botswana, South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The coarse salt has various domestic applications such as for the preservation of food products e.g. fish.
Fine salt (or table or refined salt as others may prefer to call it) contains 99.0 % sodium chloride. Like coarse salt, fine salt is sold in the regional markets of Botswana, South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has various industrial and domestic applications.
Salt has a number of applications that include the following:

  • As a food preservative
  • To add flavour to food as a spice
  • To carry essential nutrients such as iodine and selenium in humans and animals

In terms of industrial applications, some of the uses of salt include:

  • The softening of “hard” water, that is removal of elements such as magnesium and calcium that contribute to water hardness
  • The bleaching of pulp to manufacture paper
  • The standardization of dyes batches in the textiles industry
  • As a de-icer in Snow Belt areas in the developed world where snow is a common phenomenon.