Explosives supplier wants second Queensland plant

The new facility would be located on 1434 hectares of rural land and would be located close to the coast, about 14km east of Dingo, 1.4km south of the Capricorn Highway, west of major river systems and near the Bowen Basin mining industry.
?Orica has an existing customer base of approximately 30 mining customers in the Bowen Basin,? explained Ben Wilson, Orica?s acting group manager of corporate communications. ?We also supply to quarries that supply mines and their infrastructure as well as construction that assists with mine establishments.
?The proposed facility will enable Orica to continue to supply to these customers as well as supporting future growth in the region.?
Orica submitted its application to the Central Highlands Regional Council in September 2012 and has been engaged in regular consultation with both the council and regulatory authorities.
?The timing of any approval is dependent on council and other regulatory authorities,? Wilson added.
He would not elaborate on when Orica, if granted approval, would commence construction on the facility but mentioned that the construction process was expected to take up to two years. Wilson added that Orica would require a local workforce of around 40 during the construction phase. Once the Dingo facility is commissioned, it will employ around 30 full-time workers at peak operation.
The new plant will very likely complement Orica?s existing ammonium nitrate plant in nearby Gladstone.
?The new facility is designed to store, distribute and blend ammonium nitrate emulsion and store and distribute ammonium nitrate,? Wilson explained. ?The application is not for an ammonium nitrate manufacturing facility,? he stressed.
?The establishment of storage capability at Dingo enhances Orica?s overall supply chain capability and optimises the logistics of material movements within the Bowen Basin. This facility is one element of a broader contingency network to ensure ongoing security of supply for our customers in this region.
?The proposed facility will also strengthen Orica?s ability to provide critical raw materials to customers during times when road transport may be impacted by flooding, as the facility is to be located west of the major river systems.?
An unnamed spokesman for Orica early last week assured the local Daily Mercury newspaper that the new facility will meet ?all of the required criteria in terms of appropriate buffers from population centres and access to transport?.
?The project will involve a number of elements to upgrade the Diamond Dee Road and the siding from the Capricorn Highway … to ensure appropriate management of truck movements during times of peak activity,? he was quoted as saying.
The same spokesman was also quick to deflect concerns about waste at the proposed facility after Orica was last year fined for environmental offences at its Gladstone plant, which saw unsafe levels of cyanide discharged into Gladstone Harbour.
He said the waste produced at the Dingo facility would be one kilometre from the nearest watercourse. ?The blending and storage processes proposed for the site produce no waste. Orica will use the first flush system to collect rainwater that falls on the site for use in the proposed facility,? the spokesman explained.
Under the application, water would also be collected and tested to ensure all standards are honoured. Native vegetation would also be retained to screen the project.
Members of the local community have until 22 February to lodge comments with Central Highland Regional Council about Orica?s application.
Sources: Orica Mining Services, Daily Mercury (Central Queensland)

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