Located on WHISKEY ISLAND, Akzo mines salt 1,800' beneath Lake Erie in one section of a tremendous salt deposit more than 40' thick, extending over an estimated 70,000 sq. mi. area under Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Ontario. The State of Ohio granted the company a 50-year lease to mine some 5,000 acres beneath the lake in return for payment of $.05 per ton of all salt mined. Construction of the mine began in 1958. The company also constructed facilities for crushing, screening, handling, and shipping the salt. Akzo Nobel Salt uses the room-and-pillar mining method: 45'-wide rooms are carved from the deposit, and 100' pillars of salt are left to hold up the mine roof and overburden. By 1993 the company had mined 6.75 sq. mi., and its mine extended 2.5 mi. out under Lake Erie.