Ciner Resources began in 1962 when Stauffer Chemical opened the Big Island Mine and Refinery in Green River, Wyoming with the purpose of producing all-natural soda ash from mined trona.
Trona was first discovered in the Green River Basin in 1938 during an oil and gas exploration when the Mountain Fuel Service sent core samples to the U.S. Geological Service for review. However, it wasn’t until 1959 that Stauffer employed a core drilling service that determined it was, in fact, the world’s largest deposit of trona. Stauffer began to setup the Big Island Mine and Refinery that we know today, building a 16-foot shaft and several refinery units. By 1964, the mine was producing over 400,000 tons of soda ash using the ‘drill and blast’ mining method. During early operation, throughout the 1960’s and early 70’s, the average annual employment for the entire mining industry was around 20,000. Over the next ten years, the number of mining jobs doubled along with the world’s increase demand for soda ash.
Over the next two decades, Stauffer expanded, adding more refinery units and even more employees, increasing soda ash production to 950,000 annual tons a year. In 1971, the Big Island Mine placed first in the State Mine Inspector’s Award, won the National Safety Citation, and was honored with the best safety record in the industry.
In 1984, Stauffer purchased its first batch of continuous miners—machines with a large rotating steel drum equipped with carbide teeth that scrape trona from the walls of the Green River Basin. The new heavy machinery introduced the ability to continually mine trona, increasing the overall production of soda ash to around 11,036 tons per day. With the addition of the continuous miners, the Refinery broke production and shipping records.
A year later, the Big Island Mine and Refinery was acquired by Chesebrough Ponds and changed ownership several times over the next few years first to Imperial Chemical Industries in 1986 and a year later, to Rhone-Poulenc. A decade later, Rhone-Poulenc sold its interest in the soda ash business to OCI Company, LTD, later renamed OCI Chemical Corporation.
Under OCI, the first automated unit, Unit 6, was introduced and began producing close to 1,000,000 tons of soda ash a year and the Alternate Energy Project was implemented for duel fuel calcination capability. With its success, OCI announced its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the NYSE under ‘OCIR’ in September 2013. Two years later, Ciner Group’s subsidiary, Ciner Resources, acquired OCI. Today, Ciner is on the NYSE as ‘CINR.’ Since 2013’s IPO, Ciner Resources has raised its quarterly distribution by more than 13% and remains committed to growing the annualized distribution.
Under Ciner Resources’ values of Leadership, Integrity, Respect, and Commitment, the 3.25 million ton facility continues to operate with safety and success, recently winning the 2,000,000 Safe Man Hours without a Lost Time Accident Award. Today, Ciner proudly produces pure soda ash in a world-class facility that has the fewest emissions per ton and nurtures a culture where safety is a value, not just a priority—At Ciner, we truly believe the most important thing to come out of the mine are the miners. Through our strong relationships and with our naturally superior product, Ciner Resources remains the global leader in the soda ash industry today and for decades to come.