There was a shallow lagoon of ancient Permian Sea at the territory of modern Donbass, gradually water was evaporated and deposits of the rock salt were formed.

White gold of the Earth - since the time immemorial food salt invariably accompanies man, as life is impossible without salt. For a long time this precious natural mineral, the possession of which brought wealth and power, was a contentious issue causing disagreement, discord, state conflicts and even wars. During some historic periods salt was evaluated on a par with gold. It is not incidentally that salt production became one of the first crafts of the Ancient Rus. Southeastern part of Donbass occupies a unique place among saliferous regions.

It is at this place that 250 million years ago huge deposits of the purest rock salt were formed from rippling waters of a shallow bay of the ancient Permian Sea. Historians testify to the fact that people could get this vital mineral by means of evaporating it from the brine of Tor and Bakhmut lakes, located at the place of Artyomovsk rock salt deposit that was prospected later. But it is only in the XVI century that production of pan salt in the basin of the Severskiy Donets river became regular. History of the whole Donbass is inseparably connected with development of salt production. Production of pan salt required more and more wood, which resulted in deforestation of neighboring areas. A new energy source was in need and it became coal, discovered on the territory of Donbass about 300 years ago. It was mainly used for boosting salt production and later on for metallurgy development and other industrial needs.

Several prospectors suggested that there were rich deposits of rock salt in the area of the settlements of Tor and Bakhmut as early as in the middle of XVIII century. But only in 1880 did a prominent Russian geologist and scholar A. Karpinskiy make positive and grounded research of the issue and prove the occurrence of huge salt reserves in our steppes, through which for centuries ran the well-known Chumatskiy Shlyakh (salt-carriers way) to Crimean salt.

Driving of the so-called “Government Drill-hole” carried out by mining engineer P. Ivanov near the village of Bryantsevka at a distance of 10 versts (about 20 km) from Bakmut in 1876-1880 revealed 9 salt-beds including the thickest – Bryantsevskiy, the height of which came to approximately 40 meters.

His sensational discovery drew the attention of industrialists. They launched an intensive salt-mines construction. In 1881 the first mine belonging to the private industrial company of General N. Letunovskiy was put into operation. Later five more salt mines were commissioned contributing to further considerable growth of salt production and saturation of the salt market…

During the Great Patriotic War the mines have been totally destroyed. The reconstruction of one of the mines has been completed in 1947. A briquetting department has been commissioned in 1959. The production of iodized salt was begun to ensure its adequate supply to iodine deficient areas. In the beginning of 1970-s there was implemented dislodging of salt through deep boreholes with filing of walls, loading of salt by means of powerful excavators and conveyor transportation to the shaft. The volumes of extracted salt grew and in 1985 amounted to 6.8 million tons and in 1991 – 7.2 million tons.

Personnel of the State Enterprise Artyomsol has been supplying steadily and uninterruptedly numerous consumers with its truly precious product, named salt of the Earth almost 130 years already.