Plant & Equipment

Garnet producer stays true to roots with excavator purchase

GMA Garnet Group (GMA) mines, processes, exports and distributes the highest quality garnet globally. Established more than 35 years ago, GMA is now the world’s largest and most advanced garnet mining and processing operation, supplying garnet abrasive to the waterjet cutting and protective coating industries.

Garnets are a group of silicate minerals used as gemstones and abrasives. Mined garnet comes in many forms and is utilised for abrasives, cutting and filters. In Western Australia, garnet is a mineral sand and is considered one of the optimum products in the world for industrial applications such as waterjet cutting and sand blasting.

Operating in the midwest region of Australia, GMA was established in the 1980s when it started exploration along a small stretch of coastline in the town of Port Gregory where geologists found small garnet deposits. In 1983 GMA established a dry processing plant in Geraldton, a significant milestone for its operation, where it is still located today. The garnet-bearing sands in Western Australia have a unique geological history of erosion and disposition, resulting in them comprising the highest quality garnet available anywhere.

GMA took delivery of its first Volvo machine in 1989 and, more than 30 years on, is still running a fleet of Volvo earthmoving vehicles. Indeed, as the very first business to purchase the Volvo L350F wheel loader in Australia, GMA Garnet is now the first Australian company to own Volvo’s largest excavator – the EC950E.

With a knockout bucket breakout force of 478kN (ISO 6015) and an arm tearout force of 420kN (ISO 6015), the 90-tonne EC950E is considered groundbreaking for its class, offering an enhanced digging force when working with hard and heavy materials. As well as a higher digging force, the crawler excavator offers quick cycle times thanks to an enhanced hydraulics system which increases pump power for a fast and smooth operation.


The EC950E is built with protected components, including a heavy-duty boom and arm, and a strong frame structure, and can be relied on for longevity and sustained uptime in demanding applications. It is equipped with a wide track gauge, long track length, retractable undercarriage, and an optimised counterweight that makes it adaptable to challenging environments.

GMA employs a variety of Volvo machines at its operations north of Geraldton. It has A45G and A60H articulated haulers for carting ore from various pits to plant and backloading of waste from plant to pit. The GMA team is convinced the addition of the A60H, Volvo’s largest hauler, has increased productivity due to the extra payload. They also operate Volvo L350H wheel loaders in the processing plant to load ore into hoppers and tailings onto trucks, while its excavators are used on the front line, getting product out of the ground and into the trucks.

To meet the requirement of moving upwards of 10,000 tonnes of materials per day, the ability to maximise operator productivity is essential. GMA’s operators have shared their appreciation of the ergonomic layout of the instruments and controls in the Volvo machines, making for better comfort and reduced fatigue. The new EC950E features a spacious cab, offering a low noise environment and more comfort.

GMA focuses on strong partnerships and an unwavering dedication to its customers. Much like CJD Equipment and Volvo Construction Equipment, the company’s values comprise trust, teamwork and care for people and the environment. These collaborative values, coupled with strong aftermarket service and quality, have built such an enduring relationship between GMA and CJD Equipment over the past 30 years.

The GMA Garnet Group has always led the way in the innovation and development of new products for the global abrasive blasting and waterjet cutting industries. With such an innovative outlook, it is no surprise GMA was the first to acquire the EC950E heavy-duty excavator.


Heavyweight leads ‘formidable’ excavator range

Volvo Construction Equipment’s EC950E crawler excavator may be considered the “Muhammad Ali” of its heavyweight division but it is not the only quarry-spec machine available to producers.

Volvo CE’s line-up also comprises:

  • The one with the small bum. With powerful, fuel-efficient Volvo engines, a perfectly matched hydraulic system and a robust body, the short-swing radius excavators offer productivity, stability, ease of use and safety in confined or restricted working conditions. Available in both compact (from 1.8 to eight tonnes) and general purpose (from 14 to 30 tonnes) getting around site on these versatile machines is assisted by automatic two-speed travel for optimised traction plus hydraulic travel pedals for easy and accurate track control.

  • The one with a ‘higher’ purpose. To provide the most versatile machine possible on demolition job sites, the EC480EHR is 28 metres high. It is purpose-built to suit the needs of heavy-duty demolition with both high reach/ medium reach and digging capabilities combined as one. It also features a patented modular boom system, which includes an innovative hydraulic modular joint with hydraulic lock mechanism to release digging equipment and change from the high reach demolition boom to a medium reach configuration in a simple and swift operation.

  • The heavyweight one. With a knockout bucket breakout force of 478kN (ISO 6015) and an arm tearout force of 420kN (ISO 6015), the 90-tonne class EC950E offers enhanced digging force, particularly when working with hard and heavy materials. Constant high hydraulic pressure delivers power to the machine when needed. Built with protected components, including a heavy-duty boom and arm, and a strong frame structure, the EC950E is reliable for longevity and sustained uptime in demanding applications.

Founded in 1974, CJD Equipment is a privately owned Australian company and provider of world-class plant and equipment. Partnering with international manufacturers, CJD offers a diverse range of products from reputed brands, including Volvo CE, SDLG and Kenworth and DAF trucks. CJD has partnered with Volvo CE for more than 25 years, supplying Australia’s construction and earthmoving industries with high quality products, along with national after-market service and support.

CJD’s dealer network encompasses capital cities and regional centres, providing 24/7 sales, parts and service support from more than 500 highly experienced staff.

Source: CJD Equipment

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