MYAGDI: A salt mine located on the bank of Narsang river in Chusang VDC of Mustang is lying unused for the past two years. No salt is being extracted from the mine located 10 hours walking distance from Jomsom.

For hundreds of years, locals had been extracting and using the salt from the mine. They have stopped using the local resource after getting imported salt at a cheaper price. There are 12 springs on the bank of the river that release salty water. Salt was made by evaporating the water. Locals said the mine is not being used due to geographical remoteness of the site.

Mine operator Bam Prasad Gauchan, who had been operating it after an agreement with Salt Trading Corporation, said lack of skilled manpower and failure to compete with imported salt forced them to shut the mine. Until a few years ago, the salt extracted from Mustang, which is also called salt from Bhot, was widely used in Myagdi, Baglung, Parvat and many other districts.

Gauchan said up to 100 quintals of salt was extracted from the mine in the past. Though the salt lacked sufficient iodine, residents of Mustang were never dependent on imported salt for their salt demand before the mine was closed. Fulmaya Gauchan of Jomsom said the salt from the mine had medicinal properties.