BREAUX BRIDGE, La. (KLFY) — The oldest salt mine in America has officially closed after a year of in-operation.

News Tens Dawson Damico is live in Breaux Bridge at Cargill Headquarters to explain how the closure will impact the economy of two parishes going forward.

The permanent closure of the Cargill Avery island Salt Mine is happening now; it was in operation for nearly two centuries and was the first ever rock salt mine in the country.

The shut down happened in January, 2020 just weeks after an incident where the mine’s roof collapsed on two miners killing them in the process.

According to a press release from last January, plans to close the mine had already set because the lease with the landowner expired at the end of 2021.

Iberia Parish President M. Larry Richard says the closure will impact the economy as a whole.

“Yes it will certainly impact Iberia Parish in a big way. They have been around for a while and have done good things in the community and they will be missed. You can’t replace them and it’s just that simple.”

Following the announcement of the closure, Cargill announced it was expanding capacity and efficiency at its Breaux Bridge location.

St. Martin Parish President Chester Cedars explains his excitement for Cargill’s presence in the parish going forward.

“In the future, I know that there are some plans to modernize the facility and I am just excited to continue to have them in our parish. They have been an extraordinarily valuable and an extraordinarily favorable company and I am just so happy that they are in St. Martin Parish.”

Cargill has employed hundreds of community residents over the years and will continue to contribute to the economy going forward, it says.