Brown?s Lime Quarry, which is located near Dannevirke in New Zealand, is reportedly one of the largest lime quarries in the North Island. The 14-hectare site comprises an open-cast, lime-producing pit that has been consented and operational since 1995.
Lime is used by the agricultural industry to condition and balance soil nutrients by neutralising acidity and can also improve the absorption of rainfall into the ground. Richard Brown, who owns the quarry with his wife Marie, told the Manawatu Standard that he first began the operation to supply his farm with lime, but that soon neighbouring farms were also requesting his product. The quarry has since developed into a profitable business that supplies hundreds of customers from dairy, sheep and beef farms in Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Manawatu, Rangitikei and Whanganui.
Despite its success, Brown has now decided to take advantage of the shift towards eco-friendly farming practices to sell the lime quarry and retire.
?I’m 68 years old and when do you stop?? Brown said. ?There comes a time in your life when you have to say, ?Well, hang on, we’d better at least find out if there’s a market for it [lime]?, and so far there’s been a reasonable level of interest in it ? actually, stronger than we expected.?
A prime buy
According to the quarry?s real estate listing, which is being managed by Bayleys, Napier, the property ?offers huge opportunity and potential to increase production?.
Glyn Rees-Jones, the Bayleys salesperson that is handling the sale, said that mining analyst Arcadia Resources estimated that the quarry contains between five and seven million tonnes of lime.
?The highest annual production from the quarry in the past 20 years has been 35,000 tonnes, so there is still plenty of rock which is prime for excavation and crushing,? Rees-Jones told Voxy. ?It?s unlikely this quarry will run out of lime as the existing face and cuttings are surrounded by billions of tonnes of high grade lime.?
The hourly production rate is currently up to 70 tonnes per hour. However, Rees-Jones pointed out that there is ?considerable potential to bolster output levels?. He said existing open-cast excavation infrastructure and faces are already in place, there is space for additional plant and machinery and the quarry is surrounded by sheep and beef farming property.
?[There are] no residential dwellings in close proximity, so any move to increase production output would have minimal environmental impact,? he added.
In addition, Brown?s Lime Quarry has a ?distinct market advantage? over competitors, thanks to the dryer Brown installed at the site in 2000. ?[It is] the only lime-producing quarry in the North Island which uses a drying plant in the processing,? Rees-Jones said. ?This process makes its lime the most even-spreading and free-flowing lime on the market.?
The sale of the property will be accompanied by a full complement of plant and machinery, including a excavator, loader, crusher with conveyor, dryer, electrical generator, dump truck, track-mounted primary jaw crusher, mobile screen, a ute and ?sundry plant, equipment and tools?.
?Earnings before interest and tax at the quarry grew substantially over the intervening years between 2009 and 2012,? Rees-Jones stated. ?However, the Browns see now as a good time to move on while still leaving growth potential in the business for a new owner.?
Source: Voxy, Manawatu Standard, nzFarms