Brickworks has submitted a development application to the New South Wales Government to construct a “lightweight aggregate” facility at its existing Horsley Park site in western Sydney.
The site contains a Bringelly shale resource and has been used for quarrying and rural brick manufacturing purposes since the 1960s.
According to Brickworks, lightweight aggregate is widely used overseas, with readymix concrete, pre-cast concrete, masonry, asphalt and geotechnical fills among its applications.
“At around half the weight of traditional aggregates, their use can enhance building design and deliver significant project cost savings, as well as transport cost reductions and manual handling benefits,” a company statement explained.
The proposed $130 million project would involve the construction of two rotary kilns and the installation of new crushing and screening plant at the 82ha site.
Using the existing 6.5 million tonnes of stockpiled shale material, the plant would produce 600,000 tonnes per annum of lightweight aggregate.
The facility would operate 24 hours, seven days a week, with an estimated life of 12 years based on current on-site stockpile volumes.
Ancillary offices, roads and other amenities would also be constructed to support the operation.
Commenting on the proposal, Brickworks managing director Lindsay Partridge said, “The project would clearly offer market diversification and growth opportunities to the company, and increase the utilisation of our existing land, raw materials and other assets.
“More broadly, the project would create around 50 new jobs in western Sydney, and deliver a unique new product that would benefit the local construction industry as the city embarks on a significant wave of major infrastructure projects over the next decade.”
The development application for the lightweight aggregate plant is currently on public exhibition until 7 December, 2015, with Brickworks estimating construction and commissioning to take 18 to 24 months to complete.