Located in the northeastern part of the country in Ethiopian Great Rift Valley roof with several points of below sea level. The Denakil depression has a reputation as one of the earth’s most inhospitable but interesting and outstanding place. Temperature can hit 500c, and with its underling continental crust pulled thin, as part of the rift valley system and it’s peppered with countless colorful sulphurous springs and an astonishing quarter of Africa’s active volcanoes.
Potash production is said to have reached about 51,000 metric tons after the railway was constructed. Production was stopped after World War I owing to large-scale supplies from Germany, USA, and USSR. Unsuccessful attempts to reopen production were made in the period 1920-1941. Between the years 1925-29 an Italian company mined 25,000 tons of sylvite, averaging 70% KCl, which was transported by rail to Mersa Fatma. After the Second World War, the British administration dismantled the railway and removed all traces of it.
The Dallol Co. of Asmara sold a few tons of salt from this site to India in 1951-1953. In the 1960s, the Parsons Company of the USA, a mining company, conducted a series of geological surveys at Dallol. By 1965, about 10,000 holes had been drilled at 65 locations.