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Mineral production from Searles Dry Lake first began in 1873. Over a century later in December 1990, Searles Valley Minerals acquired all the mineral and manufacturing assets in Searles Valley. These assets were first developed by the historic companies American Potash and Chemical Corporation and the Westend Chemical Company and later owned by Kerr-McGee, Harris Corporation, IMC Chemicals and Sun Capital before becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Nirma Ltd. in December 2007. Nirma Ltd. is a public company in India that is a large integrated manufacturer of consumer products (primarily detergents, soaps and salt) as well as of soda ash and industrial salt. Searles Valley Minerals utilizes a unique solution mining technology to extract the minerals from beneath the surface of Searles Lake and recovers these minerals in its three manufacturing plants--Argus, Trona and Westend. Partially depleted brine is returned to Searles Lake where it dissolves additional minerals from the lakebed for future production. Searles Valley Minerals owns and/or leases more than 25,000 acres of land in Searles Valley for its operation.