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Earth Commodities, Australia

Case study

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A silica sand washing plant in Queensland to supply flint grade silica sand to Owens Illinois for use at their glass container manufacturing plant in Brisbane.

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Earth Commodities is an independent quarry operator headquartered in Brisbane that provides quality quarry products and high grade silica sand products from its quarries in Gladstone and Mackay and a mine operation in Bundaberg.

These strategic locations service the boom areas of Queensland and also customers nationally and internationally. Earth Commodities is a valued partner to a wide range of contractors and infrastructure specialists. The company is an integral part of Queensland’s strong economic and infrastructure growth, and plays a key role in laying the foundations and fuelling the future growth of the state.

In 2014 Earth Commodities secured a deal with glass container manufacturer O-I Australia, part of Owens-Illinois Inc’s Asia- Pacific operations, to supply flint grade silica sand to its glass manufacturing facility in south Brisbane.

Headquartered in Melbourne, O-I’s Asia- Pacific operations encompass eight plants across four countries, including Australia, New Zealand, China and Indonesia. The strict requirements of Earth Commodities’ agreement with O-I led the former to CDE Global, a provider of washing equipment for quarries, mines and recycling operations on the global market.

The CDE equipment range has applications across a wide range of materials and is delivering significant efficiencies in the construction and recycling, mining, specialist industrial sands and environmental sectors. Its equipment is sold direct to the Australian market.

CDE achieved preferred supplier status with O-I in 2013. This is the second turnkey industrial sands project it has conducted in Australia in conjunction with O-I Australia. Another CDE plant is operating at Tooperang Quarry near Adelaide and is producing glass sands for use by O-I Australia at its Adelaide glass container manufacturing plant.

From the outset, the strategic focus of CDE has been on co-creation and an interactive relationship, as CDE’s technical department manager Chris McKeown explained. “Our unique approach to project delivery begins with extensive testing of representative feed material from the quarry, and in the case of the Bundaberg quarry, this involved a range of feed gradings of various blends of fine and coarse material within the pit,” he said. “These samples were then tested at the CDE laboratory facility in Northern Ireland and were used as the basis of the plant specification. We then spent a considerable amount of time working closely with Earth Commodities to develop a plant concept that would meet all production requirements.”

As a result, the plant has been configured specifically for Earth Commodities and the rigid requirements necessary for glass sand production. Products from the CDE core product range are included: the M2500 mobile washing plant, multiple EvoWash fines recovery plants, an AquaCycle thickener and numerous conveyors, including a 26m radial conveyor.

Additionally, the system has several specialised features including high frequency screens for glass sand separation and dewatering, spiral separators and counter flow classification units. “These specialist products required a regular and detailed communication process between CDE and Earth Commodities, to ensure accurate requirements and specification at the beginning of the project, and this level of communication will be ongoing throughout the operation to ensure production standards are consistently achieved,” McKeown said.

Earth Commodities Case Studies


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