Wagner Investments, which is part of Queensland-based construction material and mining services business Wagners, has received approval from the Gympie Regional Council to operate a greenfield quarry near Gunalda.
The site was estimated to contain about 430 million tonnes of high quality andesite and micro-diorite, which would be processed for use as a road base, aggregate for asphalt and concrete, and rail ballast.
Extraction would occur in stages across five resource areas over at least 161 years, with the quarry expected to require 30 employees. Although the quarry would have the capacity to extract and process up to 1.2 million tonnes per annum (tpa) of material, the proposal stated that only 400,000 tpa would be extracted in the first five years.
Product would initially be transported by road, but as part of the application, Wagners also gained approval to construct a rail spur. Once operational – expected in five to 10 years – the rail spur would transport about 30 per cent of the material.
Strong future demand
In March this year, Gympie Regional Council gave local concrete and aggregates supplier Hy-Tec approval to operate a similar quarry on the lot adjoining the proposed Wagners site.
At the time, Hy-Tec’s development application indicated a need for the quarry due to the significant distance of existing quarries – located in Bundaberg and on the Sunshine Coast – from the market area they supplied, as well as the fact that that they were operating at maximum capacity to meet demand.
In its October meeting minutes, the council admitted that in the short term, there was likely to be little demand for an additional quarry, given the approval of the Hy-Tec project. However, it was also noted that the Hy-Tec quarry was not yet operational, with the council adding, “Having a long-term view and regard to the amount of infrastructure proposed in the region, there is likely to be a demand for large amounts of quarry products in the future.
“The proposed [Gunalda] quarry would provide additional choice and is well located with respect to cartage costs and location … Further, there will be considerable community benefit provided by the quarry in terms of the employment generated and other associated economic benefits,” the council stated.
Denis Wagner, one of the directors at Wagners, told Quarry that the business was pleased that approval had been granted.
Wagners and Hy-Tec to create new jobs
Three-stage development gets go-ahead